Möchten Sie zur deutschen Seite wechseln?JaNeina
Close
Smart Automotive Insights image

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.

Industry newsletter

Get the latest GfK industry news

Discover the latest industry insights, trends and markets data with our newsletter. 

Latest insights

Here you can find the latest insights for retail industry. View all insights

    • 06/19/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Global
    • English

    Improving customer loyalty and retail experience through mobile payments

    Eight years ago, Starbucks developed its own app for mobile payments. Today, it’s still held up as the gold standard in the United States. In Asia’s rapidly developing market, where mobile payment is eight to nine years ahead of the West, things are quite different. In China, you can mobile pay for everything from a cab to a mojito or utility bill. In 2015, WeChat registered more financial transactions in one day than PayPal did during the entire 12 months. But it’s not just China that’s adopting the trend. Mobile payment is also making massive inroads in Southeast Asia as shopping apps are gaining popularity. In Singapore alone, there are 30,000 retail points accepting contactless payment methods such as Apple Pay, Android and Samsung Pay. In Indonesia, the most populous country in the region with 250 million people, most of the big traditional retailers are unveiling e-commerce plans of their own. In a recent GfK study: The Connected Asian Consumer, consumers in Singapore and Indonesia also reported fairly high usage incidence of shopping apps (37 and 35 percent respectively). This growth is fuelled by affordable smartphones, a massive young and tech-savvy population and efforts by governments and telco operators to expand and improve high-speed wireless networks. The future has never been clearer. It’s only a matter of time before mobile payment goes mainstream.

    The Connected Consumer

    Unfortunately for traditional retailers, the age of e-commerce has also produced a new consumer – we like to call them the ‘Connected Consumer’ – and their behaviors are shaping the future of retail. In the GfK 2016 FutureBuy survey of 20,000 consumers in 20 markets, it was found that shoppers are becoming less loyal to any one retailer. Almost half (46%) of all consumers (14-65 year olds) stated they were less loyal when shopping. This figure rises among the youngest consumers to 53% of Gen Y (18-29 years), and six in ten (58%) of Gen Z (14-17 years). For retailers who understand the Connected Consumer, there are opportunities to stay ahead of the competition – and mobile payments are a huge part of it.

    Customer loyalty

    Despite becoming less loyal, many Connected Consumers expect an omnichanel shopping experience when they interact with a brand. Connected Consumers in APAC seek the best of both worlds. For example, shoppers in China are the most likely to embrace omnichannel shopping – seven in 10 (71%) shop both online and in-store while Australian shoppers are the most likely to shun online: almost two thirds (62%) shop exclusively in-store. In contrast, Indians lead the way in online shopping with almost one quarter (23%) shopping the category exclusively online. Therefore it is important for retailers to understand the new reality of the omnichannel consumer, and know that the ‘whatever, whenever’ culture demands that user experience is seamless across all devices. If retailers don’t understand this, customers will simply delete their app and move on. We predict that mobile payment could halt the current trend for a decline in shopper loyalty. It makes sense, really. There are numerous benefits for shoppers: avoiding queues, centralizing loyalty rewards, checking stock, ordering ahead, enjoying customized offers and easy price comparison. At the same time, using customer and data analytics, retailers can receive customer data to offer more personalized services. In turn, this presents an opportunity to generate long-term relationships. However, it is important to note that not all Connected Consumers are the same. For example, older consumers aren’t as comfortable with sharing personal information as younger consumers. Understanding the shopper’s purchase journey is easier these days with research intelligence offering detailed information on the route shoppers take when making a purchase, and ways in which online and offline touchpoints influence their decisions. We believe that brands that understand, respect and protect consumers’ individual boundaries will deserve the loyalty they earn by doing so. As mobile payments continue to grow in APAC, businesses in various sectors such as financial services, cybersecurity and telco stand to gain and can evolve to support the changing landscape. For example, for telco operators, engaging with retail merchants and partners can help strengthen the overall service ecosystem to provide better end user experiences for consumers. Additionally, the design and development of payment services can also be integrated with other emerging technologies and competencies to offer differentiation to target audiences.

    Customer experiences

    Loyalty is great, but to really retain customers in today’s omnichannel space, shopping experience is equally important. To Connected Consumers, simplicity and convenience is paramount. Not only do they expect everything quickly, they also lose their patience faster.

    What does that mean for retailers?

    For large retailers, mobile payment offers the opportunity to segment and target consumers much more effectively with highly personalized offers and incentives. Discounts and offers can be integrated into mobile payment, replacing the need for physical coupons and entering information into a terminal. Connected Consumers will wave goodbye to the traditional checkout queue and benefit from a wealth of customized rewards. Mobile payment also offers a chance for small retailers to move into a new era of retailing. Freed from high transaction fees and with new ways to connect with consumers, small retailers can now embark on the kind of personalization and targeting that is usually the privilege of larger players. With e-commerce here to stay, there is plenty of potential for retail businesses to leverage research intelligence to adequately design and develop strategies to target this group of consumers. Essentially, the key to success is to fully understand shopper behavior and be led by what consumers ultimately want, without being blinded by what the technology can do. Karthik Venkatakrishnan is Regional Director at GfK. To share your thoughts, please email karthik.venkatakrishnan@gfk.com or leave a comment below.
    • 06/19/17
    • Retail
    • Product Catalogs
    • Global
    • English

    Empowering a global retailer to grow its online product assortment

    We help one of the world’s largest retailers improve its online shopping experience, increase sales and compete more effectively with digital rivals.
    • 06/15/17
    • Retail
    • Global
    • English

