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Smart insights: Retail

The pace of change in the retail industry is driven by digital advancements: more touchpoints, more product reviews and comparisons for consumers to access anytime, anywhere. And more variety in the path to purchase of shoppers.

To stay competitive and relevant, retail businesses need to understand evolving shopping behaviors and target group demands. They need to apply this knowledge to create differentiated experiences across both digital and physical environments.

Our retail industry research experts provide the insights to support you at every stage: from measuring your shoppers’ experiences and paths to purchase, to monitoring retail performance and trends.

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    • 12/02/16
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Promotion and Causal Retail
    • Connected Consumer
    • Future of Retail
    • Global
    • English

    Promotions are particularly popular with young consumers

    Price comparison sites, product demos, coupons - which promotions appeal most to which age group? See for yourself with our infographic!
    • 11/29/16
    • Retail
    • Geomarketing
    • Geodata
    • Geo+RealEstate
    • Picture of the month
    • Global
    • English

    Map of the month: GfK Purchasing Power Europe 2016

    GfK's Map of the Month for November illustrates Europe's purchasing power density at the 2-digit postcode level. Purchasing power density refers to the purchasing power sum per square kilometer (source: "GfK Purchasing Power Europe 2016").
    • 11/23/16
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Promotion and Causal Retail
    • Connected Consumer
    • Future of Retail
    • Global
    • English

    Which promotions have real appeal for male and female shoppers?

    Shoppers love bargains. From coupons to product samples, which promotions work best with women and which with men? Our infographic reveals the answer.
    • 11/17/16
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    The old and new of holiday shopping trends

    With the election season now behind us, Americans can now set their sights onto a new season (with perhaps the same level of uncertainty – for marketers, brands and companies at least): holiday shopping.  This year the National Retail Federation expects holiday sales to reach $630.5 billion.  Additionally, online sales are expected to increase to as much as $105 billion.  While we all wait for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the rest of the shopping season to arrive, here are a few prominent trends – both old and new – that companies need to keep top of mind.

    Deal-Seeking Mentality

    One of the first things that might come to mind for holiday shoppers is deals and sales.  With good measure too – GfK Consumer Life data shows that about eight in ten Americans get “really satisfied, even excited, when they get a really good deal”.  And the timeframes for these deals are only getting longer to help companies stay close to the consumer – Amazon already launched holiday deals on November 1 as part of its Black Friday Deals Store.  We as consumers cannot get away from the ‘value’ we get out of a product based on the price we pay for it.  Whether it’s through coupons or just plain visually seeing a ‘price-slash’, sales and deals will certainly have to be a mainstay to draw holiday shoppers in.

    Online + In-store Shopping Convergence

    Innovative shopping experiences continue to emerge as consumers want the ‘best of both worlds’ from both online and in-store.  Nearly eight in ten Americans agree the worst part of shopping in stores is “having to deal with crowds and long lines” (hello, Black Friday…). Yet nearly an equal number agree that “it’s fun to browse in stores to see what’s new”.  Along the same lines, three in four believe they can find “a variety of items online that are hard to find in stores”.  But most consumers also feel that they “don’t like shopping online because they can’t see, touch, or try on things before buying”. Where are the opportunities then? It seems as though consumers really can’t decide which channel they prefer – so a hybrid of both is an emerging solution that will continue to penetrate.  Successful companies and marketers will combine positive facets from both channels to play into consumer tendencies.  For example, Boston-based retailer Wayfair is implementing virtual reality headsets as a new way for consumers to browse and buy products virtually in the comfort of their own home; it also allows users to drop a virtual product into any room to see how it fits.

    Streamlining Online Retail Channels

    While consumers will continue to go to standard e-tailers for their online shopping, look for them to further streamline.  More than seven in ten (72%) Americans are “always looking for ways to simplify my life”.  Since online shopping itself incorporates streamlining more so than in-store shopping (as noted above under ‘convergence’), how can companies further simplify for the consumer? More and more, it really is turning into a speed & efficiency game.  Take Instagram’s newest rollout, for example – aligning product links between social apps and retailer sites can be far more efficient than finding a product of interest on a standalone site, only to have to “re-find” it again on a separate site.


    While ‘more of the same’ still exists with holiday shopping (see: sales & deals), innovations in both the online and in-store shopping areas are continuously emerging.  The smart company and marketer will still leverage deal-based promotions to target the basic inclinations of the holiday shopper, while balancing the ‘good’ from both online & in-store outlets. New and innovative ways that appeal to their needs around simplification & efficiency of the shopping process will also generate success this season and beyond. Mihir Bhatt is a Senior Consultant on the Consumer Life team at GfK. He can be reached at

    Are you positioned well for the Future of Retail?

    Find out from our industry experts
  • Brand and Customer Experience (BaCE)

    Brand and Customer Experience (BaCE)

    Brands are under pressure to develop emotional connections and relationships with consumers and business decision makers.  Brands need to respond in-the-moment, to enrich the customer experience – and develop strategies that influence ”moments of truth” throughout individual brand journeys.  

  • Consumer Panels

    Consumer Panels

    Your business is all about your consumers. So understanding them is essential in ensuring your products and services meet their needs, and in identifying opportunities for growth.

    Our international consumer panel data and research expertise provide you with smart customer insights into who your consumers are, their attitudes and behaviors, across channels.

  • Digital Market Intelligence (DMI)

    Digital Market Intelligence (DMI)

    When consumers shop, search, communicate, gather information and engage with companies or brands online, they behave differently depending on which device or screen they are using. They expect a consistent experience regardless of the channel or device they are using.

  • Point of Sales Tracking

    Point of Sales Tracking

    Retailers and manufacturers are under pressure to develop products and services that maximize sales and profit and to keep customers coming back.

    Success relies on having the most up-to-date sales data, combined with robust analysis to understand which products and services are performing well in the market – and which are not. With this information, clients can set clear strategies for commercial growth and increase return on investment.

  • Shopper


    Digital continues to open up new paths to purchase, changing how and where people shop. More and more data becomes available every day, as shoppers embrace multi-channel brand experiences.

    To stay competitive in this big data, multi-channel environment, businesses need to identify and leverage the most relevant data along the entire path to purchase. With this, companies can optimize each step of the shopper journey. 

  • User Experience (UX)

    User Experience (UX)

    Our user experience (UX) research and design experts help our clients create and improve customer experiences for existing or new products and services

    Today’s consumer is bombarded with promises for compelling experiences. They are sophisticated and demanding.  To be successful, a new product or service needs to be intuitive, usable, engaging and desirable. The user experience needs to be emotional in order to be memorable.

  • Geomarketing


    Our geomarketing solutions and consultancy provide our clients with smart insights into location-specific factors that impact the success of business sites, shops, sales territories, target groups, as well as chain store and distribution networks.

  • Mystery Shopping

    Mystery Shopping

    Consumers face a complex array of brand touch points every day of their lives. To deliver a consistent brand experience, marketers need to know how consumers are actually experiencing their brand. Our mystery shoppers give you all the help you need to understand these experiences, and respond to them to maximize the return for your business.

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