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    • 10/02/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Promotion and Causal Retail
    • Global
    • English

    How to attract the maximum share of Black Friday shoppers

    With Black Friday less than two months away, practically every retailer out there will be planning campaigns to pull in the maximum share of this bumper period for consumer spending.

    And indeed, Black Friday is a huge opportunity in the retailer’s calendar. According to our weekly point-of-sales tracking data for technical consumer goods, in some countries, such as the UK, Black Friday week attracts more consumer spend than the week before Christmas1. And in other countries, like Spain, Italy, France and Germany, this is also true for many product groups such as television and mobile computing.

    The week running up to Black Friday also generates considerably more sales than an average trading week. In Spain, week 47 in 2016 accounted for 5.2% of the overall annual sales – more than twice the average figure of 1.9% (100%/52 weeks, see table below).

    In terms of bestselling product groups it was the “usual suspects” which commanded the biggest share in terms of sales value in the above mentioned countries  – namely, mobile computers, PTVs, and smart/mobile phones.

    Sales value share in % of Black Friday week 2016 compared to full year

     

    Promotions can make or break your Black Friday sales

    On Black Friday, shoppers are eager to spend, but they are also waiting for deals. Promotions are effective sales drivers all year round, but some are more effective than others at influencing shoppers’ decisions.

    This is illustrated in our FutureBuy 2017 data, where more than half of all shoppers of technical consumer goods (54%) rate price comparison/discount websites as “extremely” or “very” important in their shopping decisions, and just under half (41%) say the same of promotional leaflets.

    Black Friday is therefore one of the most important promotional weeks of the year. For last year, our Promotion and Causal Retail Tracking shows that across the five countries mentioned above, 2% more promotions were run for smartphones in November than in December. For TVs it was even 9% more. In Germany, for example, the number of advertising flyers promoting TVs was 15% higher in November.

    Defining the right price

    And, of course, Black Friday is “high season” for any competitive pricing activity. Looking across the three biggest European retail markets – Germany, France and UK – our online pricing data shows that twice as many products had price changes on Black Friday 2016 versus the same, regular Friday a month before. Also, the number of products that had multiple price changes increased.

    However trading behavior across these markets varied: the UK had more of a focus on the Black Friday week with three times the level of pricing activity in that week versus a regular week. In Germany, the number of products that had prices changes wasn’t much different from normal, although there was an increase in the number of price changes on the very day.

    Black Friday price changing behavior

     

    With so much competitive activity going on, retailers and manufacturers need to stand out in an extremely cluttered environment. It is vital to get your promotion activity and pricing perfectly judged, as Black Friday is not the time for experiments.

    As a retailer you need to identify which retail promotions are most effective with your shoppers. How are your products priced versus your competitors? Are you advertising on the right channel with the right price?

    And, as a manufacturer, you need to look at: Are you partnering with the right retailers? Are you investing the right amount in trade marketing?

    Make Black Friday a success with store-level data on promotions and pricing

    Black Friday is a vast opportunity – but presented over a very short window, so there is very little time to ‘test and adjust’ during the show. Pulling in your maximum share of the spend over this time depends on having timely data allowing you to make the correct decision and react fast on the most effective activities for your specific product categories.

    Our dedicated GfK Promotion and Casual Retail team shows retailers what promotions are most effective for your specific shoppers, and how you are currently performing in your promotional share and pricing in relation to your competitors. With this live tracking data, you can instantly see if your market performance is changing, and react immediately to adjust your promotional strategy. And manufacturers can see exactly how retailers are promoting and pricing their products, to evaluate effectiveness and see where and how much to invest in the future.

    Try it out now!

    Make use of our Black Friday promotion and get two weeks of promotion and pricing tracking at a special price.

    Sources: GfK Point of Sales Tracking (weekly panels), GfK Promotion and Causal Retail, GfK FutureBuy 2017 (online survey with 38,000 consumers in 35 countries)

    1 Data based on full weekly panel per country, Black Friday 2016: week 47 (20 – 26 November), week before Christmas 2016: week 51 (18 – 24 December)

    • 09/28/17
    • Financial Services
    • Automotive
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    What impact is renewal transparency having on the British motor insurance market?

    Premium Drivers

    If you have renewed your motor insurance recently you may have noticed that the price your insurer has asked you to pay has probably increased. A combination of higher Insurance Premium Tax (rates have doubled over the past two years), bigger injury pay-outs and rising vehicle repair costs mean that motor insurance prices are now at an all-time high.

