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  • Are aspirational home furnishings still relevant to consumers?
    • 05/12/17
    • Retail
    • Consumer Life
    • United Kingdom
    • English

    Are aspirational home furnishings still relevant to consumers?

    Imagine this – you’re walking through any given department store, home furnishings retailer (or even supermarket these days) when you see the most beautiful sofa table in green marble and you decide to splash out and go for it. It then turns out upon delivery that your new fancy sofa table is actually bigger than your living room, and you end up feeling pretty disappointed.

    • 05/03/17
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Retail
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Valuing experiences over ‘stuff’: How consumers are shaping retail and media

    Whether we are talking shopping, viewing content, traveling or just casually socializing with friends, experience takes center stage for today’s consumers.

    The reason for this is that experiences are the modern world’s social currency, so the more we fight for them the better we can market ourselves to others. And the more experiences we gather, the better individuals we become, a truth that touches a nerve across age groups and generations, but more so for the up-to-35 year olds, Millennials or just a good mix of Gen Y and Z.

     

    Focusing on experience in a technologically evolving environment

    Rapid technological changes have impacted the way consumers perform everyday tasks. Internet enabled smart phones and tablets have placed the power in the consumers’ hands. Literally. For the last few years, online purchasing has been gaining a lot of momentum, beating the lines, registers and check outs of brick-and-mortar stores. The advancements of app shopping technology and the rise (until recently) of shopping loyalty were this trend’s enablers. But do consumers now want more?

    Whilst technology (ie. the internet) is used widely to search for information about a product, check online reviews, compare prices and check availability, experiencing the actual product/item is emerging as an intermediate step before the final purchase occurs.

     

    Think of a typical pre-Christmas shopping day. Consumers get experiences dosed up on atmosphere, lights and odors by visiting shops and malls whilst they are examining present options only to go back home and buy them online that same evening, often at a lower price. Now, this is no longer a behavior observed before the Festive season; technology ignited consumers combining seamless online and offline purchasing (and vice versa) is an everyday occurrence.

     

    The two channels have become completely intertwined in the consumer’s mind. Physical retail’s response was to embrace new ways to fuel the consumer’s imagination and please the senses while overcompensating for the digital medium’s inability to do so. As a result, stores are now becoming less about replenishment whilst focusing increasingly on experience rather than transactions.

    The ‘experience’ revolution’s effect on media and entertainment

    When it comes to experiencing content, shying away from physical purchases of DVDs and Blu-rays is nothing new. What’s more interesting is consumers’ muted response to downloading content. Most recently, consumers spoke loudly by remaining unexcited about Netflix’s newly introduced downloading option – only 3% of its subscribers have downloaded content since its launch back in November last year. (© GfK 2017 SVOD Content Consumption Tracker).

    Owning content, even if it’s just digitally, comes with the headache of storing and is missing out on ‘the thrill of the moment’ experience, which comes to life when deciding what to stream and how much of it. Streaming revolutionized the means to watch content and gave birth to a whole new viewing experience: binge-viewing.

    The binge-viewing phenomenon

    Two decades ago, back-to-back episodes of our favorite series was more than enough for a series enthusiast to make an appointment to view and turn the evening into a social event. The much cooler version of this, which gives full control over to the viewer about ‘what, when & how much’, is the binge-viewing phenomenon. ‘I stayed up all night to catch up on X’ is now a viewing treat even for the younger Gen Xs (around 40), who (via the delights of streaming) relive their student life instantanés.

    The evolution of our viewing experience re-shaped the watercooler moments in the office, which have been replaced with questions such as: “how far along are you?”, whilst there is a certain pressure on viewers to have covered (or sampled at least) the most talked about shows.

    To finesse our newly experienced viewing addiction, content creators had to revisit their scripting techniques; drip-feeding thrill and suspense throughout all episodes rather than keeping cliffhangers for the end of a series. This new, far superior viewing experience has created monster consumers, who expect everything (all content) on anything (all platforms), leaving content providers scratching their heads on the new viable model.

    Far from implying that the streaming technology is directly linked to the death of physical media, it feels that the ease of streaming content legally (or illegally) has further downgraded the sense of ownership here with DVDs and Blu-rays gathering shelf dust and the odd video rental shop serving as a museum of the pre-digital era.

