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Smart insights: Retail

The pace of change in the retail industry is driven by digital advancements: more touchpoints, more product reviews and comparisons for consumers to access anytime, anywhere. And more variety in the path to purchase of shoppers.

To stay competitive and relevant, retail businesses need to understand evolving shopping behaviors and target group demands. They need to apply this knowledge to create differentiated experiences across both digital and physical environments.

Our retail industry research experts provide the insights to support you at every stage: from measuring your shoppers’ experiences and paths to purchase, to monitoring retail performance and trends.

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    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. 

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Latest insights

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

    • 12/15/15
    • Retail
    • Consumer Goods
    • Geomarketing
    • South Africa
    • English

    Purchasing power: All-rounder among market indicators

    There’s no limit these days to the volume and type of data that companies use to improve their competitiveness. Much of this data is unique to the industry in question, but some market indicators such as purchasing power have nearly universal application. A measure of the population’s disposable income, purchasing power data is the primary benchmark for determining consumer potential. So why is this market indicator so valuable and versatile? Simply put, purchasing power shows companies and manufacturers where the population has sufficient disposable income to spend on retail purchases. And even more importantly, good purchasing power data shows how this disposable income varies throughout the entire market and at different regional levels such as municipalities and postcodes.

    Exploiting more potential through regional insights

    Let’s now look at how purchasing power data can help a consumer electronics retailer who sells products via chain stores throughout Europe. Optimally placing and managing these stores requires precise, up-to-date knowledge on how the product potential tracks across regional markets. The retailer happens to know that Europeans have roughly €9 trillion to spend in 2015, but this information alone is useless. This is where our purchasing power data comes into play. Our data offers a highly textured breakdown of the geographic distribution of this wealth. It’s not enough for our retailer to work with composite figures and rough averages, because actual purchasing power amounts fluctuate dramatically from country to country, municipality to municipality, and even postcode to postcode. So where does the retailer start? A good first step is to assess the relative wealth in the areas around the chain stores. This has a direct effect on how the retailer should optimize the product mix for each location. A quick look at the data reveals that Liechtenstein is a veritable purchasing power dynamo, with 4.5 times the average disposable income. Our retailer has two stores in this area, so a good move would be to offer a larger selection of high-end products at these locations. If the two stores are not fully tapping the available potential, the retailer can consider opening up some additional stores in this country, strategically positioning them in municipalities and postcodes with especially high purchasing power.

    Boosting turnover & market share with geomarketing

    The retailer also has stores in Central European markets, such as Poland, which has shown signs of rapid retail growth. But unfortunately the retailer’s stores in that country have not be able to capitalize on this trend. Another look at the data shows why: All of the retailer’s stores are in districts with below average purchasing power by Poland’s standards. The retailer now has several options. It can open stores in some of the districts with higher purchasing power, such as Sopot, Piaseczynski or Warsaw, the latter of which has almost 83 percent more purchasing power than the rest of the country. Alternatively, the retailer can adjust its product mix at the existing locations to better appeal to the surrounding demographic. Up until now, the retailer has been using the same or similar marketing campaigns for all of its stores. Using the purchasing power data, marketing campaigns and POS promotions can now be tailored on a store-by-store basis to the income level and purchase affinity of the nearby population. The retailer can also use the purchasing power data to more objectively measure the performance of its stores in each of its active countries and regions. Previously, the retailer had no way of gauging what a good result was for the markets where its stores are located. For example, the retailer knew its best-performing store in France was in Paris and its worst performing in Pas-de-Calais. But this knowledge was meaningless without insight into how these performances relate to the market potential in those areas. Using the purchasing power data, the retailer discovered that Paris has an average per-capita purchasing power of €29,433 (more than twice the European average), while Pas-de-Calais has just €15,688. Thanks to these precise, regionally sensitive numbers, the retailer can more accurately gauge both individual store performance and how those performances compare as a percentage of the total local market.

