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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.

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    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.  

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Latest insights

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

    • 01/21/16
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Technology
    • Media Measurement
    • South Africa
    • English

    Is it a Netflix world after all?

    Netflix’s recent announcement of their international expansion in 2016 is not unexpected, but still somewhat breathtaking in its scope. While it may seem natural to those in the United States, where Netflix holds a dominant position in the Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) space and in other early markets where it is a well-known brand, but this latest overseas growth is not as much “a sure thing” elsewhere.

    Eight key concerns for entering developing markets

    Certainly Netflix will enter these new markets with a well-known brand name, which may be less connected to its actual content than to the fact that US-originating digital brands often have a leg-up on local brands. Netflix will generally appeal to affluent, Western-oriented consumers outside of the North American and Western European markets. But Netflix will have a number of concerns when entering these other developing markets that make up much of the dozens being added. These include:
    • Local competitors in the Pay TV or streaming space may themselves have a dominant position. GfK works with a number of providers in the markets in which Netflix has newly launched to understand how their services are consumed. We often see a large cohort of subscribers actively viewing the kind of on-demand content that Netflix dominates in the US. These are consumers who are well served by streaming or on-demand content. For example, local South East Asian player iFlix has already built up an impressive half million subscribers in a short space of time.
    • The streaming rights to local content of interest may be held exclusively by other services.
    • The streaming rights to even Netflix’ own content may still be controlled by other providers, based on older agreements.
    • Netflix’ original, exclusive Western-focused content may not have an appeal in different cultures. Again, GfK’s work in providing Return Path Data (RPD) services have taught us that local content is absolutely crucial in building a strong customer base – even in markets where the kind of Western-oriented programming in which Netflix concentrates is popular. Netflix itself recognizes this by focusing much of its strategy on creating local content for its various markets.
    • There may be local laws regarding a certain level of locally originating content.
    • Internet access in certain countries may be limited across the population or intermittent.
    • The governments or entities controlling Internet access may arbitrarily cut access based on disagreement with content, or may use such power to censor or control what content is offered.
    • In many markets, particularly in APAC, advertiser-supported or illegal websites are often well established as sources for watching video content. So there may be resistance to paying for content that consumers have traditionally accessed by other ‘free’ means.

    Netflix’s big data advantage

    That being said, Netflix has consistently outperformed expectations of industry experts and those in the financial markets. Its daring moves in the past have mostly panned out. And, aside from content, it has an understanding of its consumers – through the use of its own collected big data – with which few of its potential competitors can hope to compare. As for its competitors, frenemies, and partners – some being all three – the growth of Netflix raises questions that only third-party accounting of Netflix can answer. This way their competition or partnership with Netflix is on a more level playing field. What do you think about Netflix’s expansion? Do you see other challenges? I would like to hear your opinion as well.
    For more information, please contact me at david.tice@gfk.com.
    • 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.
    • 09/29/16
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    Delivery 2.0: The new challenges – and opportunities – for retail

    Shoppers have a strong desire to receive goods when and where they want them, quickly and cheaply. Retailers are therefore harnessing the power of increasingly intelligent technology in order to fulfil this need. Most consumers (90%) who took part in our 2016 FutureBuy study have had goods delivered to their home, while almost half (48%) have used click and collect services. And these delivery methods are set to grow, with 76% of shoppers indicating that they will use home delivery more, and 38% saying they will increase their use of click and collect. Additionally, more than a quarter (28%) of shoppers claim they will use parcel lockers with greater frequency in the future. Indeed, being able to buy conveniently and speedily is the number one trend identified by our Retail Trend Monitor. But this is a challenge for retailers. Having the supply chain ready is a complex process. Furthermore, businesses have less control of the final part of the shopping process because deliveries are often outsourced.

    A focus on the “last mile”

    Being able to get a package to someone’s home fast, efficiently and cheaply is a competitive advantage. While retailers call the delivery process the “last mile”, shoppers often see it as the most important part of the process. Waiting for a parcel at home can be frustrating. For this reason, retailers have to develop ever more innovative ways for customers to receive deliveries on their own terms.   Click and collect services have been popular in the UK for several years now, and there are several emerging solutions to the delivery challenge. Doddle will open 300 outlets across the UK in the next three years that shoppers can use to collect deliveries from. Located in and around train stations, and open seven days a week, Doddle uses a website as well as text and email alerts to notify shoppers when they have a delivery for collection. £24 million has been invested in the business, which also allows shoppers to return products via its outlets, taking the pain out of returning items. Newcomer Parcelly, which recently partnered with Costcutter Supermarkets Group, lets people pick up deliveries from its 2,500 UK locations, including its KwikSave, Mace and Simply Fresh stores. This is a win-win for the retail chain because shops earn commission on each parcel collected, and attract more customers into their stores. For consumers, it means collecting goods at a time and place that’s convenient for them. Amazon Prime is offering two-hour delivery slots to people in Berlin who subscribe to its annual service, and it is doing the same in some places in and around London. Also in the UK, AmazonFresh’s customers are now benefiting from one-hour delivery slots between 7am and 11pm. Since AmazonFresh launched this service, Tesco and Sainsbury’s have introduced same-day delivery. Tesco also offers a three-hour click and collect service. This type of competition has been called the start of the groceries “time war” by some commentators. Meanwhile, DHL plans to make deliveries to people’s Smart cars in Stuttgart by accessing their vehicles using a single-use code. DHL plans to expand this service to Bonn, Berlin and Cologne.

    The next level of delivery

    Not only are retailers having to offer goods at lower prices than rivals, they are also having to make deliveries (and returns) more efficient and flexible. However, the innovations won’t stop there, with retailers and entrepreneurs pushing the boundaries all the time. Amazon, for example, is experimenting with “anticipatory shipping”. Based on big data, it will predict what shoppers are going to buy before they make a purchase. It will then proactively ship out that product. Amazon is anticipated to have more luck with doing this for some categories than others. For example, it is expected that it will be easier to do this for consumables that follow more predictable purchasing patterns like diapers or baby food. Similarly, crowd-sourced deliveries such as Nimber and MyWays are changing the retail environment as well as the expectations of consumers. Both offer people ways to earn money. Nimber (in beta at the moment) pays people to drop off parcels to someone at an address near where they are travelling to anyway. DHL-owned MyWays is an app that lets people (‘MyWayers’) pick up parcels for others from a DHL service point for a set fee. With this new raft of ways for people to receive deliveries, the onus is on retailers to make sure they keep ahead of the game. That means matching consumers’ expectations, and fast. For more information, please contact Alejandro Mondragon: Alejandro.Mondragon@gfk.com.

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    • 09/29/16
    • Health
    • Technology
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Global Study
    • Global
    • English

    A third of people track their health or fitness. Who are they and why are they doing it?

    China is well in the lead for monitoring health and fitness in this way, with 45 percent of the online population currently doing this. Brazil and the USA come next - but significantly lower, at 29 percent each, closely followed by Germany (28 percent) and France (26 percent).

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