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  • 360° Shopper insights: Fine-tune your pricing strategy
    • 06/16/17
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    360° Shopper insights: Fine-tune your pricing strategy

    Maximize your sales and marketing investments by fine-tuning your pricing strategy with our interactive  bonus guide.

    • 06/15/17
    • Retail
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    3 easy ways to increase ecommerce sales through online product content

    U.S. ecommerce sales grew almost 15% in Q1 2017 compared to one year ago as reported by Internet Retailer.  With the growth of these sales comes increasing expectations from purchasers.  A recent GfK FutureBuy study shows that 54% of consumers are now less loyal to any one brand and need to shop around more to find the best value and 45% of retailers, advertisers, and brands have less influence on purchase decisions than ever before.  Yikes!

    So how will you influence your current and prospective customers to keep up with these trends? With accurate and quality product content that provides purchasers with the information they require to have confidence in a purchase decision and to increase your cart conversions.  Here are three ways in which you can stand out from your competitors:

    1 – Add rich content elements.  Rich content includes multiple high resolution images, product manuals, brochures, videos, virtual tours, feature benefit bullets, etc.  Adding rich product content better engages and informs your customers, increasing the likelihood of a purchase conversion and making it less likely for them to return your product.  For example, according to Panomatics, websites with virtual tours / videos typically keep visitors on the product page 3 times longer!

     

    2 – Create enhanced content.  If you’re not familiar with this term, it has been made most popular with Amazon by being referred to as A+ content.  However, it is now being accepted and encouraged to be displayed among top e-retailers like Walmart and Newegg and distributors such as D&H Distributing and SP Richards.  Enhanced content, aka A+ content, allows you to get creative with your product content design and information, helping you to convert and better inform those customers seeking product information beyond basic marketing content and product specifications.  82% of consumers go online to do product research before buying (Deloitte) so it is crucial that you grab your customer’s attention and keep it.

     

    3- Optimize your product content for search.  If you are a brand, you’ll want to create an account for Google Manufacturer Center.  Google now offers a tool for brands to have major influence over the product data being displayed in Google Search and Shopping results.  Content was once controlled by retailers but brands are now empowered to ensure their product titles, descriptions and images are accurate and of high-quality.  And when Google recognizes better, more relevant content they bump up your search rankings, so that you can be found first, leading to quicker sales.

     

    Today’s Connected Consumers love to find value by shopping around online.  The best way to stand out in the market is to have accurate, relevant and helpful content around your products.  Whether you’re looking for rich content elements, enhanced content or need to better manage your product data, product content can help you to influence purchase decisions and ultimately increase sales.

    • 06/14/17
    • Retail
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Global
    • English

    How retailers can build customer loyalty – one good experience at a time

    This post was co-authored by Heather Rakauskas.

    When asked to name their number-one challenge today, most retailers respond “improving customer loyalty”. At a time when online resources and ecommerce sites have placed shoppers firmly in control – able to find the best price, with SAP delivery, in seconds – having a long-term connection to consumers becomes invaluable. One of the few forces that can offset “lowest price wins” buying is consumer trust in and comfort with a brand.  

    The importance of customer loyalty programs

    This makes retailer loyalty programs even more important. They come in many shapes and sizes – personalized coupons, fuel rewards, VIP offers, surprises at checkout, free shipping, and points tiers, to name a few; but they all serve to remind customers why they should return to the brands they already know. Loyalty programs can also provide essential customer data that gives additional insights into promotion use, product trial and repeat, the identities of best customers, and more.

    And smart retailers assess the effectiveness of loyalty programs in a variety of ways – ongoing use of the offers, yearly value delivered by participants, and more. When launching a new loyalty effort, some retailers may even conduct a concept test, because this is a big investment with high expectations to meet. This due diligence often overlooks a key element of consumer satisfaction, though: the user experience.

