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    • 06/21/17
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Get them out to the ball game: How brands can leverage the power of sports fans

    As the summer of 2017 approaches in the US, there’s a veritable buffet for sports fans to enjoy. The Warriors and Penguins have been crowned champions but baseball, soccer, racing, golf and tennis now fill the schedule. I will be a part of the crowds this summer, heading to Connecticut to see the US national soccer team play Ghana, to Citi Field for Mets games, and to Billie Jean King National Tennis Center for the US Open.

    It’s also a time of change for sports teams and brands, as multiple sources of entertainment compete for our attention. We have more options to consume sports than ever before. Sports programming on television alone has increased by 160% since 2005, and this does not include the voluminous streaming options from services like ESPN3.

    Fans are also changing how we watch sports, using a mix of devices, and streaming this content now more than ever. GfK Consumer Life has found that one in five sports fans watch live events on their mobile phones (+14 pts from Americans overall). Additionally, sports fans are more likely to own streaming devices like Apple TV or Roku (34%, +10 pts).

    Facing these challenges, sports franchises and brands need to think creatively to keep fans engaged; here are a few ways they can do that:

    1. Emphasize experience. American sports fans want experiences when we show up at the stadium: 63% (+10 pts from Americans overall) agree that “experiences are more important than possessions.” It is the #1 attitude to life among American sports fans.  To keep us interested, ensure that fans have memorable and personalized experiences that reward us for the time we have invested. Recently, the New York Red Bulls hosted an event at ArteVino in Hoboken, NJ, where fans were able to paint pictures and drink wine with some of the MLS team’s players.
    2. Expand the idea of community. American sports fans are joiners: 48% agree that “the groups that I belong to say a lot about me” (+16 pts from America overall). While sports fans spend more time with friends on a weekly basis (4.9 hours vs. 3.5 hours). Staying continuously engaged in this busy world is difficult. Fortunately, sports leagues and franchises can nurture virtual communities with apps to keep fans connected – this makes sense given that sports fans are almost twice as likely as the average American to describe virtual interactions as just as good as in-person ones. The Rooter app was recently released to help connect fans of soccer and Indian online cricket during live events; an American version cannot be far away.
    3. Keep them active. American sports fans don’t just watch sports, we play them. Over half (59%, +35 pts from Americans overall) of fans play sports at least once a week, and 82% exercise just as often (+17 pts). If a team wants to get these fans to come to the stadium more often, a good way to reach them would be to sponsor a 5k race on game day like the NHL’s LA Kings or promote a weekly recreational league in the area. Brands can also align with sports entities that attract those who pursue an active lifestyle. An example of this is Michelob Ultra bringing their brand to active fans by becoming the official beer of the World Surf League.
    4. Tap into fans’ passions. Beer is a mainstay at American tailgate parties, so it’s not surprising that American sports fans are more likely to drink beer on a weekly basis (51% vs. 30% of total). While domestic beer remains popular among American fans, many are turning to craft beer. Nearly a third of the fans who drink beer have craft beer on a weekly basis. Collaborating with local brewers is a new and interesting way to increase the link between a team and its fans. Minnesota United FC of MLS has embraced this idea by working with Surly Brewing in Minneapolis to create the Rising North Pale Ale. Brands can also work to find partnerships that highlight tailgating food. NASCAR and Fox Sports recently teamed up with Allrecipes to create a food-focused social media community where fans can share their favorite tailgate recipes.

    Using these strategies will help to strengthen relationships with sports fans and keep us coming to the stadium or tuning to whatever screen we prefer. By realizing that sports fans aren’t just customers – we can also be a team’s biggest advocate online, at the local sports bar, or in the stands – you can truly leverage the power of this group.

    Adam Swift is a Senior Analyst on the Consumer Life team at GfK. He can be reached at adam.swift@gfk.com.

  • GfK wins Innovation Prize from the Association of German Market and Social Researchers
    • 06/21/17
    • Press
    • Global
    • English

    GfK wins Innovation Prize from the Association of German Market and Social Researchers

    GfK has won the 2017 Innovation Prize awarded by Association of German Market and Social Researchers (BVM). The award recognizes GfK’s innovative approach that allows new product and service concepts to be tested using an analysis of verbal feedback. The prize was awarded at the 52nd Congress of German Market Research in Berlin on June 19th 2017. 

    • 06/19/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Improving customer loyalty and retail experience through mobile payments

    Eight years ago, Starbucks developed its own app for mobile payments. Today, it’s still held up as the gold standard in the United States.