    About GfK Purchasing Power

    Purchasing power data is the ideal foundational market indicator for users across all industries, from retail and real estate to automotive and tourism. Users can easily supplement purchasing power with additional market indicators, such as retail turnover potential and purchasing power for specific product lines. GfK Purchasing Power Europe is calculated annually for 42 European countries and provides comprehensive coverage down to the level of municipalities and postcodes, as well as data on inhabitants and households. GfK’s Geomarketing solutions also include digital maps and other market data that fit seamlessly with the purchasing power data. For more information on GfK’s Geomarketing offering, visit http://www.gfk.com/solutions/geomarketing.
    • 07/31/14
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Consumer Goods
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • South Africa
    • English

    Additional African countries added to GfK Global consumer study

    GfK now offers insights specifically into African consumers within the ‘GfK Roper Reports Worldwide’ study. For global brands, this kind of information furthers a deeper under-standing that helps them retain relevance in the African market.
    • 09/07/16
    • Retail
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Back-to-school shopping isn’t just about deals

    Although my own children are no longer students, I have certainly noticed that it’s back-to-school time. I’ve also noticed something interesting about the barrage of emails, store signage, and even news stories related to this shopping season: most of the messages are about saving money. This is a perfectly valid advertising tactic. But money is not a parent’s only pain point, and marketers can do much more than offer discounts to improve the shopping experience.

    Stores are still relevant for Millennial parents

    Millennial moms and dads around the world are a growing and desirable target segment.  These younger parents are ambitious and acquisitive. They are also stressed, and look to technology for solutions, including when they shop. But will this generation of digital natives avoid stores altogether in favor of online alternatives? Probably not. A recent GfK survey of Canadian parents indicates that Millennials plan to spend more than other parents on back-to-school shopping, and they plan to do most of this shopping in stores. The kids are likely to join them on these trips. Most (83%) Americans with children under age 6 go shopping with their children frequently or fairly often, as do 80% of those with children age 6-12 and 73% of those with teens age 13-17, according to recent GfK Consumer Life research. Shopping with little ones is no walk in the park, though. Retailers can consider many ways to improve the experience:
    • Offer in-store entertainment in the form of drop-off child-care centers, child-sized carts, maybe even on-cart gaming. Let parents skip the checkout line and pay via app while you deliver their cart to their car. Provide free, healthy snacks for kids. Not only will these services make parents and kids happier, it will improve the experience for other shoppers.
    • Sometimes it isn’t practical to bring children into the store – for example, if they are sick or sleeping. But parents need to shop anyway. Offer delivery services where feasible, or let parents place their order ahead of time so they can pick it up curbside when they arrive.
    • If one parent stays home with the kids and the other ventures out, help them share the shopping in a virtual way, beyond endless phone calls about what brand of cereal to get. US Millennials, including the parents among them, are more interested in experiencing various things using virtual reality or augmented reality, such as shopping as if they are in a real store.

    Make it easier for older parents, too

    Once the kids are older, shopping attitudes and behavior shift somewhat. GfK Consumer Life has found that middle-aged Gen X parents are more likely than Millennials to agree that it’s fun to browse in stores and that shopping is something for family to do together. For parents of teens and tweens, marketers can offer back-to-school shopping fun in the form of funky products and events. Yet Gen X parents are also more likely than others to say that crowds and lines are the worst thing about shopping in stores. In other words, they appreciate streamlining too. And they will continue to appreciate it after the kids turn 18, because parenting doesn’t end there. Bed, Bath & Beyond offers a Pack and Hold service so college students can order what they need for their dorms and apartments ahead of time and have it ready to pick up in the town where they’re attending school. In the college town where I shop, this is no small matter of a few boxes sitting in the back of the store. Here’s how the parking lot looked on move-in weekend – a row of shipping containers filled with labeled boxes. Inside the store, it was entertaining to watch the young adults – every single one of them accompanied by well-meaning parents intent on navigating their offspring through this transition to semi-independent living. I heard one earnest mother say, “Maybe you should get a teapot. Your girlfriend drinks tea.” That snippet of conversation held a world of meaning. Today’s parents are often accused of being over-involved in their children’s lives. But the kids don’t seem to mind. The young man with the tea-drinking girlfriend certainly didn’t. After all, he might have been getting the teapot, but he wasn’t the one buying it.

    Conclusion

    The transition to adulthood takes longer than it used to, which means that active parenting is a long haul these days. Baby Boomers are nearly past this stage of life, but Gen Xers are still in the midst of it, and Millennials are just starting out. Make it easier for them every step of the way by understanding the role that children play in their budgets, schedules, and most importantly, their hearts. Diane Crispell is a Senior Consultant with GfK Consumer Life. She can be reached at diane.crispell@gfk.com.
    • 09/06/16
    • Retail
    • Consumer Goods
    • Home and Living
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Gardening goes smart and organic

    Our latest point of sales data shows that today's gardeners are more and more connected with their garden.
    Check out our new infographic for latest gardening trends and market developments.
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