    Even for those of us savvy enough to shop around and switch provider, prices have also typically risen, despite the fact that the market remains as competitive as ever. However, it still generally pays to switch, as the vast majority of motor insurance providers are still willing to chase new business and therefore many still offer introductory discounts.

    Given this, it is somewhat concerning that, according to GfK’s Financial Research Survey (FRS), that the number of drivers who do switch has remained basically unchanged compared to four years ago.

    The number has held steady at around a quarter of drivers. So it would seem that many drivers don’t know, don’t consider, or just can’t be bothered, to change provider, despite the rising prices.

    Motor insurance renewal transparency: early signs of increased shopping around

    But there are tentative signs that this might be changing. Since April 2017, insurance providers have had to disclose prior year premiums on renewal notices. These new rules mandated by the FCA allow customers to compare more easily what they paid last year versus what they may pay this year, if they remain with the same provider.

    Early signs suggest renewal transparency has helped encourage greater levels of shopping around but this hasn’t so far translated into actual switching.

    According to the FRS, the proportion of drivers who “actively renew” their motor insurance (renew but take out at least one quote) has grown and now stands at 29%, the highest-ever level. In addition, a high proportion of those who have switched in the last 12 months also state that they are likely to switch again.

    On the other hand, large numbers are still auto-renewing on their motor insurance, particularly across older age groups where auto renewal rates remain stubbornly high at over 45%. For these customers, renewal transparency rules mean that providers must now also include additional disclosures on renewal notices explicitly encouraging people to shop around.

    Overall, I think renewal transparency has definitely been a useful step forward in making the motor insurance market more consumer friendly, and it will be interesting to see if it helps encourage greater levels of switching in the months ahead.

    If you would like more data, please contact me.

    The Financial Research Survey (FRS) is one of the largest and longest running surveys tracking personal financial holdings and behaviours and is considered the industry benchmark within the British financial industry

  • German consumer climate declines slightly
    • 09/28/17
    • Press
    • Financial Services
    • Public Services
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    German consumer climate declines slightly

    GfK forecasts a decrease in consumer climate for October of 0.1 points in comparison to the previous month to 10.8 points.

  • UK Consumer Confidence up one point in September
    • 09/28/17
    • Financial Services
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • FMCG
    • Consumer Life
    • Global
    • English

    UK Consumer Confidence up one point in September

    Confidence in personal finances declines but consumers are in defiant mood. GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index increased by one point to - 9 in September. 

  • Time with family or pets as popular as exercise or healthy eating to maintain “physical health”
    • 09/28/17
    • Press
    • Health
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global Study
    • Global
    • English

    Time with family or pets as popular as exercise or healthy eating to maintain “physical health”

    GfK data on activities that people do regularly to maintain their physical health. Increases in the number of people listing "follow a specific diet", "take a break from technology", "eat healthy food" and "spend time with family, friends or pets".

  • Global study: activities for physical health
    • 09/26/17
    • Global Study
    • Global
    • English

    Global study: activities for physical health

    One in three now include “take a break from technology” in their health routine. Explore more in our full findings.

  • Maintaining 'physical health': time with family or pets as popular as exercise and healthy eating
    • 09/26/17
    • Global Study
    • Global
    • English

    Maintaining 'physical health': time with family or pets as popular as exercise and healthy eating

    ‘Quality time’ steps forward in people’s perception of what keeps them physically healthy. Discover our infographics.

    • 09/26/17
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Global
    • English

    How to measure disruptive innovation and why traditional surveys alone don’t work

    It’s a funny thing about disruption – it tends to shake things up. So how do you accurately measure disruptive innovation?

    Even “helpful” disruptions, like the new operating system on your phone or the improved, easy-to-use packaging for your favorite box of cookies, can feel off-putting at first. As Rob Hernandez pointed out here recently, people like what they know; it is, after all, the essence of brand equity and product trust.

    Disruptive innovation thrives on out-of-the-box insights; traditional approaches alone do not work

    This “disrupt-aversion” creates problems not just for startups and new product developers. It challenges anyone trying to get a read on what people think about innovation, and especially disruptive innovation. To get a true understanding of the potential of disruption innovations, the traditional research assumptions and methods may not be enough. In fact, they may send you down the wrong path completely.

    The most obvious example is the traditional survey. We know that asking people questions can be a great way to get at the feelings and beliefs that drive behavior; they can provide an indispensable why complement to passive data, which tends to focus on dimensions such as what, where, and when.

