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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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    • 09/14/17
    • Home Appliances
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Global
    • English

    Global smart MDA market almost triples in size in 12 months

    Chinese consumers are driving global adoption of smart major domestic appliances. Discover more.
    • 09/13/17
    • Retail
    • Global
    • English

    Game of consumers: Why brands should tap into our childhood passions

    One of my strongest childhood memories is the thrill of collecting World Cup soccer stickers. I loved to feel the full pages in my sticker albums, to see the faces of all the players and pretend that I knew them. This collecting also became a social activity; it would go down something like this – we would sit in a circle, and one person would start to swipe through his or her deck of stickers very quickly. Suddenly, another friend would shout, “Nola!” – Peruvian ’90s card-collector slang for “I don’t have it!” That person would have the first chance to trade for the sticker; then he (or she) would start the same fast swiping. These were simple, fun times – my excitement and sense of belonging have probably never been greater.

    The appeal of gaming dynamics

    Why did I love my stickers so much? Science shows that gaming dynamics shoot dopamine into our brains; the neurotransmitters in charge of our body’s reward system also play an essential role in attention and learning. Considering the neurological cocktail that we are enjoying whenever we play, it is not surprising that more and more companies are starting to use gamification as a very efficient loyalty tool. Recently, I worked on a research project about a retail promotion – one that evoked my childhood collector memories. Customers would get a sticker for buying specific products and save them on a card; when you completed the card, you could exchange it for a prize: dishes, pots, a set of knives, or some other fancy kitchen tools. It was the second year of the campaign, and the retailer was worried that people might become bored with the game, making it meaningless to the buyers. So we sat down with the client’s customers, and what they told us was a big surprise – the complete opposite of what the retailer was thinking. People participating in the promo (mainly women with families) said it reminded them of the ineffable collections of childhood. The promotion card was their sticker album.

    Interacting with consumers through games

    Think about the Samsung Look-a-Galaxy-for-an-Hour challenge, or the “Chock-Chock” Coca Cola campaign in Hong Kong – smart brands make us interact with them through games. They invite us to play to alleviate a little of our everyday stress, and to build stronger relationships with consumers. I still vividly remember Panini, the sponsor of my World Cup stickers from then to nowadays, and the constant excitement of fulfilling my album… I still belong to a group of friends who exchange stickers every 4 years, for every World Cup. Playing is better done in groups, and even better when we can do it anywhere, anytime. Nowadays consumers expect their brands to give a satisfactory and involving experience on whichever channel they choose to use. We have to take into account that the consumer does not stop being a consumer when leaving the retail environment – just as a gamer does not stop being a gamer when the console is turned off. The consumer takes the retail brand along – in a pocket, on a screen – and it is in these experiences (both physical and digital) that the opportunity rests. Retailers can play and truly engage with consumers’ decision making and take advantage of omnichannel consumers to connect with them in both the present and future. Maybe it is time to start questioning our own loyalty strategies, and ask if we can play a little more. How can we make our brands fun (and memorable) for consumers? Along the way, we may bring up some powerful childhood memories, happy times etched in people’s minds. After all, doesn’t everybody want to be a kid again? Carlos Galvez is a Senior Analyst at GfK. To share your thoughts, leave a comment below or email carlos.galvez@gfk.com.
    • 09/11/17
    • Retail
    • Global
    • English

    Ecommerce: What’s the secret to attracting consumers to online retail sites?

    With an overwhelming amount of content, intense competition and multiple channels, we all know today’s online retail environment is a particularly challenging one for companies looking to maximize sales. Ecommerce players are under no illusion that they face a tough battle to attract consumers to their online stores but many are struggling to identify exactly what it is they must do to succeed. The explosion of mobile has already impacted ecommerce as many players have heavily invested in optimizing their interfaces for mobile usage. It definitely seems like this is the smart thing to do – in Indonesia for example, the time consumers spend on ecommerce apps has grown by a remarkable 188% over the last 12 months. And in Germany, Millennials visit ecommerce sites and apps 53 times per month [GfK Crossmedia Visualizer, July 2017]. However, mobile is only the first step towards developing the right business strategies. There are many more opportunities out there – so let’s take a look at what they are.

