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    • 05/22/19
    • Technology
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Global
    • English

    6 Reasons why your sales management needs weekly POS data

    Today, sales management is increasingly driven by promotions, product launches and seasonal sales activities. With shortening product life cycles and volatile consumer behavior, you must maximize sales during these key “moments of truth”. What does it take to succeed? Most importantly, you need to know what’s happening at the point-of-sale.

    Tech manufacturers have been basing their strategic decisions on GfK’s POS Tracking for decades. But tactical sales management is different. To stay competitive and meet targets, sales, marketing and product teams need more frequent insights into sell-out performance to spot and act on opportunities and weaknesses. With the addition of our mobile app, weekly data will be an early warning system anywhere, anytime.

    What difference can weekly POS data make for the business?

    Let’s take a look at weekly POS in action.

    1. Deep dive into sales week by week

    With our monthly reporting you know what was sold, which channels performed best, how the competition is doing, and the bestsellers. However, by detecting under- and over-performing areas across all channels on a weekly basis, sales managers can take immediate corrective action to improve the efficiency of the salesforce or distribution network and negotiate with high-potential retailers.

    2. Track price developments efficiently

    Monthly average prices can be helpful when creating a pricing strategy, but of course prices fluctuate during a month. Tactical pricing decisions need continuous attention. How much will consumers pay for a product? Am I selling at the right price? Is my competitor’s pricing better than mine? Crucially, Pricing and Product Managers need to understand the maximum price achievable for a product depending on the stage in its lifecycle. Weekly sell-out data brings valuable insight into pricing decisions on sales performance.

    3. Maximize the impact of marketing campaigns

    Sales and Marketing Managers need to optimize their trade marketing spend. Regardless of the activity – price or in-store sales promotions, or advertising displays – they need granular insights on sales uplift versus budget invested. Monthly data may show a sales increase in the respective month, but weekly POS provides detailed sales data to track the promotion’s impact shortly after the actual sales took place. More frequent reporting allows sales and marketing teams to maximize impact by acting fast, such as continuing promotional activity that delivers an uplift, or terminating a campaign that fails to deliver.

    4. Optimize distribution during seasonal events

    Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, Singles’ Day – special events dominate the retail calendar. Today, Black Friday is the most important sales peak for retailers outside China. While our monthly POS data will show that November was a very strong month, the weekly view will allow you compare Black Friday against Cyber Monday and analyze sales performance on channel level.

    5. Monitor market acceptance during launch

    Launches are the ultimate “moments of truth”. Whether you introduce a new product, feature or product line, you need rapid feedback on performance. Weekly POS data provides performance data to support adjustments to a launch strategy. It also provides objective sales KPIs to better negotiate with merchandising planners and buyers on the retail side.

    6. Reporting based on objective insights

    Headquarters expect weekly reports on sales performance across countries and regions. Country Managers need quick access to objective performance insights at product, country and category level to define and implement counter-actions. Weekly POS data provides reliable KPIs on SKU level to understand the performance.

    Be in-the-know while on-the-go

    You need the right insights to take informed, tactical sales decision fast – anytime, anywhere. Our Android/iOS App GfK Performance Pulse equips you with weekly sell-out data, so you are always prepared for retail sales pitches. Benefit from at-a-glance summaries of market share, sell-out performance, strongest competitor, fastest mover and best-selling models to support discussions with retailers on product listings, distribution, and trade-marketing.

    Weekly POS is more than “monthly” data divided by four:

       

    1. Timely answers to quickly and confidently identify where corrective action is required.
    2. Tactical sell-out insights for your own and competing products – the full picture across all relevant channels, online and offline.
    3. Easy access – soon via app – and simple sharing with sales teams for timely course-corrections and to maximize your product’s “moments of truth”.
    4.  

     

    [Infographic]

  • Map of the Month: Sales area provision, Europe 2018
    • 05/22/19
    • Fashion and Lifestyle
    • Financial Services
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • Geomarketing
    • Geodata
    • Picture of the month
    • Global
    • English

    Map of the Month: Sales area provision, Europe 2018

    GfK's Map of the Month for May illustrates per capita sales area provision in Europe in 2018.

  • GfK Webinar: Register now for free!
    • 05/21/19
    • Consumer Panels
    • Global
    • English

    GfK Webinar: Register now for free!

    GfK Webinar: "Get the most of your category! Identify your potentials on the base of the relevant purchase criteria." 

    Register now!

