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Smart insights: Technology

In today’s connected society, technology impacts all industries - driving opportunities and accelerating the speed of innovation.

To stay competitive, technology companies need to understand consumers’ evolving experiences and choices.

Our technology market research experts deliver smart insights to create engaging and relevant concept designs, product positioning, advertising and customer experiences. Our technology industry expertise spans IT and IT B2B, consumer electronics (CE), photo, office equipment and telecommunications market performance, consumer research and trends.

GfK, Hong Kong
GfK Hong Kong
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Discover the latest Technology industry insights, trends and market data with our Tech Talk newsletter.

  • Brand and Customer Experience (BaCE)

    Brand and Customer Experience (BaCE)

    Brands are under pressure to develop emotional connections and relationships with consumers and business decision makers.  Brands need to respond in-the-moment, to enrich the customer experience – and develop strategies that influence ”moments of truth” throughout individual brand journeys.  

  • Digital Market Intelligence (DMI)

    Digital Market Intelligence (DMI)

    When consumers shop, search, communicate, gather information and engage with companies or brands online, they behave differently depending on which device or screen they are using. They expect a consistent experience regardless of the channel or device they are using.

  • Point of Sales Tracking

    Point of Sales Tracking

    Retailers and manufacturers are under pressure to develop products and services that maximize sales and profit and to keep customers coming back.

    Success relies on having the most up-to-date sales data, combined with robust analysis to understand which products and services are performing well in the market – and which are not. With this information, clients can set clear strategies for commercial growth and increase return on investment.

  • User Experience (UX)

    User Experience (UX)

    Our user experience (UX) research and design experts help our clients create and improve customer experiences for existing or new products and services

    Today’s consumer is bombarded with promises for compelling experiences. They are sophisticated and demanding.  To be successful, a new product or service needs to be intuitive, usable, engaging and desirable. The user experience needs to be emotional in order to be memorable.

  • Market Opportunities and Innovation (MOI)

    Market Opportunities and Innovation (MOI)

    Brands are under constant pressure to maintain relevance in an increasingly crowded market. Identifying when, where and how to deliver compelling experiences that deliver new value for both consumers and brands is critical.

  • Trends & Forecasting

    Trends & Forecasting

    ​Today’s steady stream of new offerings and shortening product lifecycles place a unique pressure on businesses to stay ahead. Consumer purchasing behavior shifts more rapidly than ever.

  • Geomarketing


    Our geomarketing solutions and consultancy provide our clients with smart insights into location-specific factors that impact the success of business sites, shops, sales territories, target groups, as well as chain store and distribution networks.

  • Mystery Shopping

    Mystery Shopping

    Consumers face a complex array of brand touch points every day of their lives. To deliver a consistent brand experience, marketers need to know how consumers are actually experiencing their brand. Our mystery shoppers give you all the help you need to understand these experiences, and respond to them to maximize the return for your business.

Latest insights

Here you can find the latest insights for technology industry. View all insights

    • 10/25/16
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Tech Trends
    • Global
    • English

    Smartphones: Growth unabated in 3Q, though China expected to weigh on 2017 demand

    Global smartphone demand totals 353 million units in 3Q16. Latin America returns to growth after five consecutive quarters of decline.  Demand in Great Britain grows following ‘Brexit’ vote.  China demand to decline in 2017 due to reduced operator subsidies.
    • 10/19/16
    • Health
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    Easing market access of telemedicine in the US: A guide for innovators

    Diagnosing and treating patients remotely through telemedicine in both the private and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) payer markets has steadily increased in recent years.The global telemedicine market is projected to reach $34.0 billion by 2020 as patients become more aware of these services.2 Telemedicine improves access to healthcare for underserved and rural patient populations, and promotes population health management, resulting in better clinical outcomes for patients and cost savings for providers.3

    CMS set the benchmark definition of telemedicine that private payers often follow

    Medicare regulations cover and reimburse a range of telemedicine services, including the use of telecommunications and information technology, to provide access to health assessment, diagnosis, intervention, consultation, supervision and information remotely.4 According to Medicaid, telemedicine is a cost-effective alternative to the more traditional way of providing medical care (e.g., face-to-face consultations or examinations between provider and patient).5

    What about cost reimbursement and payer coverage for telemedicine services?

    Let’s look at the three categories of telemedicine:
    1. Real-time: A live interaction between a provider and a patient via a videoconference; it can be used to consult with primary care physicians, specialists and other healthcare professionals
    2. Store-and-forward: Captures a patient’s clinical data via a computer or mobile device and then transmits it to a provider for later analysis
    3. Remote monitoring: Allows continuous monitoring of a patient’s clinical data by a provider from a remote location and is more commonly used to assess chronic condition.
    Note that payer coverage and reimbursement are often limited to real-time interaction. Yet, with clear reimbursement guidance, providers and patients will more likely utilize and benefit from the technology.

