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  • German consumers still in a positive mood
    • 07/27/17
    • Financial Services
    • Public Services
    • Global
    • English

    German consumers still in a positive mood

    The very positive mood among German consumers continues into July, too.

  • 1 in 4 people entertain guests at home either daily or weekly
    • 07/27/17
    • Home Appliances
    • Retail
    • Consumer Goods
    • FMCG
    • Home and Living
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global Study
    • Global
    • English

    1 in 4 people entertain guests at home either daily or weekly

    A quarter of people entertain guests in their home either daily or weekly, and a further third entertain monthly, according to an online survey across 17 countries conducted by global researchers, GfK. Less than one in ten say that they never entertain guests in their home.

  • 1 in 4 people entertain guests at home either daily or weekly
    • 07/25/17
    • Global Study
    • Global
    • English

    1 in 4 people entertain guests at home either daily or weekly

    Download the full report of 80+ charts showing results by age, gender, income and children in household, for 17 countries.

  • Global study: frequency of entertaining guests at home
    • 07/25/17
    • Global Study
    • Global
    • English

    Global study: frequency of entertaining guests at home

    On average, a quarter of people entertain guests in their home either daily or weekly, and a further third entertain monthly. Explore more.

    • 07/25/17
    • Health
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Consumer Goods
    • Global
    • English

    How brands can appeal to pet parents

    With several family members on the move this spring, my husband and I found ourselves temporary caretakers for a series of pets including our niece’s cat. She was a sweet houseguest, although our own two cats didn’t think so. Fortunately, we are empty nesters with enough space that our feline lodger had her own two-room suite. Talk about being pampered!

    We are long-time devoted pet owners ourselves, so I wasn’t surprised at the amount of equipment, toys and other accoutrements that my niece dropped off with her “only child.” I was, however, slightly bemused by the tube of Freshpet refrigerated food she brought in a cooler. As a health-focused Millennial, she is a prime target for these products. I dutifully purchased refills during our guest’s stay, but didn’t become a convert. On the other hand, I was inspired to purchase a vertical scratching post for our cats.

    Our experience is a microcosm of several trends we’ve seen emerging in the pet market as a whole as GfK’s Point-of-Sale (POS) data reports show. Pet owners are focused on dietary health and trying new things. They don’t sit around the house all the time, either.

    Dogs versus cats

    Just over half of global consumers, 54 percent, are pet owners, according to the recently released GfK Consumer Life global study. One in three has dogs and about one in four has cats, while nearly 20 percent have fish, birds or other animals. There is overlap, of course. Almost half of cat owners also have dogs, and about one in three dog owners also have cats.

    Of the 21 countries covered in the study, pets are most popular in Latin America: Argentina, Mexico and Brazil, and dogs are by far the pet of choice. The only places where more people have cats than dogs are France, Germany, Indonesia, Russia and Sweden, although Russia is the only country where cat owners attain majority status, at 58 percent.

    Pets at home, on the road, and on the town

    Pet owners of the world are a mix of home-based and outgoing, finds the GfK global study. They are more likely than average to do yard work and home improvements on a regular basis, but are also more likely to go out for entertainment and to travel.

    This means that pet owners’ homes and yards need to be pet-friendly, whether they are home owners or renters. Growing numbers of apartment complexes are offering dog parks and dog-washing stations, for example.

    People don’t always want to leave their pet companions at home, though. The lodging industry is becoming more receptive to travelers with pets; resources like petwelcome.com can help locate them. But there are opportunities for all kinds of businesses to get involved, such as excursions and car rental agencies.

    Everyday destinations should think about accommodating pets, too. Stores with sidewalk access sometimes put out the welcome mat by offering water bowls and treats for dogs who are out and about with their human family members. Pet stores routinely allow pets, of course, and most places allow service dogs. But given the reports of heat-related deaths of pets left in cars every year, maybe more retailers should be pet-friendly. This doesn’t have to mean letting animals roam free; there are such things as pet strollers and places to safely park pets outside stores. Some large stores offer child-care services – why not a pet-sitting service?

    Healthy families include pets

    Global pet owners are more inclined than their peers to follow a specific diet for their health and to say that “local” is an important factor in their food and beverage choices. Furthermore, GfK Consumer Life research reveals that American pet owners are more likely than average to have used a meal-kit delivery service such as Blue Apron in the past month.

    Pets are often considered family members, so it follows that their owners will extend the attitudes they hold about their own health and food habits to their animal companions. This has certainly been evident in the rising sales of pet foods that are free of certain ingredients and have few ingredients, according to the ongoing GfK pet-food POS study. Maybe locally produced pet products and meal-kit services will appeal, too.

    Innovations welcome

    Pet owners are more likely than average to agree that they are always “on the lookout for new products and services” and “looking for novelty and fun, even in everyday products.” They are also more interested in other people’s opinions about what to buy and tend to discuss products and brands on social media more often.

    This means that the pet market is one that is open to innovation and sharing information. Even if you’re not in the pet industry per se, there is almost certainly a way for you to be involved with these important members of the family.

    Diane Crispell is a Senior Consultant on the Consumer Life team at GfK. She can be reached at diane.crispell@gfk.com.

    • 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 them the 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
    • 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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