  • Join GfK at DISTREE Russia
    • 05/17/19
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Distribution and Supply Chain Management
    • Global
    • English

    05/29/19 - 05/31/19
    Join GfK at DISTREE Russia

    Russia’s leading hosted buyer event for consumer technology and B2B Channels, DISTREE RUSSIA, will take place from May 29 to 31 in Moscow.

  • GfK Supply Chain Insights
    • 05/17/19
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Distribution and Supply Chain Management
    • Global
    • English

    GfK Supply Chain Insights

    Join our free partner webinar based on point of sales and distribution panel data to optimize your supply chain management and discover more about today’s key tech trends.

  • Total media measurement and beyond
    • 05/16/19
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Media Measurement
    • Global
    • English

    Total media measurement and beyond

    What is the future for total media measurement in a complex, fragmented market?
    GfK held a roundtable discussion with leaders from across the media industry to debate this pressing issue. 

  • A growing demand for ethical innovation in technology
    • 05/13/19
    • Technology
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    A growing demand for ethical innovation in technology

    The reckoning of the importance of ethics in tech and the need for new approaches to steer innovation in the right direction have been rapidly gathering steam, and not just among regulators.

    For example, last year saw the formation of the Center for Humane Technology, a coalition of ‘deeply concerned tech insiders’ aiming to re-direct the course of technology away from extracting our finite attention towards a better alignment with humanity. And in April, the European Union released its guidelines for achieving “trustworthy” artificial intelligence (AI), a milestone in putting ethical guardrails around the development of technology.

    Approaching ethics in tech

    In March, Stanford University, the birthplace of the term ‘artificial intelligence,’ launched the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI), a sprawling think tank whose mission is to “advance AI research, education, policy, and practice to improve the human condition.” Industry behemoths have also started to take actions. Both Google and Microsoft, for instance, released ethical principles for the development and use of AI in the past year.

    A re-assessment of the industry’s status quo is in order, gauging from consumer sentiment as well.  Consumers’ attitudes towards technology seem to have reached an inflection point. As pointed out by my colleague Kathy Sheehan in her recent blog post, concerns about data privacy and tech addiction have soared amidst high-profile data misuse, privacy breach scandals and mounting evidence of the effect of technology on mental health (incl. World Health Organization’s classification of gaming addiction as a mental health disorder last year). As AI grows ever more powerful and increasingly extends its reach into our lives, consumers also increasingly recognize the risks it poses to humanity: According to a survey conducted last year, the majority (59%) of Americans feel that AI has the potential to be good but comes with some inherent risks.

    A shift of perception towards technology is crystalized in recent research from GfK Consumer Life. Today, just above half of Americans (53%) feel optimistic about the effect of technology on society, down 10 percentage points from the record high registered in 2008. While technology remains Americans’ top source of optimism on a list of 13 aspects of life measured – from the healthcare system to the quality of the environment – the 10-point drop also makes it the fastest declining area of optimism among all.

    Time for realignment

    Although some question tech companies’ ability to self-regulate, it’s clear that inaction isn’t an option. Failing to address consumers’ growing concerns about technology risks falling out of touch with potential customers, and falling behind competitors who demonstrate the will to put their customers’ – and humanity’s – best interest in mind.

     

    Goodwill matters to the consumer. Data from GfK Consumer Life reveals that people are increasingly socially conscious – “helpfulness” and “social responsibility” are among the fastest growing personal values globally. And a rising number (43% globally, up 10 pts from 2011) state that they only purchase products and services from brands aligned with their values and beliefs.

    So how should companies re-align and consider ethics in tech innovation? A few thoughts to consider.

    Put humans in the center, not technology

    At the core of the tech realignment is a paradigm shift from a tech-centric to a human-centric approach. Long have tech companies been caught in the cutthroat race to churn out novel products enabled by the latest technology designed primarily to maximize usage. But an ethical approach to address some of glaring issues of technology – from tech addiction to its role in social isolation – would require companies to pause and question the long-term impact of its innovation on the wellbeing of its users and the society. Some have already started to do this.

    In February, OpenAI made its step towards pushing ethics in tech with the company’s rare announcement of a ‘non-release.’ Concerned about the powerful technology being potentially misused to create fake news, the research firm announced that it would not release a version of a text generator they developed.

    It’s also worth noting that, ethics aside, a tech-led approach is increasingly at odds with consumers’ changing sentiment towards technology. As the excitement over technology’s promise gives way to a sobering reckoning of its side effects, there are signs that consumers are growing more solution-oriented and less enticed by novel technology in their product adoption. Global research from GfK Consumer Life shows that “providing a solution to a problem” has surpassed “harnessing the very latest technology” as a top association of true innovation among consumers.

