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  • ABTO 2.0: bringing market research innovation to the Belgian travel industry
    • 09/25/17
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Belgium
    • English

    ABTO 2.0: bringing market research innovation to the Belgian travel industry

    As announced, ABTO, the Belgian Tour Operation Association, will bring strong innovation to its market research as part of their brand new strategic plan. 

  • The mood of the world today – what are people thinking?
    • 09/06/17
    • Fashion and Lifestyle
    • Home Appliances
    • Financial Services
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Automotive
    • Consumer Goods
    • FMCG
    • Home and Living
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Consumer Life
    • Global
    • English

    The mood of the world today – what are people thinking?

    In this free on-demand webinar, our experts dive into current consumer confidence and other key indicators of the consumer mindset and what it means for individual markets and brands.

  • The mood of the world today – what are people thinking?
    • 09/06/17
    • Fashion and Lifestyle
    • Home Appliances
    • Financial Services
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Automotive
    • Consumer Goods
    • FMCG
    • Home and Living
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • United States
    • English

    The mood of the world today – what are people thinking?

    In this webinar, our experts dive into current consumer confidence and other key indicators of the consumer mindset and what it means for individual markets and brands.

  • The mood of the world today – what are people thinking?
    • 09/06/17
    • Fashion and Lifestyle
    • Home Appliances
    • Financial Services
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Automotive
    • Consumer Goods
    • FMCG
    • Home and Living
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Canada
    • English

    The mood of the world today – what are people thinking?

    In this webinar, our experts dive into current consumer confidence and other key indicators of the consumer mindset and what it means for individual markets and brands.

  • Three ways disabled rail customers can expect disruption to their journey
    • 09/01/17
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Mystery Shopping
    • United Kingdom
    • English

    Three ways disabled rail customers can expect disruption to their journey

    As the Department for Transport puts more emphasis on accessible transport, removing barriers for passengers with disabilities should be a priority for Train Operating Companies (TOCs).

  • UK Consumer Confidence up two points in August
    • 08/31/17
    • Fashion and Lifestyle
    • Financial Services
    • Health
    • Consumer Health
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Consumer Goods
    • FMCG
    • Energy
    • United Kingdom
    • English

    UK Consumer Confidence up two points in August

    Increases in all five measures but is this a dead-cat bounce over the dog-days of summer?

    • 07/25/17
    • Health
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Consumer Goods
    • Global
    • English

    How brands can appeal to pet parents

    With several family members on the move this spring, my husband and I found ourselves temporary caretakers for a series of pets including our niece’s cat. She was a sweet houseguest, although our own two cats didn’t think so. Fortunately, we are empty nesters with enough space that our feline lodger had her own two-room suite. Talk about being pampered!

    We are long-time devoted pet owners ourselves, so I wasn’t surprised at the amount of equipment, toys and other accoutrements that my niece dropped off with her “only child.” I was, however, slightly bemused by the tube of Freshpet refrigerated food she brought in a cooler. As a health-focused Millennial, she is a prime target for these products. I dutifully purchased refills during our guest’s stay, but didn’t become a convert. On the other hand, I was inspired to purchase a vertical scratching post for our cats.

    Our experience is a microcosm of several trends we’ve seen emerging in the pet market as a whole as GfK’s Point-of-Sale (POS) data reports show. Pet owners are focused on dietary health and trying new things. They don’t sit around the house all the time, either.

    Dogs versus cats

    Just over half of global consumers, 54 percent, are pet owners, according to the recently released GfK Consumer Life global study. One in three has dogs and about one in four has cats, while nearly 20 percent have fish, birds or other animals. There is overlap, of course. Almost half of cat owners also have dogs, and about one in three dog owners also have cats.

    Of the 21 countries covered in the study, pets are most popular in Latin America: Argentina, Mexico and Brazil, and dogs are by far the pet of choice. The only places where more people have cats than dogs are France, Germany, Indonesia, Russia and Sweden, although Russia is the only country where cat owners attain majority status, at 58 percent.

    Pets at home, on the road, and on the town

    Pet owners of the world are a mix of home-based and outgoing, finds the GfK global study. They are more likely than average to do yard work and home improvements on a regular basis, but are also more likely to go out for entertainment and to travel.

    This means that pet owners’ homes and yards need to be pet-friendly, whether they are home owners or renters. Growing numbers of apartment complexes are offering dog parks and dog-washing stations, for example.