    Understand consumers in order to target the right audiences

    It’s a no-brainer, but to land more business, it’s essential that companies connect the right e-shoppers with the offers that match what they are interested in. Retailers often deploy segmentations and consumer portfolios to improve their ability to target consumers. However, bringing segmentations into play for marketing purposes is all but easy given a simple fact: segmentations are often siloed from media behavior. To target the right consumers, companies need to better understand their media usage and cross-device behavior. Businesses can do this by enriching their current segmentations and in-house databases with key behavioral data based on variables such as media consumption habits, cross-device usage and visit frequency and duration. Secondly, they can build new online and mobile segments based on measured behavior to get a 360° view of consumers – from their gender, income and travel activities, to device usage, search habits and what markets they are interested in.

    Influence the consumer journey with a smart touchpoint strategy

    If there’s just one thing we know for certain about the connected consumer’s shopping journey, it’s that it is non-linear and easy to disrupt. It is therefore crucial for online retailers to know which touchpoints they need to activate in order to maximize their sales. Just as an example, when compared to offline shoppers, fashion e-shoppers in the Netherlands are 88% more likely to look for inspiration on Facebook and Instagram. Obtaining insights based on single source behavioral data that links purchase acts with media consumption and cross-device behavior is a key enabler for e-retail businesses. Not only does it help to identify the touchpoints and content that are most important for converting browsers to buyers, but it also helps companies gain a competitive advantage by activating the major disruption points on the purchase journey.

    Optimize your media mix to drive more traffic towards your ecommerce offering

    Relying solely on online targeting and digital channels alone will not do the job of increasing revenues to the maximum level. Advertising via offline channels and TV in particular, will still be an important contributor to the flow of shoppers visiting e-retail sites or apps. While this certainly isn’t the big news, answering the crucial question of how to successfully measure the ROI of crossmedia campaigns for ecommerce businesses remains a challenge. Properly tracking performance via agency provided KPIs and web analytics tools is a given, but it will likely lead to the trap of an isolated view on digital, TV and other offline media. To overcome this, campaign measurement needs to be based on single source data streams and businesses must use KPI assessments (e.g. net reach, incremental reach and target group attainment) wisely. This will allow them to plan successful future campaigns, know where to focus based on ROI and identify the optimal channels to drive traffic towards an online inventory.

    Time to think globally but respect local diversities

    Accurate behavioral and crossmedia data partnered with asking all the right questions is what’s behind developing the right ecommerce strategy. But on top of that, it’s essential to be aware of consumer preferences across different countries. Comparing multi-country ecommerce leaders across a range of markets, it’s becoming clear that retail is a predominately local business, with consumers mainly purchasing from big local names. For example, in Poland we see that Allegro is the major player while in Indonesia, Lazda is on top. But, this may not always be the case. In the last 6 months, Amazon has registered 6.8 million more unique users in Mexico, which signals a potential challenge for the popular local retailer Mercado Libre [GfK Crossmedia Visualizer, July 2017]. Therefore, it’s also becoming clear that to compete and succeed in this ecommerce world, companies need a constant 360° view of what their consumers are doing online – and where. Learn about GfK’s Crossmedia Visualizer and sign up for a test of our innovative dashboard. This provides an in depth look at the ecommerce landscape in Indonesia – which, with a population of 260 million and a rapidly growing buying power, is certainly a key market for any ecommerce business. hbspt.cta.load(2405078, '2a80072c-a944-41db-9ad0-4c73a8e0d23e', {});
    • 09/11/17
    • Retail
    • Consumer Goods
    • Geomarketing
    • RegioGraph
    • Geodata
    • Picture of the month
    • Global
    • English

    Map of the month: Purchasing power for home improvement products, Germany 2017

    Retailers and manufacturers face the continual challenge of positioning their products in the market regions where they are most wanted. Our 2017 data on retail purchasing power illuminates the areas of Germany with the highest spending potential for various product lines. As an example, our map of the month shows the hotspots for home improvement products in Germany, including Hamburg, Frankfurt, and areas in the federal states of Bavaria, Saarland, and Rhineland-Palatinate. Retailers and manufacturers of home improvement products can use these insights to tap more market potential.
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  • 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.

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