    3 easy ways to increase ecommerce sales through online product content

    U.S. ecommerce sales grew almost 15% in Q1 2017 compared to one year ago as reported by Internet Retailer.  With the growth of these sales comes increasing expectations from purchasers.  A recent GfK FutureBuy study shows that 54% of consumers are now less loyal to any one brand and need to shop around more to find the best value and 45% of retailers, advertisers, and brands have less influence on purchase decisions than ever before.  Yikes! So how will you influence your current and prospective customers to keep up with these trends? With accurate and quality product content that provides purchasers with the information they require to have confidence in a purchase decision and to increase your cart conversions.  Here are three ways in which you can stand out from your competitors: 1 – Add rich content elements.  Rich content includes multiple high resolution images, product manuals, brochures, videos, virtual tours, feature benefit bullets, etc.  Adding rich product content better engages and informs your customers, increasing the likelihood of a purchase conversion and making it less likely for them to return your product.  For example, according to Panomatics, websites with virtual tours / videos typically keep visitors on the product page 3 times longer!
    hbspt.cta.load(2405078, 'dc5a5b44-fd78-47b8-abd2-2a0b25b1b376', {}); 2 – Create enhanced content.  If you’re not familiar with this term, it has been made most popular with Amazon by being referred to as A+ content.  However, it is now being accepted and encouraged to be displayed among top e-retailers like Walmart and Newegg and distributors such as D&H Distributing and SP Richards.  Enhanced content, aka A+ content, allows you to get creative with your product content design and information, helping you to convert and better inform those customers seeking product information beyond basic marketing content and product specifications.  82% of consumers go online to do product research before buying (Deloitte) so it is crucial that you grab your customer’s attention and keep it.
    hbspt.cta.load(2405078, 'dc5a5b44-fd78-47b8-abd2-2a0b25b1b376', {}); 3- Optimize your product content for search.  If you are a brand, you’ll want to create an account for Google Manufacturer Center.  Google now offers a tool for brands to have major influence over the product data being displayed in Google Search and Shopping results.  Content was once controlled by retailers but brands are now empowered to ensure their product titles, descriptions and images are accurate and of high-quality.  And when Google recognizes better, more relevant content they bump up your search rankings, so that you can be found first, leading to quicker sales.
    hbspt.cta.load(2405078, '0297a4ad-f910-4a0d-86cc-8c5be2498f8a', {}); Today’s Connected Consumers love to find value by shopping around online.  The best way to stand out in the market is to have accurate, relevant and helpful content around your products.  Whether you’re looking for rich content elements, enhanced content or need to better manage your product data, product content can help you to influence purchase decisions and ultimately increase sales.
    • 06/14/17
    • Retail
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Global
    • English

    How retailers can build customer loyalty – one good experience at a time

    This post was co-authored by Heather Rakauskas. When asked to name their number-one challenge today, most retailers respond “improving customer loyalty”. At a time when online resources and ecommerce sites have placed shoppers firmly in control – able to find the best price, with SAP delivery, in seconds – having a long-term connection to consumers becomes invaluable. One of the few forces that can offset “lowest price wins” buying is consumer trust in and comfort with a brand.  

    The importance of customer loyalty programs

    This makes retailer loyalty programs even more important. They come in many shapes and sizes – personalized coupons, fuel rewards, VIP offers, surprises at checkout, free shipping, and points tiers, to name a few; but they all serve to remind customers why they should return to the brands they already know. Loyalty programs can also provide essential customer data that gives additional insights into promotion use, product trial and repeat, the identities of best customers, and more. And smart retailers assess the effectiveness of loyalty programs in a variety of ways – ongoing use of the offers, yearly value delivered by participants, and more. When launching a new loyalty effort, some retailers may even conduct a concept test, because this is a big investment with high expectations to meet. This due diligence often overlooks a key element of consumer satisfaction, though: the user experience.

    Applying UX research to loyalty programs

    Companies commonly apply “UX” principles and research to their websites and apps, closely observing and questioning users to find out what challenges and frustrations they might have experienced. By addressing the UX before launch, companies can head off major issues that could cripple acceptance and even create image problems for the brand. Loyalty programs deserve the same careful scrutiny – especially since they become an important part of the omni-channel experience, affecting communication and access both online and in-store. Loyalty use is experiential, not just transactional, and we should be viewing our programs through that lens. When assessing the user experience of a loyalty program, it is essential to look at both the offer and the interfaces (website, app and store), studying issues such as:
    • communication effectiveness for both process (how it works) and benefits
    • areas of confusion, irritation, inconveniences, and disconnection
    • delivery against expectations
    • drivers of and barriers to use — for both initial and return visits
    • consistency and usability across all program touchpoints
    One important tip for the work – include your front-line associates in this evaluation, if they are tasked with communicating or executing your program.

    Enhancing the overall customer experience

    When doing this work, you are determining how to optimize the program experience to encourage more sign-ups and, importantly, more active users. You are hoping this program experience not only drives purchases but enhances the overall customer experience, providing a halo effect on the overall brand and strengthening the relationships you have with your customers. With goals as lofty as these, it makes sense to employ UX research to make sure you are connecting with and satisfying users to the highest degree, with nothing left to chance. To share your thoughts, leave a comment below or email wendy.wallner@gfk.com or heather.rakauskas@gfk.com.
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.  

  • 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

    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

    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.

Contact us
General