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    • 07/24/17
    • Retail
    • Consumer Goods
    • Global
    • English

    5 takeaways from our consumer study on Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods

    *This blog post was co-authored by Wendy Wallner and Stephanie Scalice

    Just last month, Amazon announced its acquisition of Whole Foods Market for a whopping $13.4 billion.  As the various hot takes rolled in, we looked to US consumers for their reactions, conducting a survey of 1,000 US adults a week after the announcement.  We learned how many people currently shop with both retailers, what kinds of changes they expect from each company, and what they would and wouldn’t like to see in the future as shoppers. Here are five key takeaways from the study.

    Consumer reaction was mostly positive

    While shoppers are still not certain what the Amazon/Whole Foods merger means for them, the reaction among consumers ranged mostly from positive to neutral.  Of the thousand people surveyed, 23% had a positive reaction, while 38% of Whole Foods shoppers found the news to be positive, followed by 31% of Amazon shoppers (and 43% of both Whole Foods and Amazon shoppers).  Only 10% of consumers found the news to be negative.

     

    Optimistic shoppers hope that grocery prices will drop and that delivery fees will be waived for Amazon Prime members.  They would also like to see Amazon start to carry Whole Foods products online — and on the flip-side, see Whole Foods stores use new technology that will make in-store shopping more efficient.

    One of the bigger barriers to online grocery shopping is the fear that the quality and freshness of products are not as good as what is purchased in a physical store.  As a result, consumers are hesitant to trust the quality when someone else is selecting items for them.  This study shows the Whole Foods connection would give shoppers more confidence in ordering fresh products online.

    Whole Foods shoppers express fear about changes

    Whole Foods shoppers, who typically care more than the average consumer about their communities and causes that align with their own, expressed some concerns over the Amazon acquisition.  Specifically, they hope that their local Whole Foods store will remain open, and that employees will not be laid off or their morale affected.  They do not want their shopping experience to change nor do they want the look and feel of Whole Foods outlets to change.

    There is an existing relationship between Amazon and Whole Foods shoppers

    The study confirms that Amazon and Whole Foods are a good fit.  According to the study, three out of four Whole Foods shoppers have made at least one purchase through Amazon in the past month; and there is also a higher percentage of Amazon Prime memberships among Whole Foods customers (50%) than total US consumers (37%).  Additionally, Whole Foods shoppers are more likely to buy groceries online (26% of all online grocery shoppers also shop at Whole Foods) than the average consumer [22% of US consumers shopped WFM in the past month) .

    Interest in omni-channel grocery shopping

    Although grocery eCommerce is currently a small market, the Amazon/Whole Foods alliance allows consumers to anticipate a future of omni-channel grocery shopping.  While consumers aren’t yet willing to fully commit to purchasing Whole Foods products online (only 9% of US shoppers indicated they would be “extremely/very likely” to sign up for an online grocery and/or meal delivery service through Amazon and Whole Foods), there is some latent interest (22% of all consumers were “somewhat likely”).

    Another potential benefit to Amazon is Whole Foods’ strong equity in prepared foods.  Not only will they be able to deliver groceries, they’ll be able to deliver meals too, as well as offering omni-channel services like click-and-collect, covering all aspects of food eCommerce.

    Increased customer loyalty?

    An Amazon/Whole Foods deal makes sense and points to some incremental growth for each brand, with a portion of current shoppers indicating that they expect to shop more at both retailers.  But it’s more likely that most will wait and see.  In fact, the study shows that Amazon Prime members, whose shopping habits demonstrate that they aren’t as loyal as one would think, have surprisingly low interest in the merger and its possible outcomes for themThe reason? They are heavy shoppers of all channels and want to keep options open. Their biggest concerns surround their hope that Whole Foods stores remain open and the local business are not impacted by the merger.

    The main goal for any grocery retailer right now should be stronger loyalty from customers; many shoppers forego the convenience of buying all their groceries in one place to instead pick and choose where they shop depending on what each retailer is good at.  They have different lists for different stores, buying groceries at five different retailers each month (on average).  Will the convenience that Amazon and Whole Foods are able to offer bring back one-stop shopping and increase customer loyalty?  It depends on who you ask, but ultimately it will depend on what kind of offerings and benefits are clearly established to consumers beyond pure convenience.

    To share your thoughts, leave a comment below or email wendy.wallner@gfk.com or stephanie.scalice@gfk.com.

  • Global smartphone demand peaks alongside a leap in average sales price in 2Q17
    • 07/24/17
    • Technology
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Point of Sales Analytics
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Global smartphone demand peaks alongside a leap in average sales price in 2Q17

    Global smartphone demand of 347 million units makes 2Q17 the best second quarter on record. Emerging markets are driving the growth. Average sales price (ASP) grew five percent year-on-year in the quarter.

  • The EU consumer climate remains friendly
    • 07/19/17
    • Press
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    The EU consumer climate remains friendly

    The positive mood among European consumers has also continued into the second quarter of 2017.

     

     

  • Combating price erosion in the consumer electronics market
    • 07/19/17
    • Technology
    • Promotion and Causal Retail
    • Global
    • English

    Combating price erosion in the consumer electronics market

    We give a major multinational manufacturer daily visibility into retail pricing for its products so it can enhance its pricing policy.