    Design with inclusivity in mind

    There is widespread evidence that AI has been struggling with a bias issue, from facial recognition technologies that are less effective in detecting people of darker skin to an AI-powered hiring tool that discriminates against women. The increasing spotlight shining on such issues will drive greater scrutiny over algorithms. Growing consumer social consciousness will also help drive the demand for inclusive technology free of bias—an inclusion of ethics in tech progression. “Equality” has emerged as a top tier value globally, now #15 on the list of 50 personal values that GfK Consumer Life has been tracking consistently, up from #22 in 2011. As pointed out by numerous experts, having broader representation in the design, development, and test of technology may be part of the solution.

    Step up on data privacy and security

    Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement in March to shift the focus of Facebook to a ‘privacy-focused’ platform marks a drastic and telling change of course for the social media giant. It reflects the changing tide in the public’s sentiment towards privacy, which will likely impact companies well beyond social networks.

    According to the GfK 2018 Smart Home study, privacy has emerged as a top barrier for the adoption of smart home products, trailing only slightly after cost and ahead of worries about interoperability between devices, product knowledge and more. It is in fact the top hindrance for the adoption of digital home assistants like Amazon Echo or Google Home Assistant.

     

    As the digital age deepens with more products becoming connected and reliant on user data to deliver optimal, personalized customer experience, digital privacy and security is set to become an ever more important front of competition for companies. With growing concerns now harder than ever to ignore, the need for ethics in tech is now.

    Want more from GfK Consumer Life?

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  • Timely reports from GfK Consumer Life
    • 05/10/19
    • Consumer Life
    • Global
    • English

    Timely reports from GfK Consumer Life

    These reports contain information from our 2018 study and prior years, which cover 21 countries around the globe, beginning with consumers ages 15 and up.

  • New digital maps available for Germany, Austria and Switzerland
    • 05/10/19
    • Fashion and Lifestyle
    • Financial Services
    • Industrial Goods
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Automotive
    • Consumer Goods
    • Energy
    • Geomarketing
    • Geodata
    • Digital Maps
    • Digital Maps
    • Global
    • English

    New digital maps available for Germany, Austria and Switzerland

    GfK has released updated map editions for Germany, Austria and Switzerland, with coverage of hundreds of changes to administrative and postcode regions. Up-to-date digital maps are the basis for carrying out accurate geographic analyses in geomarketing software and BI systems. 

  • Brick-and-mortar retail in the EU: Highest 2019 growth in Romania and Lithuania
    • 05/09/19
    • Press
    • Global
    • English

    Brick-and-mortar retail in the EU: Highest 2019 growth in Romania and Lithuania

    GfK study on European retail

  • Retail trends and technologies – pt. 2
    • 05/08/19
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Retail trends and technologies – pt. 2

    In our previous blog on retail trends & technologies, we discussed how retailers can adapt to intelligent retailing and increase their security in retail stores. In this post, we’ll cover how important it is to provide a connected customer experience and steps retailers can take into automation.

    The consumers of today want to not only make a purchase, but also have a great experience doing so. A rich experience is extremely relevant for shopping behavior—a key factor for retailers. Good experiences can provide additional value and trigger new or additional purchases.

    Retail Trend #3: Creating a seamless shopper experience

    Whether a customer is shopping in a brick and mortar store, at home or on the go, the most adequate experience should be available at all times. In retail trends, round the clock availability and situational independence are slowly becoming the norm. Our GfK FutureBuy study reveals that consumers regard “social media as an important source of information” and “mobile [as] an important tool for making a purchase” which further demonstrates the increasing importance of these experience drivers. Let’s look at different scenarios to describe what it means to provide a connected experience.

    Scenario 1: Connecting online with offline

    Let’s assume different shopper journeys for John. In his first purchase journey, he starts from home using a mobile/tablet to shop online. While browsing, he can use various technologies to help him find what he’s looking for such as:

    1. Voice assistant to bring up a specific item or store
    2. A store’s mobile app and its chatbot assistant
    3. A chatbot through the store’s social media page

    If John selects a product online and decides to collect it at the retail store, we’d call that retail trend “Click and Collect.” But if John schedules an appointment at the store to test the product and then decides to purchase it, he’ll be using the “Click and Reserve” model. If he does go with the “Click and Reserve” option, a trial room would then be available for John to try out the product or the store would provide a consultant to demonstrate the product at a specified time.

    In case of a fashion or luxury product, the store is equipped with smart mirrors and augmented reality that enables John to try out the products very quickly. If the size or color doesn’t suit him, John can change the item by using the smart mirror & AR features.

