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  • Three weeks after the general election, UK Consumer Confidence decreases five points to -10
    • 06/30/17
    • Financial Services
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • FMCG
    • Consumer Life
    • Global
    • English

    Three weeks after the general election, UK Consumer Confidence decreases five points to -10

    GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index decreased five points to  - 10 in June. All five measures decreased this month.

    • 06/29/17
    • Technology
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Measuring technology addiction around the globe

    Do you struggle to unplug from technology? Well you’re not alone, according to the results from our international online survey where a third of those polled (34%) firmly agree1 that they “find it difficult to take a break from technology (my mobile device, computer, TV, etc.), even when I know I should”.

    In the era of the Connected Consumer, this may not come as a big surprise, but what does stand out among the data is that teenagers and higher income households rank as the most likely to be addicted to technology.

    Breaking down the results by age

    After teenagers (categorized as 15 – 19 year olds), of which 44% responded that they have difficulty taking a tech break, the numbers steadily decrease by age group, while the number of people who indicated they do not have trouble unplugging increases.  A tipping point was reached in those aged 50-59 and 60+, where a majority responded that they do not struggle to take a break from technology.

    Higher income vs. lower income households

    Additionally, those living in higher income households may also struggle more with technology addiction, with 39% finding it difficult to take a break from their devices, and only 11% indicating it is not hard to take a break.  Lower income households show attitudes that are more split, with 30% agreeing that it’s difficult to unplug, and 20% firmly disagreeing.

    Where are the opportunities for brands?

    China ranks the highest globally in online population who have difficulty taking a break from technology at 43%, with mobile devices playing an essential role in the lives of Chinese consumers.  Rounding out the top five countries are Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and the United States, respectively.

    In contrast, Germany has the highest percentage (35%) of those who strongly disagree that taking a tech break is difficult, followed by the Netherlands (30%) and Belgium (28%).

    Conclusion

    These findings clearly show differences in market opportunities – from brands offering the latest devices targeting happily ‘always-on’ consumers, to brands offering ‘quality time’ services that resonate with people who like to break from technology.

    About the study

    We asked over 22,000 consumers (aged 15 or over) online in 17 countries how strongly they agree or disagree with the statement, “I find it difficult to take a break from technology (my mobile device, computer, the TV, etc.), even when I know I should”.

    1Data presented in this release represents the bottom 2 boxes (disagreement) and top 2 boxes (agreement) from on a 7-point scale where “1” means “don’t agree at all”, and “7” means “agree completely”.

    Fieldwork was completed in summer 2016. Data are weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population aged 15+ in each market. The global average given in this release is weighted based on the size of each country proportional to the other countries. Countries covered are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Spain, UK and USA.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Teenagers and higher-income households most likely to struggle with technology addiction
    • 06/29/17
    • Technology
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global Study
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Teenagers and higher-income households most likely to struggle with technology addiction

    One in three people find it difficult to take a break from technology, even when they know they should. China, Brazil and Argentina have highest levels who struggle to take a tech break. People in Germany, Netherlands and Belgium lead for finding it easy to ‘unplug’ .

  • Consumer climate in Germany picking up further
    • 06/29/17
    • Press
    • Financial Services
    • Public Services
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Consumer climate in Germany picking up further

    Findings of the GfK Consumer Climate Study for June 2017

    • 06/28/17
    • Consumer Goods
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Dads are shopping more and brands are important anchors

    Dads are changing.  As more mothers have entered the workforce and become empowered outside of the home, dads have become more engaged with household chores like cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping.  These trends are not just born of necessity; in the US, Canada, and countries around the world, it has become more acceptable for dads to take on what might once have been seen as a mom’s tasks and roles.

    Opportunities in the grocery store

    Grocery shopping, in particular, is an area that has seen significant growth for dads.  According to GfK’s Consumer Life Global study, 78% of dads around the world shop for groceries weekly, a rise of 9 percentage points since 2009.  The increase is particularly pronounced in North America, where 87% of Dads do a weekly grocery shopping trip, an increase of 12 percentage points since 2009.

    The implications for brands

    These shopping trends have implications for brands of all categories — especially those in the consumer packaged goods space.  In our recent webinar series, “The New Contract between Moms and Dads” we explored three anchors that are important for brands to keep in mind when targeting the increasingly important dad segment of the buying population:

       

    1. Dads buy from brands they trust. More dads today indicate that they only buy products or services from a trusted brand.
    2. Dads are interested in what others have to say about brands. Dads are more likely than moms to agree that they are “interested in other people’s opinions about what products and services to buy.” While moms feel more confidence in selecting one brand over another based on characteristics, dads will look to the influence of others to aid their decision.
    3. Dads buy nostalgia. In the US, dads are significantly more likely than moms to buy brands they grew up with.  They will share their past and present memories of these brands with their children, as well.
    4.  