    But disruptive innovation (ie new product or service concepts which force us to rethink or relearn familiar behaviors) often do not fare well in standard surveys. They are so responsive to people’s inner experiences that they may capture overreactions – feelings of discomfort and confusion surrounding something unfamiliar – rather than a balanced picture of how consumers will react over the long term.

    A three-dimensional approach to defining consumer reactions to disruptive innovation

    To get a better understanding of an innovation’s promise and marketplace value, GfK has developed a three-dimensional approach to defining consumer reactions. The fact is that marketers today have a wealth of data at their disposal; but combining it to create a sharper, trustworthy lens onto people’s feelings requires a mix of science, experience, and finesse.

    What consumers say

    We look first to what consumers say, in quantitative or qualitative research – whether it be how they feel inside, what they wish for, or how they think they believe they would react in certain circumstances. This candid perspective has been the backbone of the market research industry, and remains an essential component of behavioral analysis.

    What consumers mean

    Next, we look to what consumers mean. Using voice analytics, for example, we can learn more about how convinced people are of what they are saying. And by leveraging different analytical techniques, such as multivariate key drivers analysis, we can get a deeper look at the motivations and contexts behind certain behaviors.

    What consumers do

    Finally, through passive tracking and secondary data sources, we can find out what consumers really do. From loyalty card and POS (point of sale) data to web browsing and online purchase records, we can get a real-world perspective that rounds out the picture we have about people’s ideas and beliefs, and ultimately how they behave or act.

    Conclusion

    Integrating these and other data sources helps marketers and researchers get beyond the limitations of any one dimension of consumer data or insights. In the process, it can take us beyond the “gut reactions” that people often have to something new, and reveal whether a disruptive product truly has marketplace appeal, or is destined for the long list of seemingly great ideas that never made a dent in people’s hearts, minds, or wallets.

    Contact us for further details on how our approach works within your specific business areas and needs – or download our white paper on rethinking concept testing:

     

     

     

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  • GfK releases new maps for Russia
    • 09/18/17
    • Press
    • Geomarketing
    • Geodata
    • Digital Maps
    • Digital Maps
    • Global
    • English

    GfK releases new maps for Russia

    GfK recently updated its digital maps of Russia. The maps offer up-to-date coverage of the boundaries of Russia's administrative and postal regions. As such, they provide a reliable foundation for geographic analyses of market and company operations across all industries.

    • 09/15/17
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Consumers are stressed, but confident: Surprising results from our Mood of the World 2017 study

    “I read the news today, oh boy”, John Lennon wrote this in 1967, but it seems every more appropriate today.  The news alert goes off on your mobile, and you think – what has happened now?  Terrorism?  Natural disaster?  North Korea?  Do you wonder how this seemingly constant barrage of anxiety-producing news is impacting people around the world?

    At GfK Consumer Life, every year since 1997, we conduct a survey of people all around the globe.  Many of the questions we ask have been asked for the past 20 years.  This gives us a unique perspective on how people are feeling today and reacting to the world around them.  These insights are used by global businesses and organizations to help them understand how their target markets are evolving, help them develop new products and services, and create more effective and relevant messaging.

    Our 2017 study is just out of the field and we’ve learned some interesting things about how people are reacting and adapting to the world around them.

    Consumers feeling stressed

    One of the things we’ve found is that people are reporting higher levels of stress.  This probably isn’t all that surprising, but the magnitude of the increase is nonetheless pretty startling.  91% of global respondents in our study report they find at least one of 14 problems to be a cause of stress in their life, and that number is up 20 points since 2015.  But it is not just the problems of the outside world that are stressing us out.  Stress is also coming from the pressure we are putting on ourselves, our health and day-to-day finances.

    Confidence still high

    Yet what is interesting about this stress is that it doesn’t appear to be dimming global consumer confidence.  Seven out of ten global consumers feel that they will be better off financially in the next 12 months – a number that has been quite steady globally since 2014 (and indeed, just a little bit better than where we were in 2016).

    Perhaps this is because despite all the talk about division and polarization, in many ways, people around the world are more alike than they have ever been.  Proliferation of mobile devices enables similar, on-the-go lifestyles.  Globally, our data shows that people feel less constrained by societal expectations related to gender and age.  Increasing global urbanization means that there are converging urban lifestyles.  Let’s face it, being late for work because you got stuck in traffic is just as frustrating whether that traffic is in Mexico City, Shanghai, or New York.

    Conclusion

    Expectations, or more specifically, rising expectations – that people have of themselves, of the products they use and the brands they buy – are contributing to both increased stress levels and sustained consumer confidence.  The fact that these two dynamics are happening at the same time is truly new news.

