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  • Map of the month: GfK Retail Purchasing Power
    • 08/24/16
    • Retail
    • Geomarketing
    • Geodata
    • Geo+RealEstate
    • Picture of the month
    • Global
    • English

    Map of the month: GfK Retail Purchasing Power

    GfK's Map of the Month for August shows the amount of general purchasing power available for retail spending after deducting expenses relating to rent, mortgage payments, insurance, vehicles, travel and services. GfK Retail Purchasing Power is therefore a measure of the potential demand for fixed-location retail and mail-order trade within a specific region.

  • Home improvement: women aspire to better décor; men to better size and layout
    • 08/24/16
    • Home Appliances
    • Home and Living
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Global Study
    • Global
    • English

    Home improvement: women aspire to better décor; men to better size and layout

    International findings show top five countries most interested in each area of home improvement

    • 08/23/16
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Global
    • English

    Understanding TV viewing preferences in the digital age

    Today, the definition of “television” is much deeper than the physical device it was originally named for.  No longer confined to a self-contained, standard-issue product, “TV” now refers to content that is accessible to us via an endless combination of devices, platforms, and services.  The landscape is more complex than ever – we can watch TV on phones and through video game consoles, and make calls or summon personal assistants through our TV sets.  Antennas are a relic of the past, and we don’t even need a cable subscription to watch our favorite shows.  The most popular online video content is often much shorter than a traditional 30-second broadcast spot.  And although the fall TV premiere season is around the corner, the idea of a “TV season” is becoming fuzzier with each passing day.

    One thing is certain, however – our interest in TV-like content isn’t going anywhere.  According to Nielsen, Americans now consume an entire hour more of media per day than just a year ago.  So what are the new opportunities for this evolving industry?

    Address shorter attention spans

    It’s no secret that our multi-tasking culture has made it harder to pay attention to just one thing – in fact, experts estimate that our focused attention spans have decreased from 12 to 8 seconds in the past 15 years.  According to GfK Consumer Life, Americans are more than twice as likely to watch short video clips as movies/TV shows via streaming services on their smartphones in an average month.

    And as a sign of these times, Snapchat passed Twitter in daily users earlier this summer.  Consumer appetite for shorter bursts of entertainment is only going to intensify, creating a mandate for advertisers and content creators.

    Pepsi has responded to this trend by developing five-second broadcast ads to support its latest emoji campaign, appealing to the viewer’s dual desire for more visual communications and fast, dynamic content.  And it was recently announced that major network shows like “The Voice” and “Saturday Night Live” will be producing original shows for Snapchat.  What will your brand do to adapt?

    The rules of real-time

    Despite the flexibility of viewing times that the new TV landscape affords, live programming has not completely lost its appeal.  Recent findings from GfK Consumer Life show that two in three Americans consumed video content live or in real-time in the last 30 days, well ahead of those who time-shifted with streaming or recorded content.  And when they’re in the mood for sports or news but don’t have anything specific in mind, more than half of consumers turn first to their favorite TV network or channel.

    While the success of broadcast scripted programs continues to be a challenge, real-time content such as sports, competition series, and musical specials are still a safe bet.  And while this is good news for TV programmers and advertisers, it still takes effort to capture consumer attention – whether it’s embracing new technologies like virtual/augmented reality or enhancing the social media experience during live viewing “events.”

    Adapt to new viewing behaviors

    At the recent Television Critic’s Association press tour, NBCUniversal unveiled new research confirming that TV viewing is consistently pushed back among many viewers.  Delayed consumption is the new normal for scripted programs, as most viewers find it unnecessary to watch new episodes of shows when they first air.  Instead, they prefer to pick their own preferred time even when live viewing fits into their schedules.  Many would also watch more TV if an entire season was available to them at once instead of the standard five episodes that on-demand channels typically offer – this has actually become a deal-breaker for most.

    GfK Consumer Life data supports this preference – over half of Americans watch TV programming when it’s convenient to them on a streaming service (54%) or DVR (51%) monthly or more often.  With traditional advertising models still based on three or seven days within an episode airing, brands and broadcasters need to evolve their offerings to meet consumer demand.

    Conclusion

    As streaming services, technology disruptors, and other unpredictable shifts continue to push the TV world into uncharted territory, brands and content developers need to act quickly to capitalize on changing consumer preferences.  Understanding their desires to view more “snackable” content, enhance the live viewing experience, and watch on their own terms is essential for the future of TV.

    Rachel Bonsignore is a Senior Consultant for GfK Consumer Life.  She can be reached at rachel.bonsignore@gfk.com.

  • International findings show top five countries most interested in each area of home improvement
    • 08/22/16
    • Global Study
    • Global
    • English

    International findings show top five countries most interested in each area of home improvement

    Internationally, women are most likely to want better décor; men better size and layout.

  • Global study: home improvement aspirations
    • 08/22/16
    • Global
    • English

    Global study: home improvement aspirations

    Internationally, women are most likely to want better décor; men better size and layout. See the top five countries for each aspect.

    • 08/19/16
    • Technology
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Global
    • English

    Turning the smart home into a consumer-led revolution

     

     

     

    Connected consumers around the globe have brands wondering what smart product technologies are next in line for mass adoption.  Even though a number of emerging tech trends have enormous potential, the smart home in particular stands out as one that offers endless opportunities for brands.  However, adoption of the technology so far has been slow due to a fragmented and confusing market that consumers don’t fully understand.

    For the smart home to truly be successful, it must transform from a technology-led revolution to a consumer-led revolution, with partnerships, collaboration and education providing necessary clarity.  But with opportunities in several different categories, where do key players begin?