    Today’s dad is much different from dads of the past.  They have increasing power and influence in the home and at the shelf.  Brands in particular are important anchor points and should establish themselves as (modern) dad friendly.  Expect these trends to continue to accelerate as the next generation of dads (aka the Now Generation) will continue to increase their shopping and other household responsibilities.  Take into account the key anchors – trust, influence, and nostalgia – to be successful with dads at the shelf.

    Tim Kenyon is Vice President on the Consumer Life team at GfK. He can be reached at tim.kenyon@gfk.com.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    • 06/28/17
    • Consumer Goods
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Dads are shopping more and brands are important anchors

    Dads are changing.  As more mothers have entered the workforce and become empowered outside of the home, dads have become more engaged with household chores like cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping.  These trends are not just born of necessity; in the US, Canada, and countries around the world, it has become more acceptable for dads to take on what might once have been seen as a mom’s tasks and roles.

    Opportunities in the grocery store

    Grocery shopping, in particular, is an area that has seen significant growth for dads.  According to GfK’s Consumer Life Global study, 78% of dads around the world shop for groceries weekly, a rise of 9 percentage points since 2009.  The increase is particularly pronounced in North America, where 87% of Dads do a weekly grocery shopping trip, an increase of 12 percentage points since 2009.

    The implications for brands

    These shopping trends have implications for brands of all categories — especially those in the consumer packaged goods space.  In our recent webinar series, “The New Contract between Moms and Dads” we explored three anchors that are important for brands to keep in mind when targeting the increasingly important dad segment of the buying population:

    1. Dads buy from brands they trust. More dads today indicate that they only buy products or services from a trusted brand.
    2. Dads are interested in what others have to say about brands. Dads are more likely than moms to agree that they are “interested in other people’s opinions about what products and services to buy.” While moms feel more confidence in selecting one brand over another based on characteristics, dads will look to the influence of others to aid their decision.
    3. Dads buy nostalgia. In the US, dads are significantly more likely than moms to buy brands they grew up with.  They will share their past and present memories of these brands with their children, as well.

    Today’s dad is much different from dads of the past.  They have increasing power and influence in the home and at the shelf.  Brands in particular are important anchor points and should establish themselves as (modern) dad friendly.  Expect these trends to continue to accelerate as the next generation of dads (aka the Now Generation) will continue to increase their shopping and other household responsibilities.  Take into account the key anchors – trust, influence, and nostalgia – to be successful with dads at the shelf.

    Tim Kenyon is Vice President on the Consumer Life team at GfK. He can be reached at tim.kenyon@gfk.com.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • One in three people find it difficult to take a break from technology
    • 06/27/17
    • Global Study
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    One in three people find it difficult to take a break from technology

    Teenagers and higher-income households most likely to struggle with technology addiction. Find out more in our global study.

  • Global study: break from technology
    • 06/27/17
    • Global Study
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Global study: break from technology

    One in three people find it difficult to take a break from technology, even when they know they should. Explore more in our global study.

    • 06/27/17
    • Retail
    • Consumer Goods
    • Global
    • English

    3 main challenges for converting browsers into buyers

    Imagine a potential customer is browsing in your store or on your website. They linger a little over one of your products and it’s clear that they’re interested. So how do you convert this browser into a buyer? There’s competition coming from every angle and consumer spending isn’t growing, especially in mature markets. As a retailer, you need to work harder than ever to convert browsers into buyers.

    Challenge one: Keep visitors on your website

    Regardless of whether you’re selling fashion or other non-food products online, if you have a website, you are a retailer. Your primary goal is to keep shoppers on your site, which provides the basis for a seamless customer journey. No matter if they are visiting your website to buy, research prices or check stock availability in the nearest store, the longer you keep shoppers’ eyeballs fixed on your website without them moving to your competitors’, the better your prospects of converting browsers into buyers.

    Your primary goal is to keep shoppers on your site, which provides the basis for a seamless customer journey. Making sure your site is rich in content and is fully optimized for search is essential – for more tips, see our blogs on user experience and product content.

    Challenge two: Convert browsers in-store to buyers

    It’s the same challenge in the physical shopping environment too. With competition for consumers’ discretionary spending so fierce, you won’t want to let people leave your store without them buying from you. If you don’t have the right size, color or style, you must help them to order it from your website. Provide tablets in-store to help customers order online. Offer Click & Collect and free delivery to facilitate that all important sale.