    Four factors to consider when establishing a market access strategy in telemedicine

    After defining their target population, innovators must understand payers in order to align their services to the rules in place. Then they must keep in mind these four factors when establishing their market access strategy in telemedicine:
    1. Utilization of telemedicine is higher among Medicare patients than private payer patients. Traditionally, reimbursement for telemedicine services is limited to real-time consultations1 for underserved patient populations in rural areas; reimbursement is provided to the originating site (patient location) and distant site (provider location) of services. Remote monitoring is not covered and store-and-forward is only covered in Hawaii and Alaska.6 Medicaid coverage varies from state-to-state, but Medicaid reimburses telemedicine in 48 states.2
    2. Parity laws, which pursue equality, encourage private payers to cover telemedicine services if the clinical service is covered during in-person visits, but coverage decisions and reimbursement levels are made at the state level.7 Some private insurers are experimenting with direct-to-consumer business models, which circumvent third-party suppliers. Provider-based health plans can also offer telemedicine directly to patients and are not subject to standard private and CMS coverage laws.
    3. Legislature supporting telemedicine is constantly evolving. There have been more than 200 telemedicine-related bills launched this year regarding CMS coverage and coverage of store-and-forward and remote monitoring.7
    4. Adequate reimbursement through CMS and private payers will increase the adoption of telemedicine among providers and patients. These stakeholders believe in the clinical and economic advantages of telemedicine, but cannot utilize it without the support of payers. A study found that 90% of providers would use telemedicine if it were appropriately reimbursed.8 For consumers, the number one concern when considering telemedicine is that insurance will not cover it.9
    The utilization rate and investor funding in telemedicine continues to grow, making it an attractive option for innovators. But they must understand and guide the market access landscape and reimbursement definitions in order to successfully commercialize new products and services. If you have any questions or would like more information, email


    1. Siegel J, Kush J, Philip S. Telemedicine and the long-tail problem in healthcare. May 2016.
    2. Sibley G. Secure telehealth can improve access, help lower costs and protect patient data. Feb. 2016.
    3. American Hospital Association. The Promise of Telehealth for Hospitals, Health Systems and Their Communities. Jan. 2015
    4. The Code of Federal Regulations. 42 CFR 410.78.
    5. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Telehealth Services.
    6. American Hospital Association. Realizing the Promise of Telehealth: Understanding the Legal and Regulatory Challenges. May 2015.
    7. Beck M. How Telemedicine Is Transforming Health Care. June 2016.
    8. Anthem. Family Physicians and Telehealth: A First Look At Attitudes Surrounding Telehealth. Nov. 2015.
    9. Survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Xerox in May 2016 among 2,033 U.S. adults 18+.
    • 10/17/16
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    How retailers can build brand loyalty through mobile apps

    As mobile technology has increasingly become an everyday part of Connected Consumers’ lives, mobile apps present a unique opportunity for retailers, offering a direct line to consumers on the devices they carry with them everywhere. While branded apps have the potential to enhance the shopping experience, increase conversion and promote loyalty, they are constantly competing for the space on your mobile device with other apps, often being deleted or ignored after a single use. So, how can retailers design apps that transcend “one-off” usage and win real loyalty? Here are a few proven winning ways:
    • Inspire FoMO (fear of missing out) – Offering pop-up sales, information and other things on a time-sensitive basis throughout the year can attract shoppers and keep them coming back. Amazon’s Prime Day, for example, leveraged the feeling of FoMO by showing a timer on sale items with a status bar letting users know how many of them were still in stock. Amazon’s app also provided a watch-list of products that alerted users when a deal on items they were interested in went live. However, frequency is key, and they have continued to leverage FoMO post-Prime Day with Lightening Sales that are personalized based on items consumers have searched for in the past.
    • Encourage exploration – Browsing the web is the new daydreaming, a new way of killing time for today’s Connected Consumers. But apps used for e-commerce aren’t typically designed for unfocused browsing. They are primarily used by consumers who are serious and ready to buy, designed more around the transactional experience. If app designs were more attentive to encouraging exploration, comparison shopping and wish fulfillment, they would be more convenient for browsing, which could translate to more usage.
    • Provide more value – Shoppers will return to an app if it offers time and money saving benefits that they can’t get anywhere else. The Starbucks app, for example, allows users to store loyalty benefits such as coupons, deals, and points as well as offering a convenient mobile payment option. Apps that work in conjunction with a brick & mortar location to provide omnichannel perks can produce valuable benefits as well. The Kohl’s app provides free shipping if it is used to order an out-of-stock item while at the store, for example.
    • Make it easy to use – An effective app should be simple and easy to use. If accomplishing something on a website, the phone, or in-person is easier than using a mobile app, then the app is not serving its purpose. Tasks like making hotel reservations, finding restaurants, or checking the weather can all be done in no more than a few clicks on an app, whereas performing the same task on an actual website takes longer. Apps are meant to be used on the go, therefore the time it takes to use them can make or break the experience.
    • Bring consumers back to the app – Email messages from retailers typically drive readers to their website. By changing the direction of the funnel, retailers can encourage app use by creating a communication flow that pushes consumers to their app.
    Mimicking your marketing on other platforms is simply not enough. Giving consumers a reason to download and return to your app can provide a number of benefits, including brand loyalty. The more frequently apps are used, the more they become ingrained in their users’ habits. Making them easy and effective to use while providing value that shoppers can’t get elsewhere are keys to success in the future of retail. *’Taking the App Challenge: How Retailers Can Raise Their “Stickiness” to New Heights’ originally appeared in Internet Retailer. Please email to share your thoughts.

