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  • Discovering shoppers’ purchases from competitors with AI-based intelligence
    • 08/08/19
    • Press
    • Global
    • English

    Discovering shoppers’ purchases from competitors with AI-based intelligence

    GfK launches Attribution+, an AI-based solution for grocery and drugstore retailers to gain valuable intelligence on shoppers. 

  • GfK Attribution+
    • 08/08/19
    • Global
    • English

    GfK Attribution+

    Attribution+  is the first AI-based tool to tell who your individual customers are and how they shop - also at your competitors. Watch our video and find out more!

  • How to maximize product revenue
    • 08/08/19
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Global
    • English

    How to maximize product revenue

    Weekly sales data is an essential part of your competitive intelligence. Read our four routes to sales success in our latest white paper. 

  • 5 mistakes eCommerce sellers make & how to get it right
    • 08/05/19
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    5 mistakes eCommerce sellers make & how to get it right

    Every eCommerce seller knows that when it comes to selling products online, content really is king. When consumers cannot hold a product in their hands, top-quality content can bridge the gap – through rich information, pictures, videos, and more. Optimizing online content serves manufacturers and retailers alike; but often, we still see product listings that leave shoppers under-informed or simply uninspired.

    As someone who has facilitated millions of product listings, I know too well what does and does not speak to consumers. And there are some common characteristics and miscues that tell me immediately when a manufacturer is not leveraging precious content space to maximum advantage. Here are just five clues that you can look for as you shop online – and review your own product listings.

    eCommerce seller mistake #1: Sticking to the basics

    Today, rich content is the name of the eCommerce game. Rich and A+ content (interactive media, sell-sheets, video demos) empowers brands to deliver compelling shopping experiences across digital touch points – while basic, meat-and-potatoes information puts you at an immediate disadvantage.

    eCommerce seller mistake #2: Lack of brand identity

    With so many product listings to choose from, consumers need to understand why your brand is special – and your passion should live on your product pages. Putting your company’s story forward can be a strong differentiator, showing that you have a solid history and a reputation for quality. In eCommerce, linking to your website, social media pages, and other resources can help put buyers at ease, improve SEO, and even close the sale.

    eCommerce seller mistake #3: Getting by with one image

    Life is a 360-degree experience – but some online sellers think their customers should be happy with just one perspective. Check out top sellers on Amazon – you will see that they always provide multiple product images from a variety of angles. Since online shoppers cannot walk around your item in person, multiple images provide the next best thing.

    eCommerce rich content content example: Displaying multiple angles of a product

    eCommerce seller mistake #4: All-caps lettering

    To identify yourself immediately as an eCommerce novice, use all-caps lettering. It is hard on shoppers’ eyes and ultimately becomes illegible in large quantities. Seeing titles, subtitles, or marketing copy set in all caps WILL MAKE THE READER FEEL LIKE YOU ARE YELLING AT THEM. (See?) Make your type natural and varied; using extreme tactics to catch people’s attention will only drive them to another product or site.

    eCommerce seller mistake #5: An unguided experience

    The last time you booked air travel, did you know the flight number you’d be on before you logged in? Probably not. But an interactive selector guided you to the best airline, departure time, and price for your plans. In the same way, a potential buyer may not know what product they need — but they do have details like size, price and tech specs. A product selector on your site can steer them to the perfect item – and keep them within your selection universe. With anything less, you run the risk of losing customers to rival vendors and brands.

    Of course, that is just a “starter” list – the variety of things that one can do right or wrong in online product content is almost endless. Check out “How to win in the online jungle“. The first step is to recognize the value and key role of content, and begin to treat it with the attention and discernment it deserves. Most likely, your eCommerce competitors already are – and falling behind in content is never a good strategy.


    For more do’s & don’ts of online product content

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  • German economic confidence continues to fall
    • 07/30/19
    • Press
    • Global
    • English

    German economic confidence continues to fall

    Findings of the GfK German Consumer Climate Study for July 2019.



  • Regional urban hubs drive retail trade
    • 07/24/19
    • Fashion and Lifestyle
    • Financial Services
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Geodata
    • Global
    • English

    Regional urban hubs drive retail trade

    Germans have an average of €5,911 per person for retail spending in 2019. But they often do not spend this money in their own towns, which allows locations with attractive retail offerings to draw and profit from this additional purchasing power.

  • Secret to the consumer purchase journey & how to win in the online jungle
    • 07/22/19
    • Technology
    • Shopper
    • Global
    • English

    Secret to the consumer purchase journey & how to win in the online jungle

    This blog is part of a webinar on the consumer purchase journey called The secret to winning in the online jungle.

    How does the consumer purchase journey really begin? There’s no doubt that online is the go-to channel for consumers when they are looking for a technology or durables product. In 2018, over half of consumers in Great Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Italy (EU5) that bought a tech or durables product used online sources to research their purchase.

