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Shopper

The digital age continues to open up new paths to purchase, changing how and where people shop. More and more data becomes available every day, as shoppers embrace multi-channel brand experiences.

To stay competitive in this big data, multi-channel environment, businesses need to identify and leverage the most relevant data along the entire path to purchase. With this, companies can optimize each step of the shopper journey.

GfK’s Shopper research experts analyze and combine multiple data sources to fully understand shopper behavior and how to influence purchasing decisions.

We combine a deep understanding of what influences purchasing decisions at the point of sale with shoppers’ experiences. We provide our clients with the “what” and the “why”, to support marketing decisions.

Our shopper metrics optimize performance in the store, on the shelf and online – improving the purchase journey experience and managing the category – to ultimately increase loyalty and success.

Latest insights

Here you can find the latest insights for Shopper. View all insights

    • 03/08/16
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Consumer Goods
    • Shopper
    • Denmark
    • English

    Welcome to the world of the Connected Consumer

    It's time to think differently. Today's consumers are harnessing technology to reinvent themselves, their lives and their communities. They are changing the existing value system. Connected Consumers embrace freedom, acceleration and intimacy. Are you ready? The future is now.
    • 11/14/17
    • Retail
    • Shopper
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    What’s in store for the holidays?

    It’s again the time of the year when retailers are eager for the attention and wallet share of holiday shoppers. And the stakes are high: With rebounding household incomes and strong consumer confidence, consumers are projected to churn out a total of $678.75 billion to $682 billion this year on holiday shopping*, up from $655.8 billion last year. It’s no secret that e-commerce is expected to account for a bigger share of the pie compared to last year, bolstered largely by the continued rise of shopping on mobile devices. And consumers will embrace omni-channel strategies, be it shopping online and picking up by the curbside or researching products on their smartphones while browsing in stores. What else should marketers be aware of this holiday season?
    • Increasingly, quality beats quantity and price: Apple’s iPhone X, the company’s priciest handset ever, may have just arrived at the optimal time. Americans’ price sensitivity, which peaked during the recession, has waned with the economic recovery: According to the latest findings from GfK Consumer Life, the amount of Americans declaring that price is the most critical factor in their purchase decisions dropped to 36%, down from 41% in 2011 and 39% in 2016. On the other hand, a growing number (35%, up 3 pts from 2011) prefer to own fewer but higher quality products. Also on the rebound is enthusiasm towards new products: 38% admit that they like to buy the newest or latest version of a product, up 6 pts since 2011.
    • Deals still matter: A willingness to pay for quality, however, does not mean that bargain hunting is going out of style. In fact, over three quarters of American consumers feel really satisfied with themselves, even excited, when they get a really good deal – and this is fairly consistent across income brackets. Our persistent deal-seeking mentality is reflected in the continued success of off-price retailers such as T.J. Maxx, Ross and Nordstrom Rack, whose combined sales surged by $14 billion since 2011 and is poised to grow further, as department store sales plummeted by $25 billion.

      To woo bargain hunters, retailers are kicking off the holiday season well ahead of Black Friday by offering steep discounts now. Amazon, for example, touts best ever deals on electronics, hot toys, home goods and more when it opened its Black Friday Store on Nov. 1st. Kohl’s also started November with an aggressive one-day deal of $15 in Kohl’s Cash for every $50 spent. The company will begin to offer its actual Black Friday deals on Monday, November 20 online.
    • Think beyond products: Not all gifts that Americans will purchase this season can be wrapped up in a nice little bow. According to the Deloitte’s 2017 Holiday Survey, over a quarter (27%) plan to gift experiences, such as concert tickets, vacations and dining out. Behind this is a broader trend that demands attention.

      GfK Consumer Life data reveals that nearly three quarters of American consumers today consider experiences more important than possessions. Vacation destinations and the food they eat now represent the fastest growing forms of self-expression in the nation, as enticing vacation and ‘food porn’ photos flood social media. At the same time, cars and clothes/jewelry saw declines as personal statements. This shift in priority is reflected in consumption. According to HSBC, America’s expenditure on recreation, travel and eating out as a percentage of total spending has been trending up over the past 15 years, whereas spending on durable goods and clothing has decreased.