    Discover how to win the battle for the connected shopper of the future

    Learn more about the Future of Retail
    • 10/14/16
    • Health
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    Using virtual reality in healthcare product design to build patient empathy

    A common complaint we hear from healthcare providers is that while they have developed a deep understanding of the patient experience by providing day-to-day care, product developers are typically several steps removed from the patient experience. But what if we could close that gap? What if we could facilitate a better understanding (and empathy!) of the patient experience by putting product developers in the shoes of target users? Consider virtual reality (VR) – what if you could virtually “become” any patient with any condition at any time; you could immerse yourself in the context that they experience their daily challenges. VR technology now makes this possible, which opens the door to unlimited possibilities in user experience (UX) research.

    Current application of virtual reality empathy

    We’ve started to see examples of virtual reality empathy applied in other industries. Several news outlet apps invite the viewer to virtually immerse themselves in a news story: the Paris attack vigil, a battle with Iraqi forces and ISIS, a solitary confinement cell, or standing helpless as a patient goes into diabetic shock. Done well, this technology creates a new way to gain a powerful empathetic response from viewers. Now imagine using this virtual reality empathy experience to begin your research and development (R&D) process for a new healthcare product. Presently, virtual reality empathy experiences for the healthcare sector are publicly accessible, e.g. what it’s like to have dementia, schizophrenia, or a migraine. Your team could refer back to this experience and customize it to sub user groups. A robust virtual reality empathy tool or lab would be necessary for this to benefit an entire R&D process and multiple products.

    The virtual reality empathy design lab: become your target user

    Let’s imagine what this lab might look like. There could be a library of virtual reality experiences of different target users from which you could pull. Or, imagine walking into a room in which you could custom design the target user. For both of these experiences you could virtually “become” the target user avatar. Within seconds you could “become” an aging woman with arthritis and asthma or a teenager with diabetes and low vision. Could this help your R&D team keep the user top of mind? Or even better, emotionally hook you and the team to the target user needs as product design, packaging, and marketing strategy decisions are made?

    Virtual reality empathy in UX research

    While these initiatives continue to be explored, we are helping clients gain empathy for their users through VR. We recently wrote about our VR ethnography in Mexico and our experimentation with VR imagery. We are interested in pushing the limits of this method. An example where we see the benefits of this application is in-home VR recording and streaming. Instead of flipping through a PowerPoint with pictures at the end of a study, product teams can virtually immerse themselves into a patient’s home while the patient shows and describes to researchers the impact of the challenges they encounter on a daily basis. Product teams can feel as though they are sitting next to patients as they tear up in happiness describing how the product has saved their life. No picture in a report or video clip could offer this level of immersion or empathy. We can also see applications to experiencing a patient journey in a hospital. Product designers can experience the patient journey first hand, e.g. from stretcher to operating room to discharge. You’d feel just like the researcher and be able to observe patients when they experience pain, confusion, fear, or sadness.

    Beyond patient empathy and next steps

    In addition to designing best-in-class experiences, there are other benefits VR could offer throughout the R&D process, including team buy-in. Once a C-suite executive, board director, or engineer immerses themselves into a virtual first-hand experience within a patient’s home or a hospital room, investment in next steps or design changes become a discussion instead of persuasion. Some aspects of applying this technology in the healthcare industry are a ways off in terms of feasibility. Patient privacy is also always a concern. However, easy access to simple exploration apps and cardboard VR goggles facilitates easy experimentation and seemingly endless possibilities. It’s even more fun to think what, if anything, we could do with this technology to ultimately enhance the quality of life for patients around the world. Would the ability to “become” your target user be useful for your team? Hope to see you at the global innovation and technology healthcare conference in London in November! Please email to share your thoughts.
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GfK, Hong Kong
GfK Hong Kong