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Smart Insights: Consumer Goods

The number of touchpoints between brands and consumers is increasing at an unprecedented rate. Consumers are seeking richer retail experiences, rather than simply acquiring new products. There is also an intense competition for loyalty.

To be successful, consumer goods (FMCG, domestic appliances, home and living) companies need a comprehensive understanding of what is driving consumer choices and experiences at every touchpoint.

GfK's consumer goods research and insights illuminate the trends behind today's market realities and tomorrow's consumer demands.

Fast Moving Consumer Goods

Home Appliances

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

    • 07/13/17
    • Consumer Goods
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Conquering Connected Shoppers: Maximize Omnichannel Opportunities

    Check out how we can provide you with insights into effective consumer-centric omnichannel strategies that help you conquer connected shoppers in the digital world – and beyond.
    • 07/06/17
    • Consumer Goods
    • Global
    • English

    Strong momentum for built-in major domestic appliances an opportunity for brands

    Built-in major domestic appliances (MDAs) like built-in hobs, cookers/stoves, dish washers, freezers, microwaves, tumble dryers and washing machines were the pacemaker in global sales growth in the market in 2016. Taking almost $1 of every $4 spent, sales of built-in MDAs increased 3.6%. Without the contribution of built-in, the global MDA market would not have grown at all in 2016. And we see continued momentum for built-in in 2017. What is making the built-in market so attractive? Compared to freestanding products, built-in often trades at a substantial premium. Built-in refrigerators, for example, can retail at $764 as a global average, some 50% more than a freestanding refrigerator. Built-in dishwashers are selling at a 20% premium, compared to their freestanding counterparts. Built-in MDAs are a compelling business opportunity that manufacturers won’t want to miss.

    Europe is still the key market

    The key market is Western Europe, where built-in appliances enjoy 39% share of sales value. The countries in which built-in is most popular are Germany and The Netherlands (see table below). Central East Europe is now picking up, with Poland taking the lead, showing double-digit annual value growth rates. Outside Europe, built-in MDAs enjoy their highest share in China, followed by Australia and the US. While European, US and Australian built-in markets are already highly developed, China still focuses mainly on hobs and hoods. Apart from China, Turkey is one of the most dynamic geographic markets for built-in products. In Latin America, where built-in is still comparatively underdeveloped, Columbia is the star. The momentum of built-in has continued and a highlight of the first quarter of 2017 is the clear strength of Turkey. Built-in share value of overall MDA sales (January – April 2017) [1] In value (local currency)
    [2] Source: MDA World Market Estimation (forecast 2017)

    Growth in Europe is due to technology and economy

    Built-in appliances are benefiting from high consumer spending in the face of historically low interest rates. In this environment, premium segments currently gain significant momentum. Forces driving the market include demand for a healthier lifestyle. One example is cooking with steam. Consumer demand for convenience and time-saving has led to a strong performance of pyrolytic ovens and induction hobs. New form-factors like hobs with integrated hoods are also driving the market. Other growth factors are energy efficiency and environmental motivations such as the ability to cut down on the use of water or electricity. Today’s Connected Consumer is also looking for smart built-in products such as hoods that communicate with the cooker to ensure optimal power use. Market size and growth of key built-in markets in West Europe3 (January – April 2017) [3] Source: GfK Point of Sales, data for 14 countries in Western Europe

    Middle-class demand drives Chinese built-in market

    And outside Europe? The main factor is the rising middle class – especially in China. In this market, affluent urban tastes mean the consumer trend is for a kitchen finish in the contemporary Western style. We expect the excitement around built-in appliances to continue and look forward to seeing the growth figures for all of 2017. hbspt.cta.load(2405078, '5fa7fc28-73c4-4888-86ab-1581f16b365d', {});
    • 07/05/17
    • Retail
    • Consumer Goods
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Conquering the Connected Shopper and their multiple paths to purchase

    Conquering today’s connected shopper is a battle. Consumers’ expectations of convenience, choice, price and experience are continually escalating. Whatever you make or sell, the true power rests in the palm of shoppers’ hands. The “always-on” culture of connectivity puts both manufacturers and retailers under intense pressure to stay relevant and create “fans for life”. This is a cut-throat, slim profit environment that is further endangered by emerging hyper-competition from global marketplaces. Conversion is more key than ever. No retailer or manufacturer has a free pass to success. No existing business models are guaranteed. For instance, in the recent past, the generalists and the manufacturers that supplied them were all-powerful. Today, specialists and global market places like Amazon are squeezing the generalist model. Clearly, whatever the sector, whatever the scale or geography, all players must constantly re-evaluate their strategies and tactics to ensure they win the connected shopper’s business. It is essential to constantly be on top of your shopper by focusing on the right touchpoints at the right moment throughout the whole omnichannel path to purchase. So, if you’re serious about conquering the connected shopper, you must understand today’s retail environment and anticipate tomorrow’s trends to plan and prepare for the future.