    Applying UX research to loyalty programs

    Companies commonly apply “UX” principles and research to their websites and apps, closely observing and questioning users to find out what challenges and frustrations they might have experienced. By addressing the UX before launch, companies can head off major issues that could cripple acceptance and even create image problems for the brand.

    Loyalty programs deserve the same careful scrutiny – especially since they become an important part of the omni-channel experience, affecting communication and access both online and in-store. Loyalty use is experiential, not just transactional, and we should be viewing our programs through that lens.

    When assessing the user experience of a loyalty program, it is essential to look at both the offer and the interfaces (website, app and store), studying issues such as:

       

    • communication effectiveness for both process (how it works) and benefits
    • areas of confusion, irritation, inconveniences, and disconnection
    • delivery against expectations
    • drivers of and barriers to use — for both initial and return visits
    • consistency and usability across all program touchpoints
    •  

    One important tip for the work – include your front-line associates in this evaluation, if they are tasked with communicating or executing your program.

    Enhancing the overall customer experience

    When doing this work, you are determining how to optimize the program experience to encourage more sign-ups and, importantly, more active users. You are hoping this program experience not only drives purchases but enhances the overall customer experience, providing a halo effect on the overall brand and strengthening the relationships you have with your customers. With goals as lofty as these, it makes sense to employ UX research to make sure you are connecting with and satisfying users to the highest degree, with nothing left to chance.

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

  • Achieving Dx Success
    • 06/13/17
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    Achieving Dx Success

    Our white paper, “Achieving Dx Success: Diligence from concept to commercialization,” presents six recommendations for establishing your pathway to market successfully in the diagnostics industry. Download to find out more.

    • 06/13/17
    • Retail
    • Online Pricing Intelligence
    • Promotion and Causal Retail
    • Global
    • English

    Managing price erosion in the omnichannel shopping environment

    While eroding prices of technical consumer goods may excite the increasingly savvy and deal seeking Connected Consumer, they can be a big problem for product manufacturers and their retailers.

    Lower prices mean lower margins, and in today’s evolving omnichannel environment, it’s important to understand which promotions with which retailers bring back the highest ROI, as well as the impact retail promotions have on sales and margin.

    For example, in the durable goods market, a 10% cut in price could mean a 25 – 30% loss in margin for the retailer.  This is a big challenge if manufacturers have hundreds or even thousands of units in stores and distribution centers.

    Often a price drop starts with a single retailer, which can be due to a consumer price promise, pricing policies, or pressure from their competitors.  It’s important for the manufacturer to be able to spot price erosion early and act quickly before the price becomes set at that level.

    Does offline pricing on promotions drive down online pricing?

    It is easy to assume that online retail activity is responsible for driving pricing down since online sales continue to draw consumers away from traditional brick and mortar stores, and there are countless examples everyday of where this is happening, but is this the full story?

    In the below example which shows price erosion after the launch of a new TV set, we see that indeed an online retailer initiates the first drop (green circle), however, this is not the complete picture. Looking at the development of online and offline retailers, a far bigger impact on price was a promotion flyer published by an offline retailer.

     

    To get a complete picture of the market and how to react, brands and retailers benefit from being able to see both offline and online pricing so that they react to the correct market activity.

    In many markets, particularly larger geographical territories, the influence of offline marketing and in-store pricing is significant.  In these markets, there are regionally focused retailers and managers within larger retailer groups that have more pricing autonomy.  This leads to local pricing decisions that can drive the price below the online retailers serving the whole market with one single price position.

    Identifying this typically short-term behavior can reduce price-following activity which increases margins for retailers and better supports the manufacturers’ price position.

    Slowing down price erosion

    Combining daily online and offline promotional pricing can provide insight into the impact of offline activity and online pricing.  By aligning these two data sets with market data you can get unique insight to support better price and promotion decisions.

    While the objectives of at-launch and in-market pricing can vary (to maximize profit, gain market share or maximize penetration, minimize cannibalization within the portfolio, etc.), retailers and/or manufacturers can manage price erosion even more confidently if, additionally to knowing which price the product was offered at, they also know what consumers are willing to pay for this product, and where the optimal price point is for it to meet its objective.