      But stores can also tap into consumers’ growing zest for experiences. Shopping itself is often seen as a leisure pursuit well beyond finding and buying the right product. Brick-and-mortar stores have long been drawing holiday shoppers in with picture-perfect decorations and Santa interactions for kids. With the inroad of e-commerce, stepping up the ‘experience’ element is ever more crucial for physical stores to maintain relevance. Walmart is doing just that– the world’s largest retailer is to host 20,000 holiday parties this holiday season, allowing customers to take pictures with Santa, see product demonstrations, and get gift ideas.
    • Look beyond the holiday season: While the holiday season still contributes to a large share of the retail sales, its role has dwindled: Since 1992, the contribution of the fourth quarter to annual sales has been on the decline, shifting from 32.8% of total sales back then to 28.9% in 2016. Consumers’ growing accessibility to deals throughout the year, thanks in part to the proliferation of deal sites and apps, may be partly to blame – the same way that the role of Black Friday has weakened as retailers increasingly spread out blowout deals throughout the season.

      As retailers prepare for the final stretch of the holiday race, it’s also important to have a long-term strategy to connect with the ever more experience-driven, smartphone equipped, savvy omni-channel shopper, who is still motivated by deals but willing to pay for the products that matter.
    Veronica Chen is Vice President at GfK Consumer Life. To share your thoughts, please email veronica.chen@gfk.com or leave a comment below. *Spending excludes automobiles, gasoline and restaurants
    • 10/24/17
    • Retail
    • Consumer Goods
    • Shopper
    • Global
    • English

    Category regeneration: Most retailers and manufacturers aren’t asking the right questions. Are you?

    Traditionally, product categories don’t get any attention unless it’s absolutely necessary. It’s only when KPIs start flashing red that it’s time to hit the refresh cycle. But a new environment of hyper-competition combined with an increasingly unpredictable consumer has changed all that. Welcome to the world of continuous category improvement. The overall philosophy of category regeneration is to continually assess the category and make improvements which generate a sales return. But rarely does anyone ask the real question “Why do people buy these products?” And if we ignore it, we get trapped in a conflagration of competing retailer and manufacturer interests. The result? A shelf that does not service the interest of its owner, the shopper.

    Selling solutions, not categories

    Examples of effective shopper marketing in UK grocery stores are few and far between. Many would argue that retailers simply can’t be bothered. We believe that more innovation is urgently needed, specifically initiatives which attempt to forge a better connection with consumers and their needs in store. Marks and Spencer is one such example of a retailer who has bothered to ask that all important question, “Why do people buy these products?” They were not satisfied that the reason consumers visit their ready meals aisle is purely because they want something quick to eat. Instead, they recognized that the desire for something indulgent was often the motivation behind a visit to this shelf. In response, they have dual-sited beer as they have recognized that it completes this experience for many consumers. In doing so, they are selling solutions, not categories. This is modern category management, and the sort of philosophy more companies should subscribe to. Of course, practically speaking, it’s not physically possible for all products to be situated next to the many other items that are consumed on the same occasion. Nevertheless, this mentality of considering the need states or occasions which motivate the shopper and then organizing the product shelf accordingly should be much more widespread. Retailers need to think like shoppers – and go out of their way to try and help them. This is where virtual stores prove to be invaluable.

    Think like a shopper

    Virtual store environments can help you see how shoppers think. A shopper decision tree can reveal the structure of the category in the shopper’s eyes quickly and cost effectively. We often find that the way shoppers understand the category is radically different to how it is organized. By understanding the triggers and barriers at a category and SKU level, virtual stores can also help identify the cues needed to entice the shopper into the aisle and help them understand the choices available to them when they arrive. As category management moves to a process of continual improvement, companies must keep their eye on who it is they are serving. Shoppers are the ones who count. They are the focus of category management. Retailers and manufacturers must make it their business to identify and connect with them and meet their needs every step of the way. With its combination of behavioral data and survey results, virtual testing is both a cost effective and time efficient way to maximize the effectiveness of category marketing. James LLewellyn is the UK Head of Shopper. Please email James.Llewellyn@gfk.com or leave a comment below to share your thoughts. hbspt.cta.load(2405078, '157d3623-e3e2-45f9-9cde-95c94496ee8a', {});
    • 06/28/16
    • Retail
    • Shopper
    • Global
    • English

    Turning shoppers into buyers to win at retail

    Our shopper conversion pilot project demonstrated how we can help manufacturers and retailers decode consumers’ decision-making processes.
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Claus Lassen
Denmark
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