    If you don’t have exactly what shoppers are looking for, you must help them to order it from your website.

    Challenge three: Understand the shopper journey

    Today’s Connected Consumer shops in a hugely varied and complex way. If you can understand shopping behavior and journeys, you can maximize the path to purchase. Crucially, you can ensure your brand is present in “the moment of truth” when a purchase is made. The key to success here is your omnichannel strategy. It’s not enough to be on all channels, you must understand the types of consumer behavior that they evoke and flex the strengths of each to support your particular conversion patterns for all relevant shopper types.

    Cracking shopper conversion

    Using behavioral data from the passive measurement of different channels can help retailers understand purchase journeys in order to maximize the omnichannel environment. Each brand journey is different, however, if you can understand why someone didn’t buy a jumper online, or why that person walked out of one store and straight into another to buy a similar item, you have the intelligence to crack shopper conversion.

    Marco Wolters is Global Industry Lead Fashion, Home & Lifestyle on the enter department/area team at GfK. He can be reached at Marco.Wolters@gfk.com.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    • 06/26/17
    • Technology
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    3 things Connected Consumers want from their smart home

    Whether it’s smart speakers, thermostats or refrigerators, one thing is clear. The much hailed about ‘internet of things’ is slowly but certainly becoming a reality.

    The benefits are obvious for customers – smart homes represent the ultimate in convenience. Back in 2015, Amazon’s Dash button for Tide captured our imaginations by showing us that buying washing detergent need not involve routine, mind-numbing trips to the supermarket.

    Of course, there are other benefits. According to NEST, the company’s programmable thermostats helped customers save between $131 to $145 each year.

    Smart homes benefit businesses too. Other than making products easily available to consumers, it also changes the way brands interact with them.

    In an age where consumers are far less loyal to brands than they used to be, creating a memorable and personalized experience for customers can help one stand out from the clutter.

    Smart homes in Asia – where’s the growth?

    According to a report by the Singapore Business Review, Asia’s smart home market is expected to reach $115 billion by 2030. That’s huge news.

    Globally, smart air conditioners registered sales amounting $42 million in 2016, with Taiwan leading the market share in Asia, followed by Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam demonstrating sizable growth.

    As expected, China, with its exploding middle class and strong manufacturing and tech ecosystem will lead this charge. Japan is the other major player. Not only is it already among the world’s top five global markets when it comes to smart home penetration, its aging population will very likely continue to drive growth with the adoption of smart health and wellness solutions.

    What are some barriers in adoption?

    Despite the vast potential the smart home industry has, there is still some way to go before the technology truly becomes mainstream. In our research, we found that the most common smart device found in homes is still the Smart TV. 17.38 million were sold in Europe alone in 2016, up from merely 5.61 million in 2011.

    In comparison, to date, approximately only 8.2 million people own Amazon Echo unit, a smart speaker connected to Alexa, a voice-controlled intelligent personal assistant service which responds to your voice commands, plays music, controls your smart home, and gives you information on news and the weather.

    Why is this the case? Here are three areas where we think the industry can improve on.

    Compatibility

    At present, the proliferation of devices, appliances, manufacturers and retailers in the market is confusing consumers. To make matters worse, not all smart appliances work with one another. That makes the buying experience downright perplexing, especially considering how much these cutting-edge devices cost.

    The solution? We believe that it’s about building the right user experience. We have to deeply examine the user and the marketplace to identify a new set of unmet needs that offer opportunities for customer innovation. In this regard, a concept testing approach will be beneficial as it measures concepts that audiences are likely to embrace, and the extent to which the concept improves their lives, placing emphasis on consumers’ needs. With access to consumers’ emotional reactions such as level of excitement and engagement to the product concept, brands are better equipped to proactively enhance their product aligned to consumer behavior and perceptions.

    Communication

    The benefits of a smart home, and the way it will enhance consumers’ lives, need to be clearly communicated, and adapted to the different needs of each part of the market.

    For instance, when we asked people why they monitored or controlled a smart device in their home, the responses differed greatly by age group. 62% of Boomers chose “To save money by reducing my utility costs” as their main consideration. In contrast, Gen X-ers ranked “To keep my home safe and secure” as their top priority.

    Consumers have individual ways of building up commitment, energy and willingness to act. Therefore, the brands that successfully communicate the affordability of the product, ease of use and the value it brings, often see success in facilitating adoption.