    People don’t always want to leave their pet companions at home, though. The lodging industry is becoming more receptive to travelers with pets; resources like petwelcome.com can help locate them. But there are opportunities for all kinds of businesses to get involved, such as excursions and car rental agencies.

    Everyday destinations should think about accommodating pets, too. Stores with sidewalk access sometimes put out the welcome mat by offering water bowls and treats for dogs who are out and about with their human family members. Pet stores routinely allow pets, of course, and most places allow service dogs. But given the reports of heat-related deaths of pets left in cars every year, maybe more retailers should be pet-friendly. This doesn’t have to mean letting animals roam free; there are such things as pet strollers and places to safely park pets outside stores. Some large stores offer child-care services – why not a pet-sitting service?

    Healthy families include pets

    Global pet owners are more inclined than their peers to follow a specific diet for their health and to say that “local” is an important factor in their food and beverage choices. Furthermore, GfK Consumer Life research reveals that American pet owners are more likely than average to have used a meal-kit delivery service such as Blue Apron in the past month.

    Pets are often considered family members, so it follows that their owners will extend the attitudes they hold about their own health and food habits to their animal companions. This has certainly been evident in the rising sales of pet foods that are free of certain ingredients and have few ingredients, according to the ongoing GfK pet-food POS study. Maybe locally produced pet products and meal-kit services will appeal, too.

    Innovations welcome

    Pet owners are more likely than average to agree that they are always “on the lookout for new products and services” and “looking for novelty and fun, even in everyday products.” They are also more interested in other people’s opinions about what to buy and tend to discuss products and brands on social media more often.

    This means that the pet market is one that is open to innovation and sharing information. Even if you’re not in the pet industry per se, there is almost certainly a way for you to be involved with these important members of the family.

    Diane Crispell is a Senior Consultant on the Consumer Life team at GfK. She can be reached at diane.crispell@gfk.com.

    • 06/30/17
    • Retail
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Why travel brands shouldn’t forget about the role of the store

    You may be forgiven for thinking that high street travel agencies are a bit of an anachronism in today’s world. After all, who would go to a retail outlet filled with paper brochures while a uniformed member of staff tapped your details into their computer, when it’s possible to book a package or even tailor-make your own bespoke itinerary without leaving your home? Well, research from GfK suggests that the answer to this question may surprise you, with younger travelers and Leading Edge Consumers actually more likely to visit stores as part of their vacation purchase journey.

    A need for physical travel stores

    Of course, online retailing has been accounting for an ever-larger chunk of consumer spending for many years, but despite this many analysts feel there is still a place for physical stores, as a place you can actually look at and touch products before buying, as well as get advice from experts. While the former aspect is not one that is so relevant for travel, the latter certainly is, and could help explain why there is a continued consumer need for physical travel stores on our high streets.

    This phenomenon first came to our attention when looking at some research on the travel sector we’d done here in the UK. We asked consumers which sources they’d used when deciding what kind of holiday to go on, with 20% mentioning high street travel agents as part of this process. Interestingly, however, this figure was higher (23%) among Travel Leading Edge Consumers, who are market mavens with a particular category passion according to GfK’s proprietary definition. What’s more, the figure was even higher among those aged 25-34, at 29%, as opposed to lower among 45-59 year olds, at 11%.

    The presence of in-store travel agents

    These figures suggest that users of high street travel agencies may not be who you’d initially suspect, but in fact there are compelling reasons in both cases. Category passionates are always on the lookout for new places to go, and want to maximize the enjoyment of their holiday, while younger consumers may also be less set on going to a particular destination and would value some help and advice. In both cases, the presence of in-store travel experts is likely to be a boon. After all, buying an overseas holiday could count as one of the biggest purchases in a shopper’s year, and the level of expectation placed on a big vacation could be considerable. We know from our GfK Consumer Life data that 44% of global consumers spend quite a lot of time researching brands before making a major purchase.

    Another consideration, raised in a recent article extolling the virtues of the high street travel agent, is the simplicity and luxury of getting someone else to do the hard work and put together a great holiday. While consumers do now have the online tools available to them to book all the various aspects of a holiday and in some cases save money, there can still be a lot of virtual legwork required to find the cheapest flights, most convenient transfers and nicest accommodation. The increasing realization may be that lowest price doesn’t always equate to best value. Indeed, four in ten global consumers are prepared to pay a premium for products that make their life easier.

    Vacation curation starts with a conversation

    It also seems that travel agents themselves see the benefits of a long term commitment to retail stores. One prominent example is Kuoni, the luxury tour operator, who say that “it all starts with a conversation,” and highlight the fact that their holidays are tailor made by experts who will use their detailed knowledge of a destination and take into account the individual customer’s needs to curate the best break for them.