    Does the balance between experiences over ‘stuff’ shift when our home is the focus?

    Technology has exploded and even though consumers take notice, they are the ones who dictate the rhythm when it comes to adopting it. Especially when it comes to technology targeting their own home. Our homes may be increasingly seen as entertainment & hobby centers, but first and foremost, they remain our private retreats. Virtual Reality gadgets and Smart Home tech are promising even more elevated sensory experiences to the average consumer, however their appeal still remains quite niche, limiting their popularity to birthday presents for loved ones.

    Cost, security issues and data privacy concerns seem to counterbalance our urge to create edgy experiences in this instance. Instead, we are seeing a U-turn to simpler things and times, like the taking up of cross stitching or micro brewing by sub-groups of the younger generations, who perceive such hobbies as an antidote to fast technology.

    One thing is certain: The search for memorable experiences continues, not least because compared to possessions, these intangible, non-measurable moments generate a feeling of happiness that doesn’t evaporate.

    *This article was originally posted on TM Forum Live

    Mary Kyriakidi is the Director of Media & Entertainment at GfK. To share your thoughts, please email her at mary.kyriakidi@gfk.com or leave a comment below.

  • Massor av spontana klädinköp
    • 05/03/17
    • Fashion and Lifestyle
    • Retail
    • Sweden
    • English

    Massor av spontana klädinköp

    54% av alla klädinköp är oplanerade!

    Detta betyder en fantastisk möjlighet att påverka till köp! Men också omvänt att kanaler med hög andel spontana inköp har en större osäkerhet i sin omsättning. En hög andel spontanköp kan tolkas som att en stor andel av klädförsäljningen är känslobaserad och sker endast genom bra butiksarbete.

    • 05/02/17
    • Retail
    • Consumer Goods
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Will online become the channel of choice for technical consumer goods?

    Internet sales have grown remarkably in recent years in Europe. In the technical consumer goods (TCGs) category, according to our POS Tracking data, online’s share of overall sales in terms of value passed the 10% mark about ten years ago. It exceeded the 20% milestone in 2014 to reach almost 24% in 2016. But is this trend set to continue? This is the big question and the cause of many a sleepless night for retail managers and sales and marketing directors.

    Online’s share of overall sales in Europe varies between countries and product groups

    Our POS Tracking data shows that many markets in Europe can be considered mature in terms of e-commerce, with their online sales accounting for 20% or more of overall sales of TCGs in 2016 (see infographic).

    Diving deeper into our POS data, online’s share of overall sales for certain categories of TCGs in certain countries is particularly strong at close to – or more than – 40%. This is the case with:

    • photographic equipment in the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Slovakia and Great Britain
    • IT products in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the Netherlands
    • telecommunication with Czech Republic and the Netherlands
    • small domestic appliances in the Czech Republic and the Netherlands
    • major domestic appliances in the Czech Republic and Great Britain.

    Other categories of products that you might think would sell better in a physical store where they can be seen and tried first, also sell well online. Internet sales of vacuum cleaner robots, for example, have reached about a 60% share of overall sales of this product in Germany, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands (see table below). Online’s share of overall sales of wearables in Germany, Great Britain and the Netherlands, and drones in Germany and Great Britain, have achieved a similar level. In some cases, it has increased its share further still recently.

    But this trend isn’t just impacting the sales of the latest generation of TCGs. More traditional white goods such as tumble dryers are also selling well online in certain countries. In the Czech Republic and Great Britain, for instance, online’s share of overall sales for this product is about 50%.

     

    Drivers of – and differences in – online sales penetration

    The balance between online and traditional channels’ share of overall sales is fluid and influenced by a range of factors including category idiosyncrasies, retailers’ strategies and shopper behavior. One of the biggest drivers of online sales has been retailers’ pricing strategies. As internet sales have matured, we’ve observed a general move by retail players towards aligning their online and offline prices in line with consumers’ belief that a product should be priced the same regardless of whether it is sold online or in a store (GfK FutureBuy, 2016).