    Insights on consumers’ budget restrictions and price perceptions are crucial to securely determine and steer pricing along the product life cycle.  Virtual store experiments with consumers are an effective way to quickly and confidently determine the price-revenue-profit triangle at different price points within the competitive set, and give manufacturers more confidence in their price decisions, and ultimately optimize the ROI of each SKU.

    Ultimately, price erosion is part of the product lifecycle, but slowing down unwanted and unexpected price drops can have a big, positive impact on margins for both manufacturers and retailers.

    To find out more on how combined online and offline price and promotion can help your sales please contact Adrian.Hobbs@gfk.com.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • More purchasing power in Austria in 2017 – same for Switzerland, but only in national currency
    • 06/13/17
    • Press
    • Geomarketing
    • Geodata
    • Global
    • English

    More purchasing power in Austria in 2017 – same for Switzerland, but only in national currency

    Two new GfK purchasing power studies evaluate purchasing power in Austria and Switzerland in 2017. The studies reveal substantial regional differences both within and between these two countries. GfK's 2017 purchasing power data for Austria and Switzerland is now available.

  • European retail: Central and Eastern Europe gaining ground
    • 06/13/17
    • Press
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Geomarketing
    • Geodata
    • Geo+RealEstate
    • Global
    • English

    European retail: Central and Eastern Europe gaining ground

    GfK has released a comprehensive analysis of the retail scene in 32 European countries. The study evaluates purchasing power, the retail share of private consumption, inflation and sales area productivity, and also includes a turnover prognosis for 2017. The study appears in the new edition of ACROSS Magazine and will be presented at the ICSC European Marketing Conference in Vienna.

    • 06/09/17
    • Retail
    • Consumer Goods
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Global
    • English

    It starts with experience: How brands and consumers can become friends for life

    Every brand wants to broaden its client base, but to achieve this is one of the biggest challenges facing marketers.

    The key to success lies in building a relationship between consumer and brand. From this strong foundation, you can increase penetration, not only converting consumers into browsers, but also upgrading light buyers into regular buyers, and increasing the resistance of loyal buyers to switch to a rival brand. You can achieve brand success by making “friends for life”. Here’s how:

    Brand awareness + experience = success

    It goes without saying that you need to ensure your brand is top-of-mind in the shopper’s consideration set. At the simplest level, that means having a brand that consumers know, one that is available where they are shopping, and that grabs their attention. For many brands, consumers’ awareness levels of them are already high, and so more effort is required to increase brand penetration and customer loyalty.

    Here knowledge is power. Understanding which touchpoints have the maximum impact on your brand awareness allows you to optimize advertising and promotions campaigns aimed at broadening your client base. But you must go further to foster relationship building with non-buyers and current buyers of your brand by providing positive memorable experiences. This is how to build the relationships you want with current and potential customers and create lifelong partnerships.

    It’s all in the relationship

    Shoppers will only browse your brand if they have a neutral or good relationship with it, past negative experiences represent a considerable obstacle. That’s not to say you can’t change those bad feelings, but you must identify them and understand the causes before you can convert these consumers into browsers.

    Becoming friends for life

    A strong brand relationship goes right to the heart of the challenge of conquering the connected shopper. To broaden your customer base, you must start from a point of brand awareness, but in today’s highly competitive environment, that is a starting point in all sectors. The crucial added element that offers success is to build lasting relationships – to become “friends for life” with customers. The only way to get customer loyalty is to earn it. Providing a consistently excellent user experience across all channels is key, as is ensuring that your products deliver exactly what consumers expect. The final piece of the jigsaw is developing an effective customer loyalty program that provides real benefits to your consumers and whilst also strengthening your relationship with them.