    The in-store experience: An opportunity to wow

    The in-store experience can also be augmented by interactive touchscreens, virtual reality headsets and more to immerse the customer in the process and bring destinations to life. According to GfK Consumer Life, the percentage of global consumers who say that virtual interactions with people or places can be as good as being there in person is steadily increasing, from 21% in 2011 to 30% now. This development highlights an opportunity for innovators in the technology sector to partner with retailers in travel and other categories to develop in-store experiences that will wow jaded customers.

    There are surely valuable learnings here for retailers in all categories. If even a category like travel, with no tangible product to display, finds brick and mortar stores to be an important part of the retail mix now and into the future, there’s bound to be a place for them elsewhere. Considering the role that only physical stores can play and the consumer needs that they address in your category could help you stay ahead in a highly competitive omnichannel environment.

    David Crosbie is a Director on the Consumer Life team at GfK. He can be reached at david.crosbie@gfk.com.

  • Unpacking South African Millennials
    • 06/06/17
    • Fashion and Lifestyle
    • Home Appliances
    • Financial Services
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Technology
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Automotive
    • Consumer Goods
    • FMCG
    • Home and Living
    • South Africa
    • English

    Unpacking South African Millennials

    Marketers are familiar with the global definition of Millennials but few understand these consumers in the South African context. GfK gives you a lens into the South African's millennial.

    • 04/27/17
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Global
    • English

    Relaxing vs. adventure: Breaking down vacation preferences around the world

    When it comes to taking a vacation, more than half of people (59%) surveyed internationally prefer a vacation where they “relax and take it easy”, according to our online study conducted in 17 different countries.

    In comparison, over a third (35%) said that they prefer “an active vacation where I do or see lots of things”.  Six percent of the respondents were not sure which type of vacation they prefer.

    Breaking down the results by the biggest factor: Age

    When analyzing the results of the study, there was next to no difference between the preferences of men and women.

    Age played a bit of a role, with teenagers being the most likely to be inclined to energetic vacations (43% prefer a vacation that is active vs. 51% who prefer to relax).  In addition, families with teenagers in the household are slightly more inclined to active holidays than others.

    This preference for energetic vacations then drops steadily with each age group, with those in their fifties and those aged sixty-plus both standing at one third who prefer an active vacation.

    Respondents aged in their forties had the highest percentage of people who prefer relaxing holidays, at nearly two thirds (64%).  In comparison, only 57% of people aged 60 and over say they favor a relaxing vacation.

    Preferred vacation type by country

    The results differed from country to country, with Italy (45%), France (44%) and Spain (43%) leading in percentage of their online population who prefer active vacations where they do and see lots of things.

    The countries that lead for having the highest percentages of people who prefer a relaxing vacation where they take it easy are Brazil (71%), South Korea (66%) and Japan (also 66%).

     

    “The value of these findings for the travel industry lies in combining this self-reported data with our travel insights, which are based on live forward booking data from a growing number of sales points,” comments Laurence Michael, global lead of travel and hospitality research. “With this multi-layered approach, we understand what is being booked and by whom – helping our clients to fine-tune their audience segmentation and identify customer potential, both globally and at country-specific level.”

    Whether travelers prefer relaxing or planning a more adventurous trip, it should be clear to brands that building on experiences can help leverage consumers’ current travel sentiments.  By utilizing emerging technologies in the travel space, travel brands have the opportunity to build customer loyalty by appealing to the individual consumer.

    About the study

    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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  • Almost twice as many people prefer relaxing vacations to active ones
    • 04/27/17
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Almost twice as many people prefer relaxing vacations to active ones

    Internationally, 59 percent of people prefer a relaxing vacation, while 35 percent prefer an active one. Brazil, South Korea and Japan lead for favoring relaxing vacations; Italy, France and Spain lead for active holidays. Teenagers are the most energetic, with 43 percent preferring active vacations.

  • Almost twice as many people prefer relaxing vacations to active ones
    • 04/27/17
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Australia
    • English

    Almost twice as many people prefer relaxing vacations to active ones

    Internationally, 59 percent of people prefer a relaxing vacation, while 35 percent prefer an active one. Brazil, South Korea and China lead for favoring relaxing vacations; Italy, France and Spain lead for active holidays. Teenagers are the most energetic, with 43 percent preferring active vacations.

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