    The connected retail transformation: Two very different routes to purchase

    Retail is transforming to keep pace with the connected shopper and their demands. We believe that in the future, shopping will either be functional, rational and efficient, or it will need to offer an emotional connection or be an experience. Our two future scenarios for retail in the connected world are rooted in our extensive knowledge gained from researching consumers. What is common to them all is that the shopper is front and center, and has more control than ever before of how they shop and what they buy.

    One: Staying in

    Here the smart home of the future takes over the functional aspects of shopping, ordering and replenishing supplies as they run out. Never fear, this won’t disengage shoppers from brands, as virtual and augmented reality will come to the rescue. For fun, connected shoppers will be able to try on clothes, trial appliances and test drive cars – all from the comfort of their home.

    Two: Going out

    If you leave the comfort of your home to shop, there will be two very different options. On the one hand, much shopping will become uber-convenient, super-fast and easy with in-store GPS navigation, pick up points, automated payments (no queues) and minimal browsing. Mobile phones will have a key role to play, becoming hand-held shopping trip assistants. On the other, retailers will offer experiences, where shopping will be seamlessly integrated into socializing and entertainment. The smartphone will be the connector of the personalized digital and physical retail world, for chatting, browsing, sharing experiences and paying. Whether shopping from the home or when out and about, manufacturers will increasingly focus on their own omnichannel retail concepts. They will want to get closer to their shoppers and find personalization-driven business models where this can deliver a profit.

    Getting up close and personal with the connected shopper

    There is no one “connected shopper”, every consumer and every purchase is unique. For a 360° perspective, you need to evaluate the key target audience segments in detail. How do they behave, what are their need states, how can you meet their expectations? From Gen X, Y and Z to iBrains, Millennials and Baby Boomers, we’ll help you identify and reach your audience with the relevant product, service and experience at the right point in their purchase journey. With more consumers than ever saying they feel overwhelmed by choice, understanding and helping shoppers find the products they really want will become a core tenet of the successful retailer. Relevance and persuasion will become more important as key success factors. As a result, many retail marketing budgets are shifting to content and attribution marketing to be closer to the shopper during the moments that matter. The focus will be less on where the purchase happens, and much more on how you can influence it. Having an in-depth customer understanding is essential if you are to offer shoppers the all-important personalized product or service, such as H&M’s customized dress designed with Google. And it’s most definitely key if you want to anticipate their needs to increase their basket size and grow loyalty.

    Reinventing business models

    Achieving a profit requires a laser-like focus on logistics and operations, constant innovation, relevant marketing, perfect customer service, excellent customer and market intelligence… the list is infinite. By focusing on the connected shopper and building a true picture of buyers of all sorts of products and services, you can identify the business models that give you the best chance of success in the retail transformation. Marco Wolters is Global Industry Lead Fashion, Home & Lifestyle at GfK. He can be reached at Marco.Wolters@gfk.com. hbspt.cta.load(2405078, 'a7c49c12-21d2-41fc-a305-57b021074f75', {});
    • 07/03/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Introducing the iBrains: Understand how to reach tomorrow’s shoppers

    By 2020, 40% of consumers in Europe, the US and BRIC markets will be “iBrains”, or Gen Z. The first generation fully immersed in smartphones and social media, these digital natives will drive disruption in retail. Always connected, they live in the fast lane. If you are to succeed in the future, you will need to identify, predict and meet their needs. And you’ll need to grab their attention to maximize the opportunities they offer retailers and manufacturers. Here’s how.

