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Smart insights: Technology

If you want to attract today's connected consumers, it's essential to embrace technology and to understand consumers' use of technology.

It is impossible to identify opportunities or design superior consumer experiences that secure loyal, returning customers unless you have accurate understanding of your customers' current experiences, unmet needs, evolving choices and future expectations.

Our technology market research experts give you this information.

We deliver market and consumer insights that help you create engaging and relevant concept designs, product positioning, advertising and customer experiences. And our key performance indicators for brand, proposition development and user experience keep you focused on the actions that will deliver the strongest business results.

Whatever specialist technology sector you operate in, we provide insights on market performance, consumer research and trends at both global and local level: IT and IT B2B, consumer electronics (CE), photo, office equipment, home appliances (MDA), telecommunications hardware and telecoms service providers.

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    • 08/22/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Promotion and Causal Retail
    • Global
    • English

    Whitepaper: Six steps to getting your online pricing right

    Download our white paper in which we’ve identified six core activities that you need to master in order to make the right pricing decisions.
    • 08/11/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    How is the smartphone transforming brick and mortar retail?

    When we think about how smartphones have changed the retail landscape, it often revolves around how e-commerce is banishing traditional brick-and-mortar establishments to obsolescence. At least, that’s what you would gather from sensational news reports about the current mall crisis in the US and the shutdown of several local stores in Singapore such as furniture store, iwannagohome and fashion brand, Raoul. Here’s a story that’s less newsworthy, but equally true. Rather than being the harbinger of doom and gloom of physical retailers, the smartphone also has enormous potential to transform physical retail for the better. The smartphone has made shopping a breeze with apps for fashion, groceries, electronics and food, with the likes of Zalora, Lazada, Redmart and Honestbee. If implemented effectively as part of an omnichannel marketing strategy, smartphones could somewhat ironically be the key to survival for physical retail outlets. For the uninitiated, the idea of omnichannel marketing is simple. Brands need to provide customers with a seamless experience, regardless of channel or device. Whether it’s in-store, online, via social media or through a smartphone app, the consumer’s experience should be consistent and complementary. A one-size fits all approach does not work though, as shoppers behave differently by country. That’s why it’s essential for retailers to have market research intelligence on shopper needs and behavior, to tailor retail strategies for the local market.

    Smartphones have enhanced our lives

    In our 2016 Connected Consumers Report, we referred to the smartphone as the ‘hub of the consumer’s life’ – a nexus where their offline lives meet their digital ones. Smartphones are the top choice for online shopping (it used to be the desktop) as they give shoppers numerous benefits and convenience. Our research shows that 45% of all shopping is influenced by mobile, and without having to enter the physical stores, shoppers can avoid queues, order ahead and enjoy customized offers. Smartphones are also beneficial for e-commerce sites that want to move offline, for example Amazon – which has recently been making headlines for opening bookstores and grocery stores. Amazon has been using mobile technology to track customer preferences and sales, and enabling shoppers to grab groceries and walk out of the store as the order gets posted to the shopper’s Amazon account later. Closer to Singapore, we’ve seen homegrown brands like Naiise, HipVan and Love Bonito extend their online presence offline in shopping malls. Naiise for example, offers self-collection services at its physical stores for online orders. hbspt.cta.load(2405078, '19fbe304-01ff-4a00-a0a7-7864a1840b6e', {});

    The role of smartphones in consumer retail

    In our global survey on consumers’ activities with mobile phones in stores, we found that globally, 40 percent of shoppers use their smartphones while in a physical store to compare prices and contact a friend for advice, while 23 percent and 22 percent buy products through an app or through a website respectively, proving that once customers step through the door, even more can be done to seal the deal. Beauty retailer Sephora for example, has successfully used augmented reality and lip-mapping technology in it’s app – Sephora Virtual Artist, to instantly and effortlessly help users figure out which of 3,000 lipsticks shades suits them most – a typically time consuming task. Singapore shopping malls such as 313@Somerset and Parkway Parade have been experimenting with proximity marketing and mobile location analytics to reach out to shoppers who are surfing nearby, in a more targeted manner while showcasing offerings effectively. Through proximity alerts, patrons are able to enjoy exclusive deals, purchase and redeem their items immediately.