  • Map of the month: Forecasted stationary retail turnover, Europe 2017
    • 07/17/17
    • Retail
    • Geomarketing
    • RegioGraph
    • Geodata
    • Picture of the month
    • Global
    • English

    Map of the month: Forecasted stationary retail turnover, Europe 2017

    Europe's largest and most developed economies offer fruitful conditions for retailers, but they can also be fiercely competitive, and in some cases, are near saturation. Results from GfK's recently released European Retail Study bear this out: As a general rule, the greatest growth in brick-and-mortar retail turnover for 2017 is forecasted for mid-sized European markets, such as the Ukraine (+12.3%), Romania (+9.8%), Norway (+6.2%), Hungary (+5.7%), Estonia (+5.5%), and Poland (+5.3%). By contrast, projected growth for the larger economies such as Germany (+1.0%), Italy (+1.2%), France (+2.0%), and Spain (+2.9%) is much more modest. These insights help retailers pinpoint new opportunities for expanding their market share. GfK's Map of the Month for July illustrates these forecasted 2017 growth rates for retail turnover in Europe.

  • Conquering Connected Shoppers: Maximize Omnichannel Opportunities
    • 07/13/17
    • Consumer Goods
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Conquering Connected Shoppers: Maximize Omnichannel Opportunities

    Check out how we can provide you with insights into effective consumer-centric omnichannel strategies that help you conquer connected shoppers in the digital world – and beyond.

    • 07/11/17
    • Fashion and Lifestyle
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    The devil wears smartwatches: Why fashion brands are sizing up the wearables market

    It’s safe to say that many of the first smartwatch devices to hit the market were seen by consumers as kind of ugly, a little bit clunky and certainly nothing you’d catch Miranda Priestly wearing on her wrist. And as discussed in Tech Trends, wearables on the whole have yet to make their mark across today’s global industries. But now, with the help of big fashion brands, we’re starting to see some attractive developments and growth potential for these products.

    Fashion brands have clocked that smartwatches can be a lucrative area within the wearables market – primarily because models that look appealing matter most to a large number of consumers.

    Health and fitness trackers currently dominate the marketplace. Our latest data from January – March 2017 shows that in Europe, they account for 54% of unit sales in the region while in Asia the figure is 47%. Meanwhile, smartwatches are still in second but increased to 31% and 20% respectively.*

    So far, wearables have suited consumers whose main focus is to stay in shape – but what’s out there for people who want to embrace the latest technology and look stylish at the same time?

    Watch out for the real trend setters

    This is where designer brands have the edge. The technology industry has been known to set trends, but let’s not forget that fashion is no slouch in this department.

    Fashion businesses think about design. Before getting bogged down with the technical details, their first priority is to produce something that looks good. And this is where the opportunities lie. After all, wearables, as the name suggests, should be items people are able to wear – without looking like Inspector Gadget.

    Giving consumers what they want

    Tech players have tended to focus on device features as they cater for specific segments. This has brought success in sectors such as Health but as a result we’ve often seen a “one size fits all” approach to looks because design has been somewhat of an afterthought. Meanwhile, brands such as Michael Kors and Fossil have been offering fashion conscious consumers smartwatches that come in different styles and colors for different seasons and genders. They have started to think like their consumers and identified that it’s choices they may be after.

    The key issue here is whether design alone will be enough to boost smartwatch growth. Will consumers want more than a cool brand name if they are shelling out high sums of money for this technology?

    What needs to happen?

    To succeed, fashion companies must nail the looks as well as the technology of their wearable devices. It’s important that they include enough features for a smartwatch to be worth purchasing over a normal watch, but not too many that the device is overwhelming and confusing. This combination will be vital and opens up possibilities for tech and fashion companies to work together to realize growth in this market.

    Of course, there is a long way to go before we see smartwatches on the Paris catwalk, however, if designers continue to make strides in this area there may be a positive future for the wearables market.

    * Estimated total market base GfK POS data Jan 17 – Mar 17 from 16 European countries and CN, JP, KR, AU, TW, SG, HK, MY

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Christoph Erbenich joins GfK as Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer
    • 07/10/17
    • Press
    • Global
    • English

    Christoph Erbenich joins GfK as Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer

    GfK SE takes an important step towards accelerating its digital transformation by appointing Christoph D. Erbenich as Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer, effective August 1, 2017.

  • Dr. Gerhard Hausruckinger leaves GfK
    • 07/10/17
    • Press
    • Global
    • English

    Dr. Gerhard Hausruckinger leaves GfK

    Dr. Gerhard Hausruckinger has reached a mutual agreement with GfK’s Supervisory Board to resign from his office as member of the Management Board responsible for the Consumer Choices sector.

  • Tech Trends 2017 Vol. 2: Latest technologies and a growing 5G trend
    • 07/10/17
    • Technology
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Tech Trends 2017 Vol. 2: Latest technologies and a growing 5G trend

    We thought it was time to take another look at the hottest technologies impacting consumers’ lives and talk about a brand new trend which is set to transform today’s global industries and businesses.

  • Tech Trends 2017: Why 5G is one of the biggest mobile technology trends
    • 07/10/17
    • Technology
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Tech Trends 2017: Why 5G is one of the biggest mobile technology trends

    We have identified and included what will certainly be one of the biggest trends of the future – 5G. Explore our infographic and find out more.

  • Tech Trends 2017 Vol. 2: 5G, the next big trend in technology!
    • 07/10/17
    • Global
    • English

    Tech Trends 2017 Vol. 2: 5G, the next big trend in technology!

    Tech Trends 2017 is back – and it’s better than ever. We thought it was time to take another look at the hottest technologies to see how they are continuously impacting consumers’ lives.


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