    Oliver Hupp is Global Director Brand Strategy and Tracking at GfK. He can be reached at Oliver.Hupp@gfk.com.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Master the different elements of your media mix using store-level sales data
    • 06/09/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Point of Sales Analytics
    • Global
    • English

    Master the different elements of your media mix using store-level sales data

    In our free webinar, you'll learn how to juggle the different elements of the media mix and maximize their performance so that they deliver a greater return on investment.

  • Revealing the correlation between UX and the brand experience
    • 06/08/17
    • Financial Services
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Global
    • English

    Revealing the correlation between UX and the brand experience

    Our research suggests that shifting investments from paid and owned media to optimize the user experience can more effectively lift long-term brand equity.

    • 06/08/17
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    The rise of patient-centricity, clinicians seeking knowledge – the role of the internet

    Disintermediating has greater repercussions in healthcare, more so than in any other industry: Centricity, engagement and empowerment of individuals are growing.

    According to the most recent GfK data, approx. 15 million Italians (45% of web users) have used their desktop or mobile devices to seek health information online.

    Discussing results with experts is nevertheless key. After searching online, two Italians out of three see their HCPs to further evaluate the findings, one out of three requests a second opinion and one out of three consults their pharmacists.

    Physicians and patients staying connected with digital tools

    Digital tools help physicians and patients stay connected, promote the engagement of patients in the entire health journey, at the same time increasing awareness, ability to manage their condition and adherence to treatment. Phone calls are, once again, the easiest way for patients to contact their physicians and stay in touch with them, while emails, texting and WhatsApp messages are now go-to communication tools: Almost 50% of GPs regularly interact with their patients via email (46%) or via WhatsApp (44%) and texts (40%).

    There is also evidence of growing interest among physicians (approx. 30-40% according to their specialty) in video consultations to help remote monitoring of medical parameters and adherence to treatment.

    It is therefore of the utmost importance that new communication tools be clearly patient-centric and consider patients’ resources and their everyday use of technology.

    Digital touchpoints for physicians

    On the other hand, HCPs are quite conversant with the digital tools they use for continuous professional development: 93% of physicians use the web for professional purposes every day, for a total of eight hours a week of browsing.

    What do physicians seek online? Mostly product information and clinical trials, insights into diseases, guidelines for diagnosis and treatments. General practitioners are interested in Centers of Excellence they can refer their patients to for a consultation, specialists browse through ongoing clinical trials of the most innovative products.

    Pharma companies, on their part, are now implementing new, multilayered strategies to disseminate information through digital and remote channels: 52% of GPs and 61% of specialists have experienced digital or remote detailing.

    It is also worth pointing out how communication from pharma companies through digital channels is impacting the traditional scientific information-seeking process, triggering a more proactive, in-depth approach among physicians.

    Social networks and peer-to-peer consultations are also digital touchpoints. More than 50% of GPs and 61% of specialists use at least one social network for professional purposes. Apps are steadily on the rise and are now used by 73% of GPs and 81% of specialists to support their clinical practice and CPD.

    Conclusions

    In this day and age, digital pervades healthcare as a source of information and communication for both physicians and patients.

    Pharma companies are well aware of this. They play a key role in scientific dissemination and are developing multichannel strategies that add innovative tools to the traditional sales reps visits; namely, information portals, newsletters, tele- and web detailing and social media communications.

    In this respect, communication channels may be real game changers in physicians’ approach to knowledge-seeking. No more are they passive recipients but active participants seeking information. The same is true of patients, who have become more aware, informed and engaged in their health journey. Patients and HCPs are evolving with the digital age. So the industry must embrace advanced strategies that respond to this new healthcare landscape.

    Isabella Cecchini is the Head of Healthcare at GfK. To share your thoughts, please email isabella.cecchini@gfk.com or leave a comment below.

  • Digital vs. non-digital advertising: Where should you be investing?
    • 06/08/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Point of Sales Analytics
    • Global
    • English

    Digital vs. non-digital advertising: Where should you be investing?

    In our video we can help you to understand which of your media are delivering the best ROI - and which to invest more in to drive higher returns. 

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