    Kathy Sheehan is Executive Vice President and General Manager of GfK’s Consumer Trends team. She can be reached at kathy.sheehan@gfk.com.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • GfK researcher Alexandra Chirilov wins ESOMAR award for VR approach
    • 09/14/17
    • Press
    • Global
    • English

    GfK researcher Alexandra Chirilov wins ESOMAR award for VR approach

    GfK has won this year's ESOMAR Corporate Young Professional Award. 

    • 09/14/17
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Global
    • English

    A rising SVOD tide may not raise subscription prices

    With the number of subscription video on demand (SVOD) services growing, and existing ones getting frequent enhancements, media stakeholders have to wonder when “enough” will become “too much”. How many of these services will consumers subscribe to, and how much will they pay? Is there a road to profitability for market leaders who are investing millions in original content and exclusive licensing?

    Movement in the marketplace

    In the past year, signs of the SVOD market’s vitality have been easy to spot. There are new offerings – some smaller (Britbox) and some larger (Sling TV). A recent entrant, CBS All Access, is finally readying for its likely reason for being – the launch this fall of the streaming-only Star Trek: Discovery series.

    Among the Big 3 SVOD services, we’ve seen enhancements by Hulu, which added ad-free and live-TV subscription options. Amazon expanded its originals and will offer streaming of NFL games in the coming season. Market-leader Netflix seems to have scaled back its ambitions, opting for more curation and showing a willingness to cut ties with expensive but less-successful originals (The Get Down and Sense8).

    And the big recent news hanging over this entire market is Disney’s announcement that it will launch its own SVOD service and pull back its licensed content from other SVOD players – a double whammy for established players in the space.

    How much are subscribers willing to pay?

    We can gain some insight into the SVOD marketplace – at least for the Big 3 SVOD services – by looking at the eighth annual Over-the-Top TV report from GfK’s The Home Technology Monitor™.

    First, we see that the proportion of Netflix subscribers who also subscribe to either Amazon Prime Video or to Hulu – those that are multiple subscribers – has doubled in the past three years, from 10 percent in 2014 to 21 percent in 2017. The good news: We have proof that consumers are open to having more than one paid streaming service. But, on the downside, this may squeeze the amount they are willing to pay for each.

    The most interesting insight comes from our tracking since 2014 of perceived value for each of the Big 3 services. Measured in 2014, 2016, and 2017, we asked regular users of each service what was the maximum they would pay per month for that service.

     

    As we noted in 2016, and now see again in this year’s data, there is very strong indication for a “natural limit” of about $11 per month for any SVOD service. With standard service currently costing $9.99 a month for Netflix, $7.99 ($11.99 ad-free) for Hulu, and $8.25 for Amazon, we can again see there is good news (all are valued higher than their actual costs) mixed with bad (there is little room for additional subscription price increases).

    In particular, Netflix appears most vulnerable. Their standard service is already priced at 92 percent of the maximum price (compared with Amazon at 86% and Hulu at 79%). Also, Netflix’s perceived value showed no change in the past 16 months, while Amazon and Hulu scored positive (albeit small) momentum. Add in the consumer budget squeeze from the increase in multiple SVOD subscriptions, and the days of being able to easily run up revenues through subscription increases may be over.

    Altering the business model?

    While Hulu has advertising as a second revenue stream, Amazon has both very deep pockets and a raft of additional benefits from being a Prime member (shipping, music, e-books, etc.) – perks that Netflix lacks. Netflix’s ability to offset an increasing mountain of debt[1] may be limited by its current business model; it may, at some point, need to consider advertising, program sponsorships, or other streams of revenue in order to make Wall Street happy.

    Pricing aside, many other aspects of SVOD services need to be explored in the future as these services proliferate. What is the total budget for streaming and/or pay TV? How does the wide choice of services fit together? How can services avoid monthly, seasonal, or program-related churn? And, perhaps most importantly, how can consumers easily find their way to the content they want to watch across these multiple platforms? We look forward to partnering with our clients to further explore this space and help drive successful business outcomes.

    Get similar insights – and many more – as soon as they get published by subscribing to The Home Technology Monitor™ in 2017. Aside from the Over-the-Top TV 2017 report, our reports this year include our annual Ownership and Trend Report, Commanding Media (voice commands), TV Everywhere, and SVOD Digital Journey.

    [1] “Netflix is on the hook for $20 billion. Can it keep spending its way to success?”, Los Angeles Times, July 29 2017. www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-netflix-debt-spending-20170729-story.html

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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