    Alternatively, the store consultant can be informed during the whole process using a chatbot assistant. In this case, the store consultant gets an alert on his digital assistant to provide help to the customer. This enhances John’s shopping experience by saving him the extra effort while the store reduces the risk of damage or theft.

    Smart mirrors and augmented reality can help shoppers try products quickly

     

    In case the product is not available, the store would then have a real-time ERP system and up-to-date information linked to its warehouse that can assist John by telling him the product availability. If the item is available, John can request to get it shipped to his home—called the “Select and Ship” model.

    Alternatively, he could also schedule another appointment to test it again when it’s in store. This technology could eliminate the issue of a more limited assortment that traditional retailers experience vs. online retailers.

    Scenario 2: Providing transparency and relevance

    While John is walking down the street near a store, he can also receive a message regarding new products or discounts. If John is already an existing customer, he can also get notified of loyalty offers. This is possible using technologies like beacons, Geo-fencing and Near Field Communication (NFC). Retail trends & technology like Geo-targeting can:

    1. Create awareness among consumers who are not yet customers
    2. Retain and up-sell to an existing customer


    Electronic Shelf Labels (ESLs) and digital signage can help the retailer to efficiently control product information dissemination, pricing and promotions from a central system. Once John is in the shop, he can get to know more about the product using digital screens and signage. Using visual search screens showing the store map, John could search for the product from the screen and can directly go to the appropriate section of the store. A connected shopper experience is as a catalyst for better sales.

    The two aspects in retail trends that are driving consumer towards online channels include:

    1. Finding products or services that a consumer specifically wants
    2. General information regarding products and services

    Visual search screens showing the store map helps a customer search for the product from the screen

    Scenario 3: Delivering custom products

    If John decides to buy a shirt that he wants tailored, he can use the phone or tablet cameras to scan his measurements and features to order such a custom fit product.

    Scenario 4: Making it fun

    GfK FutureBuy tells us that buying additional items while making a routine purchase is a key driver for the customer to visit the store. If John has a mobile app which contains his shopping list, he frees up time to browse and discover other items for purchase which makes his shopping trip less like a chore. And the fun isn’t just limited to consumers—for store employees, too. Gamification can assist in shelf stocking (like a game) and can motivate the employees to finish their work in the most efficient way. A fun experience for both the customer and employee aids to the success of the retailer.

    Retail Trend #4: Cost savings with automation

    Automation whether it is hardware (e.g. autonomous warehouses and store robots/vehicles) or software (like real-time monitoring algorithms, chatbots, etc.), improves efficiency, saves time and delivers value-added services and a high-tech shopping experience.

    Scenario 1: If it’s mundane, automate it

    Instead of a real-life person, John walks into a store and is greeted by a “Greet and Guide” in-store robot which welcomes and asks questions to guide him to the appropriate section of the store. In case John asks a complicated question, the robot then generates an alert for a store consultant intervention. Another way to use robots in retail is to automate item stock and flaw detection. The value proposition for these robots is to reduce mundane tasks, giving store employees more time for value-added services like consulting the customer and providing excellent service.

    Scenario 2: Anytime, anywhere assistance

    Chatbots are already part of many automated customer support procedures and they can assist customers like John inside the store via the mobile app or social media bots. Chatbots can answer standard questions, help with recommendations, scheduling an appointment (Select & Try model) or assist John in the online purchasing workflow.

    Retail trends and technologies like automation is all about cutting cost on redundant activities and enabling more time for value-added services. Although automation needs an initial capital investment, cost savings and efficiencies are pegged to be much higher in the long-term.

     

    It’s all for the consumer

    In conclusion, retail players who align their strategy to incorporate aspects of intelligent retailing, security, creating connected experiences and automation will end up creating a more efficient, secure and transparent value chain that enhances the shopper experience. Adapting to new retail trends and technologies is essential to satiate the highly demanding, informed customer.

     

    Want more? Get answers to key business questions at GfK Insights Summit

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  • GfK releases 2019 purchasing power for Austria and Switzerland
    • 05/08/19
    • Fashion and Lifestyle
    • Financial Services
    • Industrial Goods
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Automotive
    • Consumer Goods
    • Energy
    • Geomarketing
    • Geodata
    • Global
    • English

    GfK releases 2019 purchasing power for Austria and Switzerland

    According to GfK's latest study, the Swiss have a 2019 per capita purchasing power of €42,067, significantly outpacing the Austrians (€24,067) and Germans (€23,779).