    Start with what consumers expect

    In order to fulfill consumer expectations for the smart home, manufacturers must start by understanding what those expectations are and how they appeal to consumers.  In our global study of 7,000 consumers in seven markets, we found that a majority of consumers (86%) were aware of the term “smart home”, but most have a relatively limited depth of knowledge on what it actually is.

    Additionally, appeal for the smart home varies by market and demographic, with millennials and generation Xers in developed countries showing the most potential as early adopters.  And while various smart home categories like security and control, energy and lighting, entertainment and connectivity, etc. have different levels of appeal, around half of consumers globally agree that smart home technology will have an impact on their life in the next few years.

    Focus on the consumer benefits

    When it comes to the smart home though, high awareness isn’t enough for widespread adoption.  In fact, outside of cost, the main barrier for consumers globally, the lack of a cohesive vision or product has blurred the benefits of using the technology.

    In addition, many consumers have concerns over their personal privacy and whether or not integration between devices will be simple and seamless.  For smart home products and services to work together, collaboration and partnerships must happen within the market, and consumers will need to be educated on the full benefits of living in a smart home.

    Finding smart home success

    The path to success for smart home developers lies in understanding specific market needs, ensuring a seamless user experience through innovative partnerships and collaboration and communicating how the technology will enhance the lives of connected consumers.  With the smart home already appealing to many consumers around the world, technology must no longer be the driving force behind smart home innovation…  it’s now time for consumers to lead the revolution.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Learn more about the smart home

     

     

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  • Emerging markets power smartphone sales
    • 08/19/16
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Emerging markets power smartphone sales

    New connected consumers in emerging markets, especially rural China, continued to drive smartphone growth in 2Q16. Resilient mid-range to high-end sales mean GfK upgrades its 2016 smartphone market value forecast to USD 426 billion. No immediate impact in the UK from Brexit.

    • 08/17/16
    • Technology
    • Automotive
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Global
    • English

    Building on Elon Musk’s master plan: Payment systems and the future of automotive

     

     

     

    In a recent Let’s Talk Payments article, I discussed Elon Musk’s recently published Master Plan part 2 that outlines his vision for the future of Tesla, which now includes the acquisition and merger of Solar City. In my article I pointed out the disappointing omission of an in-vehicle payments platform from Musk’s plan.

    Therefore, I took it upon myself to update Musk’s master plan part 2 to include a necessary fifth item about payments, which many automotive companies are already working on but have yet to fully develop. The new plan looks like this:

       

    1. Create stunning solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage
    2. Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments
    3. Develop a self-driving capability that is ten times safer than manual via massive fleet learning
    4. Enable your car to make money for you when you aren’t using it
    5. Install an operating system that allows your car to pay for things using a digital wallet
    6.  

    The need for in-vehicle payment systems

    Connecting the vehicles we drive with our surroundings is universally believed to be the future of the automobile.  The use cases for including a payments platform across passenger vehicles, heavy duty trucks, buses and semis are many; parking, tolls, fuel/charging, maintenance, car washes, the drive-through and even for use by an advanced digital assistant to help with booking reservations, hotels, etc.  Thus alleviating the need to find and locate a credit or debit card and read the numbers over the phone which would in-turn make vehicles safer.

    With the inclusion of the sharing economy as #4 on Musk’s to-do list, coupled with the fact that Musk’s fleet of solar electric vehicles will be autonomous, e.g. self-driving, this leaves plenty of opportunity to plan, shop and make purchases while in route. And with the rest of the automotive world including Ford, Honda, Mercedes and potentially Apple working on autonomous and electric cars, wouldn’t a seamless payments capability be a differentiator for Tesla’s vehicle; further increasing Musk’s lead from the pack of other automakers?

    Making auto-based payments invaluable

    To make an in-vehicle payment system superior and encourage usage over an app on a phone, the user experience must be superior.  Integrating customer needs with functionality and simplicity that trumps mobile app usage will go a long way to making the vehicle the payment method of choice among consumers. And although Musk shuns market research, these types of design and usability preferences can be easily determined through a well-designed user experience research program.

    The value proposition of including an in-vehicle payments platform may be lost on consumers today, but in the future it will be a table stake, much like cruise control and blue tooth capability. By getting there first, Musk could dominate and create yet another competitive advantage for Tesla.

    Whether or not Musk finds a payments platform too detailed for inclusion in his master plan is yet to be seen, I’m still waiting to hear back from him.

    Tim Spenny is Senior Vice President on the Financial Services team at GfK. He can be reached at tim.spenny@gfk.com.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Streamlining management of online product data
    • 08/16/16
    • Technology
    • Product Catalogs
    • Global
    • English

    Streamlining management of online product data

    We helped a major British technology distributor reduce the time and effort expended in keeping product data clean and up to date across its large product range. 

  • Automating product data collection for a large ecommerce site
    • 08/16/16
    • Consumer Goods
    • Product Catalogs
    • Global
    • English

    Automating product data collection for a large ecommerce site

    We helped our client streamline communications with suppliers and the management of web content.

  • Providing a high-quality data feed for a B2B IT company
    • 08/16/16
    • Technology
    • Product Catalogs
    • Global
    • English

    Providing a high-quality data feed for a B2B IT company

    We provided a fast-growing reseller with user-friendly product data to support its sales process. 

  • Providing comprehensive product information for a hi-fi publication
    • 08/16/16
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Product Catalogs
    • Global
    • English

    Providing comprehensive product information for a hi-fi publication

    Our catalog enables our client to offer comprehensive and authoritative product listings through its online publications.

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