    In Asia’s rapidly developing market, where mobile payment is eight to nine years ahead of the West, things are quite different.

    In China, you can mobile pay for everything from a cab to a mojito or utility bill. In 2015, WeChat registered more financial transactions in one day than PayPal did during the entire 12 months.

    But it’s not just China that’s adopting the trend. Mobile payment is also making massive inroads in Southeast Asia as shopping apps are gaining popularity. In Singapore alone, there are 30,000 retail points accepting contactless payment methods such as Apple Pay, Android and Samsung Pay.

    In Indonesia, the most populous country in the region with 250 million people, most of the big traditional retailers are unveiling e-commerce plans of their own. In a recent GfK study: The Connected Asian Consumer, consumers in Singapore and Indonesia also reported fairly high usage incidence of shopping apps (37 and 35 percent respectively). This growth is fuelled by affordable smartphones, a massive young and tech-savvy population and efforts by governments and telco operators to expand and improve high-speed wireless networks.

    The future has never been clearer. It’s only a matter of time before mobile payment goes mainstream.

    The Connected Consumer

    Unfortunately for traditional retailers, the age of e-commerce has also produced a new consumer – we like to call them the ‘Connected Consumer’ – and their behaviors are shaping the future of retail.

    In the GfK 2016 FutureBuy survey of 20,000 consumers in 20 markets, it was found that shoppers are becoming less loyal to any one retailer. Almost half (46%) of all consumers (14-65 year olds) stated they were less loyal when shopping. This figure rises among the youngest consumers to 53% of Gen Y (18-29 years), and six in ten (58%) of Gen Z (14-17 years).

    For retailers who understand the Connected Consumer, there are opportunities to stay ahead of the competition – and mobile payments are a huge part of it.

    Customer loyalty

    Despite becoming less loyal, many Connected Consumers expect an omnichanel shopping experience when they interact with a brand. Connected Consumers in APAC seek the best of both worlds.

    For example, shoppers in China are the most likely to embrace omnichannel shopping – seven in 10 (71%) shop both online and in-store while Australian shoppers are the most likely to shun online: almost two thirds (62%) shop exclusively in-store. In contrast, Indians lead the way in online shopping with almost one quarter (23%) shopping the category exclusively online.

    Therefore it is important for retailers to understand the new reality of the omnichannel consumer, and know that the ‘whatever, whenever’ culture demands that user experience is seamless across all devices. If retailers don’t understand this, customers will simply delete their app and move on.

    We predict that mobile payment could halt the current trend for a decline in shopper loyalty. It makes sense, really. There are numerous benefits for shoppers: avoiding queues, centralizing loyalty rewards, checking stock, ordering ahead, enjoying customized offers and easy price comparison.

    At the same time, using customer and data analytics, retailers can receive customer data to offer more personalized services. In turn, this presents an opportunity to generate long-term relationships.

    However, it is important to note that not all Connected Consumers are the same. For example, older consumers aren’t as comfortable with sharing personal information as younger consumers.

    Understanding the shopper’s purchase journey is easier these days with research intelligence offering detailed information on the route shoppers take when making a purchase, and ways in which online and offline touchpoints influence their decisions. We believe that brands that understand, respect and protect consumers’ individual boundaries will deserve the loyalty they earn by doing so.

    As mobile payments continue to grow in APAC, businesses in various sectors such as financial services, cybersecurity and telco stand to gain and can evolve to support the changing landscape.

    For example, for telco operators, engaging with retail merchants and partners can help strengthen the overall service ecosystem to provide better end user experiences for consumers. Additionally, the design and development of payment services can also be integrated with other emerging technologies and competencies to offer differentiation to target audiences.

    Customer experiences

    Loyalty is great, but to really retain customers in today’s omnichannel space, shopping experience is equally important.

    To Connected Consumers, simplicity and convenience is paramount. Not only do they expect everything quickly, they also lose their patience faster.

    What does that mean for retailers?

    For large retailers, mobile payment offers the opportunity to segment and target consumers much more effectively with highly personalized offers and incentives. Discounts and offers can be integrated into mobile payment, replacing the need for physical coupons and entering information into a terminal. Connected Consumers will wave goodbye to the traditional checkout queue and benefit from a wealth of customized rewards.

    Mobile payment also offers a chance for small retailers to move into a new era of retailing. Freed from high transaction fees and with new ways to connect with consumers, small retailers can now embark on the kind of personalization and targeting that is usually the privilege of larger players.

