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    • 06/19/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • User Experience (UX)
    • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • 05/25/17
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Global
    • English

    Consumer attitudes around materialism present opportunities for brands

    According to the results just released from our online international survey, three out of ten people (31%) answered firmly that they “would rather have more time than more money”.  In comparison, only one out of ten respondents (9%) disagreed with the same statement.

    The survey also asked how strongly its participants agree that “experiences are more important than possessions”, with over ten times as many people firmly agreeing rather than disagreeing.

    Breaking down the results by country, income and age

    Those in China (41%), Brazil (37%) and Argentina (32%) ranked the highest, respectively, for their strong preference for more time over more money.

     

    Mexico (57%), Argentina (53%) and the United States (53%) ranked the highest in firmly agreeing that experiences are more important than possessions.

     

    Income played a minor role in the response variances, with higher income households valuing time and experiences slightly more than lower income households, but not to a significant extent.

    Survey respondents aged over 60 were more split in their answers, with 19% preferring “more time to more money” and 13% preferring the opposite.  Those in their twenties and thirties value time over money the most, at 36% agreement vs. 7% who disagree.

    What it means for brands

    These findings clearly demonstrate that there are strong opportunities for brands that can associate themselves in the minds of consumers with giving quality time back to their lives, or by simplifying and quickening their daily tasks. Brands can also differentiate themselves from competitors by identifying ways to turn their purchase process into more of an experience for the consumer.

    About the study

    *All the data presented in this blog represents the top 2 boxes (agreement) and bottom 2 boxes (disagreement) from on a 7-point scale where “1” means “disagree strongly” and “7” means “agree strongly.” GfK conducted the online survey with over 22,000 consumers aged 15 or older across 17 countries. 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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  • At UXPA event, GfK will share new  methods for making UX research agile
    • 05/16/17
    • Health
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Market Access
    • United States
    • English

    At UXPA event, GfK will share new methods for making UX research agile

    At The Boston User Experience Conference this week, GfK User Experience (UX) experts will explore new approaches to quick, effective UX research, addressing the challenges UX designers face in working with agile teams. Other GfK sessions will focus on managing ethnographic data and leveraging new research techniques.

  • Improving the user experience of a ticket machine interface
    • 04/20/17
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Global
    • English

    Improving the user experience of a ticket machine interface

    We aimed to improve the user experience of Deutsche Bahn’s touchscreen user interface for customers, thereby improving the ticket- buying experience.

  • GfK to host the 12th UX Masterclass in China
    • 04/06/17
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Singapore
    • English

    GfK to host the 12th UX Masterclass in China

    GfK, in partnership with the UXalliance, will host the 12th UX Masterclass at the InterContinental Puxi in Shanghai on April 20. UX Masterclass is a flagship event of the UXalliance, an international network of 25 UX firms from around the world. This annual conference brings together experts and thought leaders in the fields of user experience (UX), innovation and market research to share knowledge and best practices.

  • GfK hosts 12th User Experience (UX) Masterclass in China
    • 04/06/17
    • User Experience (UX)
    • UX Design
    • UX Measurement
    • UX Strategy
    • Global
    • English

    GfK hosts 12th User Experience (UX) Masterclass in China

    GfK, in partnership with the UXalliance, will host the 12th User Experience (UX) Masterclass at the InterContinental Puxi in Shanghai on April 20.

  • Peter Feld joins GfK SE as new CEO
    • 03/10/17
    • Financial Services
    • Health
    • Consumer Health
    • Optics and Acoustics
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Public Services
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Automotive
    • Consumer Goods
    • Media Measurement
    • Brand and Customer Experience
    • Consumer Panels
    • Digital Market Intelligence
    • Social Media Intelligence Center
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Mystery Shopping
    • Promotion and Causal Retail
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Point of Sales Analytics
    • Shopper
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • User Experience (UX)
    • United States
    • English

    Peter Feld joins GfK SE as new CEO

    The Supervisory Board of GfK SE has today appointed Peter Feld (51) as new Chief Executive Officer and Management Board member effective March 15, 2017.

  • Peter Feld joins GfK SE as new CEO
    • 03/10/17
    • Financial Services
    • Health
    • Consumer Health
    • Optics and Acoustics
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Public Services
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Automotive
    • Consumer Goods
    • Media Measurement
    • Brand and Customer Experience
    • Consumer Panels
    • Digital Market Intelligence
    • Social Media Intelligence Center
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Mystery Shopping
    • Promotion and Causal Retail
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Point of Sales Analytics
    • Shopper
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Canada
    • English

    Peter Feld joins GfK SE as new CEO

    The Supervisory Board of GfK SE has today appointed Peter Feld (51) as new Chief Executive Officer and Management Board member effective March 15, 2017.