    Winning consumers with customized mobile services

    One of the most valuable resources of a smartphone is that it can provide retailers with information, which is key to capturing brand loyalty – a trait that today’s spoiled-for-choice Connected Consumers are lacking. Brands can leverage customer data and point-of-sales (POS) analytics to offer more personalized services such as customized offers. In turn, this presents an opportunity to generate long-term relationships. AsiaMalls for example, which owns six heartland malls, has seen success with AMperkz, its card-less loyalty program that enables personalized and location-based rewards and exclusive member offers. Starbucks too, has seen massive success in the past six years by taking its popular loyalty program to the mobile platform, resulting in higher sales, customer loyalty and foot traffic. Last year, 25 percent of the chain’s transactions in the United States were from a smartphone. Mobile Order & Pay, the company’s mobile order-ahead service has been lauded for providing convenience, but the code behind it – the data-driven algorithm to predict, personalize and recommend individual offerings at checkout shouldn’t be understated either as it’s a data-driven Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm based on consumers’ preferences and behavior; and behaviors that Starbucks is trying to drive. In the age of the Connected Consumer, omnichannel shopping is becoming the new normal. Therefore, understanding the shopper’s purchase journey is crucial – and this is one of the toughest challenges faced by retailers today. However, armed with research insights on the route shoppers take when making a purchase, ways in which different online and offline touchpoints influence their purchase decision, and the type of media they are exposed to; retailers can optimize their omnichannel strategy. Karthik Venkatakrishnan is Regional Director at GfK. To share your thoughts, please email karthik.venkatakrishnan@gfk.com or leave a comment below. hbspt.cta.load(2405078, '19fbe304-01ff-4a00-a0a7-7864a1840b6e', {});
    • 08/07/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Global
    • English

    Retail Trend Monitor 2017: Technology will make the difference in retail

    Changes in the retail landscape, driven in part by the mobile revolution and resulting changes in consumer shopping preferences, have revealed new opportunities for retailers. However, with many of the arising opportunities requiring significant investment in technology, the challenge for retailers is knowing which of these to invest in to secure future success.

    A phased approach to retail technology investment

    Those technologies that will help retailers to meet current and future consumer trends and expectations can be classified according to two distinct groups, reflecting a phased approach to retail technology investment: One: Those technological developments with a high relevance today and which will remain the focus of investment in the future. These include big data analytics (relating to both consumers and the supply chain) and mobile capabilities like shopping apps. Two: Those technological innovations that have lower relevance today, but which are predicted to become the focus of future investment. It is by anticipating the most influential technologies of tomorrow that retailers can stay one step ahead of the competition. Examples of such technologies include check-out less stores, and virtual and augmented reality. These were the findings of our Retail Trend Monitor 2017, a 51-country online survey of 346 retailers and industry experts. The study examines the technologies in which retailers should invest in the context of exploring those key retail trends that are having the most impact now and those that will have the greatest influence in the future.

    Retail trends having the most impact today and tomorrow

    According to the retailers who participated in our study, the convenience of the shopping experience (89%) is the leading driver of current retail developments but personalized marketing and the seamlessness of the cross-channel experience will gain in relevance. While they anticipate mobile communication to be the top driver in the future owing to the growing popularity of shopping anytime and anywhere, they also expect convenience to remain a dominant force. Convenience underpins many of the other drivers of change and innovations in the retail space. Closely related to anything that makes consumers’ lives easier, the concept of convenience is however constantly evolving. Today, of course, it is closely associated with mobile retail. However, according to the retail experts who participated in our study, the future of convenience will be about retailers themselves providing greater transparency of information (e.g. price comparison/review websites and social media). What’s more, it will be about them offering a seamless shopping experience across channels, and personalized marketing information and offers.

    Future success is founded on having the right retail insights

    Convenience and personalization will play a major role in shaping the future of retail. Achieving a more convenient and personalized shopping experience, one that meets consumers’ expectations, is dependent on choosing the right retail format and investing in the right technology. With the right intelligence, retailers have the opportunity to not only address but also exceed consumers’ expectations, thereby surprising and delighting them. Those retailers that achieve this will be the success stories of today and tomorrow. hbspt.cta.load(2405078, '85cb430c-ecc0-4f1b-8811-a04b4bb18e7a', {});
    • 08/07/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Global
    • English

    White paper: The key drivers of retail change – now and next

    Read our latest whitepaper to learn how to succeed in this space. Inside you’ll find analysis from our experts and insights from our 51-country online survey of 346 retails and industry players.
Solutions
  • 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.  

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Market Opportunities and Innovation (MOI)

    Market Opportunities and Innovation (MOI)

    Brands are under constant pressure to maintain relevance in an increasingly crowded market. Identifying when, where and how to deliver compelling experiences that deliver new value for both consumers and brands is critical.

  • Trends & Forecasting

    Trends & Forecasting

    ​Today’s steady stream of new offerings and shortening product lifecycles place a unique pressure on businesses to stay ahead. Consumer purchasing behavior shifts more rapidly than ever.

  • Geomarketing

    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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