    With e-commerce here to stay, there is plenty of potential for retail businesses to leverage research intelligence to adequately design and develop strategies to target this group of consumers. Essentially, the key to success is to fully understand shopper behavior and be led by what consumers ultimately want, without being blinded by what the technology can do.

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

  • Empowering a global retailer to grow its online product assortment
    • 06/19/17
    • Retail
    • Product Catalogs
    • Global
    • English

    Empowering a global retailer to grow its online product assortment

    We help one of the world’s largest retailers improve its online shopping experience, increase sales and compete more effectively with digital rivals.

    • 06/16/17
    • Retail
    • Consumer Goods
    • Online Pricing Intelligence
    • Global
    • English

    Fine-tune and optimize your cross-channel pricing for better brand positioning

    Today’s Connected Consumers are increasingly price sensitive. According to our FutureBuy 2016 study, 58% of shoppers compare prices in different stores and more than a third (39%) use price comparison and discount websites. Consequently, promotional activity is intensifying as retailers and manufacturers battle to attract consumers with better deals. It is therefore vital that your pricing strategy is perfectly pitched.

    Perfecting pricing

    Defining and optimizing your pricing requires ongoing investment to ensure you are a) attracting buyers and b) securing your profit margins and brand positioning. You therefore need to continually monitor pricing dynamics and promotions across all channels: in-store, online and in print (ads, circulars, all relevant retailers and publications).

    Reviewing pricing strategies doesn’t necessarily mean price drops. It might be that, within the context of the market, your products are undervalued. You could not only be missing out on valuable margin, but also negatively impacting your brand positioning in the eyes of your target customer. A small increase in your price could have a significant impact, so this analysis can be hugely rewarding. In a recent project, we helped our client recognize that the strength of its brand justified higher price points. As a result, it claimed back valuable margin from its competitors. However, pricing that is too high could cause deal-seeking consumers to look elsewhere, so it’s important to find the sweet spot that is just right for consumers.

    Managing price erosion

    Price erosion is a sometimes unavoidable part of the product lifecycle, but manufacturers and retailers that have the ability to track both their online and offline pricing are better equipped to slow down unwanted price drops and ultimately maximize their margins.  Spotting price erosion early, before the price becomes set at that level, allows brands to be able to react to the correct market activity so they can bring back the highest ROI from their promotions.

    A competitive advantage

    With an overview of pricing, you can answer questions such as what is my product’s daily market price (advertised/promoted)? Is my pricing policy being followed? Is my pricing right for my audience – not too high, or low? What’s the ideal price gap between my product and that of my competitors?

    Crucially, we can help you track your pricing right down to an SKU level across the entire length of the customer journey. You can also combine this intelligence with Point of Sales Tracking data to determine the real return on investment of your pricing strategy.

    With these tools and techniques, you can fine-tune your pricing across all channels to optimize your brand positioning, and maximize your sales and profit. It’s a key tactic in your strategy to conquer the connected shopper.

    James Rudd is a Business Developer at GfK. He can be reached at James.Rudd@gfk.com.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • 360° Shopper insights: Identify future consumer needs
    • 06/16/17
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    360° Shopper insights: Identify future consumer needs

    Watch our video to explore the challenges, opportunities, research and benefits of identifying future consumer needs.

  • 360° Shopper insights: Converting consumers into browsers
    • 06/16/17
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    360° Shopper insights: Converting consumers into browsers

    Watch our video to discover exactly what it takes to turn consumers into your brand browsers.

  • 360° Shopper insights: Turning browsers into buyers
    • 06/16/17
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    360° Shopper insights: Turning browsers into buyers

    Watch our video to improve and optimize the conversion rate of brand browsers into your buyers.

  • 360° Shopper insights: Filling the shopping basket
    • 06/16/17
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    360° Shopper insights: Filling the shopping basket

    Watch our video to maximize your sales and marketing investments by ensuring shopping baskets and carts are filled.

  • 360° Shopper insights: Fine-tuning the pricing and promotion balance
    • 06/16/17
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    360° Shopper insights: Fine-tuning the pricing and promotion balance

    Watch our video to fine-tune and optimize your cross-channel pricing.

  • 360° Shopper insights: Conquer connected shoppers for retail success
    • 06/16/17
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    360° Shopper insights: Conquer connected shoppers for retail success

    Meet your consumers’ escalating expectations of convenience, choice, price and experience with our interactive bonus guide. 

  • 360° Shopper insights: Identify future needs of your consumers
    • 06/16/17
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    360° Shopper insights: Identify future needs of your consumers

    Explore the challenges, opportunities, research and benefits of identifying future consumer needs within our interactive bonus guide.

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