    • 03/09/17
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    How to define engaging experiences in self-driving cars

    Autonomous vehicles have the potential to disrupt everything we know about driving. Earlier this year, I attended a panel discussion regarding the advancements in autonomous driving at the 2017 Consumer and Electronics Show (CES). One conclusion from this session was that it is no longer a question of “if”, but “when” autonomous vehicles will become part of our lives.

    A blank canvas for auto manufacturers

    With no need for a steering wheel, accelerator, or brake pedals, the interior of a car becomes a blank canvas. So, how will companies shape this canvas while keeping the user at the forefront?

    For example, if a passenger wanted to work on their commute, a car could be customized into an office space with a desk and internet connection. Prefer to relax and recharge after a long day? A car could offer features like a massage chair or a big screen TV. And, in the case of ridesharing, a different car could be called up to fit the user’s mood. The car has the potential to become a “third-space”, a space to be used for more than a way to get to where you are going.

    Understanding the types of experiences consumers want

    UX research methods such as ethnography will help manufacturers understand what types of experiences consumers want to have in-car, and how to deliver them in a way that engages and delights. Ethnography helps designers, engineers, and researchers build empathy by taking them out of the lab and placing them in real world situations users face every day.

    We employ this approach to uncover insights while observing common tasks side-by-side with participants. This method uncovers behaviors and insights that wouldn’t be revealed in any other form of research, and allows us to truly see the world from the user’s perspective. These insights allow us to develop use-case scenarios and solutions that are both nuanced and relevant.

    Standing apart as the landscape evolves

    As the autonomous vehicle landscape evolves, manufacturers who are able to create truly exceptional in-car experiences will stand apart. The first step to delivering exceptional consumer experiences is understanding what consumers expect and need – and how they should be delivered. Through direct observation, ethnography has the power to uncover this. The question is, which auto manufacturer will be the first to get it right?

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    • 01/06/17
    • Consumer Goods
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    3 usability tips every appliance manufacturer should consider

    The household appliance industry has been particularly impacted by rapid-evolving technology and Connected Consumer innovations. Our user experience (UX) researchers and designers are fortunate to see and test many cool-looking prototypes that integrate these innovations before they hit the market. While we draw some of our insights from UX best practices and years of experience in UX design of appliances, having a set of benchmarks in our arsenal makes recommendations that much more powerful.

    Measuring UX in household appliance research

    We have integrated a UX measurement tool in household appliance research over several years resulting in a robust benchmark database. A scientifically-validated tool, the UX Score offers holistic insight by combining pragmatic usability aspects (learnability, operability) with hedonic qualities such as usefulness (identification, stimulation) and look and feel; this results in a score that can be compared to competitor products, different versions of the product, or, in the case of household appliances, benchmarked for the category. Our database includes years of global research covering diverse product categories from cooktops to freezers.

    Diving deeper into the individual dimensions of the UX Score

    While the overall benchmark UX Score for household appliances indicates a good user experience through its relatively high value (about 5 on a scale from 1=low  to 6=high), researchers are likely familiar with the following situation: A consumer is excited about a new idea and design, but once they attempt to use it, the disappointment surfaces. So we must dive deeper into the individual dimensions of the UX Score.

    Here we see the mean benchmark values by dimension for the UX Score of household appliances.

    Mean benchmark values of each dimension including overall benchmark (orange line) for household appliances

     

    In the “inspiration” and “look and feel” dimensions, we see high benchmark values compared to the overall benchmark line. This is fostered by continuous innovations through new functionalities that show a stimulating effect on the product experience as well as the high-quality impression.

    The more pragmatic “operability” dimension represents the lowest value by comparison. The location of features and information do not conform to consumer expectations. The “learnability” dimension value is also reduced – a catchy and intuitive usage of household appliances is limited.

    How to improve the user experience for household appliances

    Based on this benchmark data and UX best practices, we have established three tips for household appliance manufacturers to improve the user experience of their products:

    • Define functions and interaction design before constructing the physical interface.
      Thereby you can perfectly place functions exactly where users expect them to be. This works much better than placing the function anywhere and then trying to explain it with an icon.
    • Involve hardware designers as early as possible in the concept development process.
      Designers and hardware experts should work together as early as possible in the concept development and testing process. This will ensure the pragmatic, as well as, hedonic aspects will gain attention.
    • Opportunity of thin-film transistor (TFT) displays should not be overstrained – avoid abundance of functions.
      TFTs offer a great opportunity to explain functions. Although consumers are very familiar with the interactions via touch, too many gimmicks lead to confusion and disorientation. If no TFT is available it becomes even more essential to focus only on the most relevant functionalities. Self-explanatory icons should be found for other functions, which are then tested as early as possible (see point 1).

    As household appliance innovations continue to evolve, the strengths (hedonic qualities) seem to be well-considered. To address the category weaknesses like operability and learnability, appliance manufacturers should apply a holistic user experience design process to keep classic usability aspects top of mind.

    Lena Tetzlaff is a User Experience Consultant at GfK. Please email lena.tetzlaff@gfk.com to share your thoughts.

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