     

    In Germany, for example, on average, the same TV is priced the same whether it is bought online or offline, and has been for the last couple of years. Our POS data shows that online’s share of sales for TVs in Germany is about 20%. However, there are examples where a product is priced lower online, as is the case with drones, in Germany, and online’s share of sales is higher at 61%.

    Pricing strategies impact on channel choice

    Price Index Development 2008 – 2016, Germany

    1 Top 50 identical items sold online and offline | Based below 50 items

    Saving money, however, is only one motivation that drives consumers’ purchase journeys and channel choices. While the online option is often chosen for financial and convenience reasons, seeing and feeling a product before purchasing it clearly drives shoppers to visit physical stores.

    Top five factors driving consumers’ channel choice

    GfK FutureBuy 2016

     

    Consumers currently favor an omnichannel approach

    The differences between online and traditional shopping channels have so far led consumers to use them both on their path to purchase. What the availability of internet shopping has done is provide consumers with a level of transparency on pricing, among other things, that has encouraged them to adopt an omnichannel approach to shopping. They know that by conducting their own research across online and offline channels before making a purchase they can get the best deal.

    So, what of the future of online sales?

    Will the growth in online sales share of overall sales continue? If consumers favor using channels for different reasons, will we instead arrive at a point of balance between online and offline sales in the future?

    There is one certainty: we cannot sit back and wait to find out. The retail world is constantly changing. Neither online nor traditional channels’ share of overall sales of TCGs is fixed. To the contrary, they will continue to fluctuate and be influenced by Connected Consumers’ shopping behavior, and retailers’ – successful or unsuccessful – strategies and tactics for driving channel choice.

    **********

    Source of data: if not stated otherwise, GfK POS Tracking

    Markus Tuschl is the Global Director of Digital Retail at GfK. To share your thoughts please email markus.tuschl@gfk.com or leave a comment below.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • The game is on: the opportunities offered by the gaming market
    • 04/28/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    The game is on: the opportunities offered by the gaming market

    Gaming creates considerable revenue worldwide, but especially in Western Europe. Discover what opportunities are offered by the gaming market with our infographic.

  • UK Consumer Confidence drops to -7: Is pre-Brexit economic turbulence brewing?
    • 04/28/17
    • Financial Services
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • FMCG
    • Consumer Life
    • United Kingdom
    • English

    UK Consumer Confidence drops to -7: Is pre-Brexit economic turbulence brewing?

    GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index dropped one point to -7 in April.  Four of the five measures decreased, leaving only the Major Purchase Index showing an increase.

  • UK Consumer Confidence drops to -7: Is pre-Brexit economic turbulence brewing?
    • 04/28/17
    • Press
    • Financial Services
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • FMCG
    • Global
    • English

    UK Consumer Confidence drops to -7: Is pre-Brexit economic turbulence brewing?

    GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index dropped one point to -7 in April.  Four of the five measures decreased, leaving only the Major Purchase Index showing an increase.

  • Advertising still holds sway over consumers
    • 04/27/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    Advertising still holds sway over consumers

    We asked 20,000 consumers globally which factors influence most their shopping decisions. Take a look at our infographic and get the answer.

  • The next evolution: Moms of today and tomorrow
    • 04/25/17
    • Home Appliances
    • Financial Services
    • Consumer Health
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Automotive
    • Consumer Goods
    • FMCG
    • Home and Living
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Consumer Life
    • GfK-MRI
    • United States
    • English

    The next evolution: Moms of today and tomorrow

    We now are entering "the next evolution" of parenting, with new forces impacting the roles of Moms and Dads. Record stress levels, the gig economy, and tech disruptions are ushering in dramatic changes in what today’s Moms and Dads feel, do, expect, and wish for.

    • 04/21/17
    • Retail
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Retail today and tomorrow: Innovating in the age of disruption

    Today’s changing retail environment is proving to be a major test of marketers’ agility.

    It is no secret that the convenience of online shopping has drawn customers away from traditional brick-and-mortar outlets. Walking from store to store in search of the perfect outfit or gift has transformed, in many cases, into jumping from website to website, credit card in hand.  Along with this major transformation has come many difficult adjustments.

    So where does this leave brick-and-mortar stores?