    Concentration

    In our 2017 Tech Trends Report, we found that the older Millennials (Gen Y) are early adopters and leading the charge, with 33% globally planning to purchase smart devices in the next two – three years, compared to 28% of younger Millennials.

    Therefore, instead of targeting indiscriminately, brands need to concentrate their efforts on the segments that matter most.

    Smart devices and the Connected Consumer

    For businesses to successfully utilize the potential of smart home devices, it is first crucial to understand the type of consumers they are targeting.

    We live in the era of what we like to call the ‘Connected Consumer’, and there are three key benefits they seek from brands – freedom, acceleration and intimacy. Simply put, that means:

    • They want brands and businesses to help make their lives simple and convenient. From smartphones to smart homes, they do so with the myriad of devices at their disposal.
    • They have reduced attention spans as compared to their predecessors. That means that simplicity, ease-of-use and a seamless experience is crucial to retaining their interest. More than half (54%) of consumers globally agree that, “If a new technology product is not simple to use, I lose interest.”
    • They expect an experience when they interact with a brand. Using customer and data analytics – possibly collected using smart home devices – businesses that deliver that engagement can generate long-term relationships.

    Hence, it is increasingly crucial for brands to harness current and emerging technologies to deliver personalized experiences and enhance living, thus deepening customer loyalty.

    As smart homes become a reality, the most successful brands will be those that deliver the simple, seamless experience that consumers seek.

    Karthik Venkatakrishnan is Regional Director at GfK. To share your thoughts, please email karthik.venkatakrishnan@gfk.com or leave a comment below.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    • 06/23/17
    • Retail
    • Consumer Goods
    • Global
    • English

    Optimize your retail environment: How to fill up shopping baskets and maximize sales

    To truly conquer the connected shopper, you need to encourage your customers to buy as much as possible in one shopping journey. In today’s retail environment, shoppers are presented with overwhelming choice. Here’s how you can influence their decision-making to ensure they buy as much as possible from your product suite and brand.

    Combating shopping on “autopilot”

    Shoppers have always made hundreds of decisions in-store, and now connectivity has created an explosion of further options. To help cope with the confusion of too much choice, consumers tend to shop on “autopilot”, navigating real and virtual stores by the products and brands they know and have bought before. If you’re to encourage shoppers to buy more from you in a single visit, you need to understand this behavior to interrupt and change it. You also need to make the experience of shopping as easy and convenient as possible.

    One way to do this is to sell to consumers’ “need states”. Whether it’s a last-minute child’s birthday party invite to an impromptu barbeque, organizing products by “need states” rather than category in a highly effective way to fill shoppers’ baskets both in-store and online. For example, displaying cards and wrap next to the toys is an effective way to ensure that you maximize sales from the birthday party shopper. It also discourages them from making a second shopping trip to a stationer to buy gift wrap materials. The same technique can be used online – for example, by suggesting other barbeque related products the moment a shopper adds burgers to their trolley.

    Follow the shopper in the real and virtual store

    We help you “follow” the customer journey by combining numerous behavioral data sources with observations and interviews to create a 360° profile of today’s connected shopper. Virtual stores enable you to decipher decision-making at the point of purchase – both in-store and at the shelf. For example, it can help you identify optimum product assortment and understand which promotions are most effective in-store. You can also use it to assess the impact of packaging on consumers, perfect your pricing strategies and evaluate the customer experience. Virtual stores are also key in allowing you to understand shoppers’ need states and then to organize your offering to sell to them.

    Optimizing your retail environment

    Knowledge is power when it comes to conquering the connected shopper. By measuring the retail environment with the many data sources available, you will be empowered to optimize it. By evaluating in-store activities, you can maximize your investment in marketing, and generate sales across channels, store formats, categories, segments and variants. Let data be your guide.

    Marco Wolters is Global Industry Lead Fashion, Home & Lifestyle at GfK. He can be reached at Marco.Wolters@gfk.com.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Map of the month: GfK Purchasing Power for consumer electronics, ICT, and photography, France 2016
    • 06/22/17
    • Consumer Goods
    • Geomarketing
    • RegioGraph
    • Geodata
    • Picture of the month
    • Global
    • English

    Map of the month: GfK Purchasing Power for consumer electronics, ICT, and photography, France 2016

    GfK's Map of the Month for June illustrates the 2016 regional distribution of purchasing power for consumer electronics and related products at the level of France's departments (data source: GfK Purchasing Power for Retail Product Lines, France 2016). Companies that sell these products can use these insights to align their sales and marketing strategies with the regional product potential.

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