    Meet the iBrains

    You’re already familiar with Millennials, but the iBrains – the “selfie generation” – are different. They don‘t know a world without smartphones and social media. While Millennials are tech-dependent, iBrains are always connected, intense social media users and live through technology. They expect brands and retailers to do the same in a seamless, authentic way. They want an identical brand experience, whether they are in-store, online or on their mobile device. For many brands, this represents a goal still to be achieved. The iBrains:
    • are aged 19 or under, most live at home
    • have little spending power, but, with 93% of parents saying their iBrain kids hold sway over what they buy, they are powerful influencers of purchase behavior
    • readily share details of their lives, likes and dislikes across dozens of platforms online
    • expect to engage in two-way conversations with brands in this virtual world
    • will happily share their brand allegiance with others and are more likely to trust their peers than marketers

    How to reach the iBrains

    So far, we’ve shown that iBrains present brands and retailers with many growth opportunities. Compared to Millennials, they are more open to buying in-store, and in general they see no difference between online and offline. So, how should retailers prepare for the arrival of the iBrain wallet? Firstly, it’s key to be available 24/7 across all channels and devices. The mobile is the handheld personal life assistant of iBrains and they reach for it first when thinking about making a purchase. It connects the physical and digital worlds and holds the key to the personalization you need to offer to win over this group. Anticipate the iBrains’ needs and issues, and provide the solutions before they themselves identify them. Achieve this, and you’ll make fans who are willing to publicize their brand loyalties. Social media is extremely important to iBrains when deciding what to buy and where – according to our FutureBuy survey*, 59% in APAC and 34% in Europe say it’s an important source of information for making the best product choices. For iBrains, previous experience with a retailer is key for 57% when deciding whether to make a purchase (versus 49% of Gen X). So too are the opinions of family, friends and colleagues (50% versus 35% of Gen X). They also much more likely to search other shoppers’ online reviews (46% versus 30% of Gen X). Speed is also essential to iBrains. They will accept a “good enough” product or model and have it now rather than wait for a better one. Of course, you need to react fast to grab their attention – iBrains are super multi-taskers. Or, to put it another way, you only ever have their parti­al – never full – attention. Also, don’t ever ignore the fact that they are more impulsive than Gen X. Brands that get their offer right can really maximize on this trait. Finally, it’s worth noting that iBrains are not loyal to any one brand. They browse intensively to find the best deal. This is the case for 60% of iBrains in APAC and 55% in Europe. However, brands that involve them in shaping products can win vital brownie points – particularly from iBrains in APAC where 64% favor this option versus 53% of Gen X*. In Europe, 46% of iBrains value this involvement versus 36% of Gen X.

    The iBrain shift

    • The iBrains herald a new era in retail – in fact, it’s a revolution. Retailers must think differently. They must shift from offering new things to buy to new things to do, from telling a story, to conversing. They also need to move from making a perfect product slowly to making a better product quickly with iBrain collaboration. Here are some other pointers:
    • Be visible online and on social media. iBrains prefer peer-to-peer social media platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram over Facebook. Use social media and online advertising to get their attention.
    • Keep their personal information secure. Concerns about the security of personal information rank high and are a primary factor in their preferences for shopping in-store. Make sure you protect their financial and personal information.
    • Share diverse images. Make sure your advertising, window displays, website and social media accounts include images of diverse customers, and treat all customers with respect, no matter their age.
    • Let the music play. Incorporate music into your store experience if you want to attract Gen Z.
    • Help their decision-making. An iBrain’s shopping journey typically includes lots of online and offline research, getting opinions from peers in real life and online, and looking for the best value and price. You could describe iBrains as “feedback fanatics”. Stay with them during the process.
    • Experience matters. Retailers must create places – stores, websites, online communities – where iBrainers feel welcome walking in and just as wonderful walking out. Brands that help iBrainers to define and express their individuality and lifestyle will succeed with this group.

    Retail is on the brink of a revolution

    Retailers and brand owners need to fundamentally reconsider their proposition if they are going to capture the hearts, minds, wallets and attention spans of this constantly connected, partially attentive generation. A generation of consumers who will determine and dominate future shopping behavior. Marco Wolters is Global Industry Lead Fashion, Home & Lifestyle at GfK. He can be reached at Marco.Wolters@gfk.com. hbspt.cta.load(2405078, '16d3b306-a448-4b8a-ab3a-96cd639045fa', {});
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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

  • Shopper

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    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. 

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    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.

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    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.

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