    The role of the store itself is being re-defined in our modern age, as traditional storefronts turn into immersive showrooms and leisure destinations, and much more.  Retailers, and specifically mall operators, are aiming for more experiential elements, while foregoing traditional anchors for more entertainment-based locations like movie theaters and gyms.

    GfK’s FutureBuy® data shows that people who shop in brick-and-mortar stores do so because they can physically see the product before they buy, they shop there routinely and they get “instant gratification” by getting the products much sooner.  When they shop online, however, the reasons tend to be saving money, better selection and the overall ease of shopping.

    Given these dramatic changes, marketers need to play to the strengths of traditional retail stores – and keep a few key lessons in mind.

    1. Stay agile.  In today’s retail environment, marketers have to be flexible and creative to satisfy the evolving consumer.  We see a trend where shopping spaces are increasingly being integrated into traditional urban surroundings, like the shops at the Oculus of New York’s World Trade Center or in Chinese open cities, with stores and interactive park-like features (trees, water fountains, shops and screens) that create a new shopping “village”.  There are numerous new business models that brands can leverage in new ways.
    2. Capitalize on the online-offline experience.  Consumers desire rewarding experiences.  The latest data from GfK Consumer Life shows that experience is the #1 trend in the United States, and store shopping remains a key leisure pursuit. Three in four Americans agree that “it’s fun to browse stores and see what’s new and different”.  The current market is seeing big online players capitalizing on this trend as they open brick-and-mortar retail locations.  For example, Amazon bookstores allow you to buy books in-store or have a fun retail experience, but lighten your load by having the book delivered or letting you purchase a digital copy.  Warby Parker and Bonobos are popular online players who have showrooms.  At Bonobos, you can visit ether of the “Guideshops” get 1-1 attention from a “Guide” to get the exact fit and measurement of your clothing, but you walk out hands-free, without paying for delivery of your chosen items.  This can surely help personalize the experience, and alleviate some of the operating costs that physical retailers face to be more competitive with pure online players.

      On the flipside, customization can be a challenge for online-only brands.  Nearly four in ten Americans agree that they like to buy products that can be tailored to their needs.  Major retailers are starting to optimize their brick and mortar footprint to maximize the omnichannel fulfillment with click & collect and filling excess square footage with shop-in-shop concepts.  But the real challenge for brick and mortar retailers is how to keep up online without killing their margins.
    3. Use new technology to your advantage.  We are at the tipping point of the AI explosion, and Artificial Intelligence will surely enhance the online shopping experience.  In fact, almost three in ten Americans (28%) would try out new products before buying them, such as cars or paint colors, and a quarter (24%) would use a VR headset to shop as if they were in a real store.  Virtual reality in particular could be useful in a brick-and-mortar showroom.  AI is being used much more to improve product search effectiveness on retailer websites and in making product recommendations than from a virtual “trying out” process.

      Lowe’s has been using VR well, in helping customers visualize what decorating a room in their house might look like (along with augmented reality technology) and North Face for the outdoor experience.  AI will certainly help with product search and IBM’s Watson AI is paving the way to improve product recommendations.  AI is just the tip of the iceberg as a lot can be said for bots and drones, which as they are starting to play a much greater role to the retail environment and logistics.

    Disruptive times call for staying attuned with consumers’ changing needs and lifestyles.  We are at the brink of the 4th industrial revolution, which will undoubtedly shape the future of many aspects of consumers’ lives, including how we shop.  Thus, the time for keeping a close eye on new technologies and innovating for the future has never been better.

    Jola Burnett is a Vice President on the Consumer Life team at GfK. She can be reached at jola.burnett@gfk.com.

  • Boosting a distributor’s competitive advantage in ecommerce
    • 04/20/17
    • Retail
    • Digital Market Intelligence
    • Global
    • English

    Boosting a distributor’s competitive advantage in ecommerce

    Our product data and ecommerce technology solutions empower S.P. Richards’ dealers to increase their online sales.

  • E-commerce increases its share of TCG sales in Europe
    • 04/05/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    E-commerce increases its share of TCG sales in Europe

    Take a look at our 'E-commerce continues to grow in Europe' infographic for more information on online/offline sales on product group and country level.

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