    Omnichannel is of course very important

    About 4 in 10 of consumers who ultimately purchase in-store used online sources to research their purchase. No brand should underestimate the significant opportunity to influence customers and potential customers in the purchase journey through the informed use of online touchpoints.

    If you can de-code how today’s savvy shoppers use online tools in their purchase journey, you can ensure your brand is front and center in their decision process. So how can we understand exactly what’s going on behind the keyboard?

    We combine consumer survey and sales data from the GfK retail panel to cover the online and offline world. By adding measured behavioural and online review data we build a complete picture of the consumer purchase journey. This complete view of the online and offline world is delivered as the GfK Consumer Insights Engine. Latest insights can be accessed anytime in the dashboard that spans the purchase journey from the buying trigger into the research phase, to the point of purchase and through to evaluating early usage of products. The online measured data provides detailed insights into what happens behind the keyboard, and online review data provides early indications of usage attitudes and experiences with your own – and your competitors’ – products.


    De-coding the consumer purchase journey for a TV (example case)

    More than three quarters (77%) of purchasers of a TV spend up to two hours researching their purchase online. This represents a great opportunity for manufacturers and retailers to influence target audiences with the right search engine, web marketing and communications strategies. Let’s look at how that purchase journey unfolds in the following example case for Great Britain and Germany.

    1. Survey data to understand general usage
      Calibrated and representative, survey data can show us which web pages TV buyers visit:

      • Purchasers in the Great Britain visit retailer websites for TV purchase, far more than in Germany (63% in Great Britain compared to 36% in Germany)
      • Price comparison websites are used more in Germany (48% in Germany compared to 25% in Great Britain)
      • We see a similar use of product review websites (both at 40%), and a limited but growing use of social media pages in both Great Britain (8%) and Germany (6%)


    2. Search engine analysis to perfect your online targeting
      We all know that search engines are critical to the TV purchase journey, but which search terms are consumers using? Use these insights to optimize and perfect your search keywords and advertising and increase opportunities to intercept consumers during their research journey. Our behavioral data reveals that:

      • In Germany, 38% of online TV purchasers used a search engine for a category-relevant search. In other words, they inserted a TV-relevant term such as “55 inches” or “Samsung TV”. This figure rises to 45% for Great Britain
      • Purchasers are more likely to search for specific features – like ’55 inch’ or ‘4K’ instead of specific brands and retailers.


    3. Websites to boost brand consideration
      Next we pinpoint the destination websites where consumers are directed from search engines. These are the websites where you need to be visible to maximize the inward flow of potential buyers. We can analyze the data by different behavior patterns to focus on the sub-groups most relevant to your business. We build a brand consideration set, assess if their search is limited to specific brands, and use lost shopper analysis to identify unmet needs. The below channels are frequently visited by purchases where we have the capability to conduct this analysis.

      • Most often buyers visit the retailer such as Amazon, and country specific retailer sites such as Currys PC World and MediaMarkt
      • Product and price comparison sites, e.g. idealo are popular destinations
      • The websites of premium TV manufacturers, e.g. Samsung, LG are also visited
      • Consumers also seek out review websites, e.g. techradar.com, chip.de


    4. Conversion rates to evaluate your performance
      At this stage we analyze how many consumers ultimately went online to purchase the brand they had visited online. For retailers, we identify the conversion for online traffic. Exploring the strengths of the competition is a powerful exercise to evaluate your performance in the market – knowing where others succeed can help you compete more effectively.

      • In our example, the online viewership to purchase conversion ranges from 25% – 46%. For some brands, close to half of the consumers that view products, went on to purchase the brand they viewed.


    5. Optimizing brand and marketing messages by analyzing online reviews
      We believe that analyzing product reviews can give brands a competitive edge in the market. We blend online purchaser reviews from retailer websites, human intellect and AI modeling to identify hot topics and pain points so you can manage how your brand is perceived. From this, you can create the best marketing materials using the content that really matters to shoppers.

    How to win in the online jungle

    The Consumer Insights Engine combines online behavioral and review data with sales data to calibrate the survey data and advanced analytics to bring you closer to your online customer. Use it to win in the online jungle by optimizing your search engine strategy, improving your website, refining your retailer and web strategy and perfecting your marketing and communication messaging.

    Discover more about the consumer purchase journey

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  • What is the future of total media  measurement? A global perspective
    • 07/18/19
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Technology
    • Media Measurement
    • Global
    • English

    What is the future of total media measurement? A global perspective

    As the future of total media measurement is always a hotly debated topic, GfK invited industry experts to a roundtable discussion on how the landscape is changing. Participants included Google, Facebook, CIM (Belgium), UKOM (UK), CIMM (US), MMS (Sweden) and PMA (Netherlands).

    Here’s a taster of the four key themes that emerged.

    Media Measurement today

    When we look at media measurement today and imagine its future, a key question is: Does it make sense to develop increasingly complex and sophisticated methodologies?

    Although modelling media measurement data alongside panels is a fact of life, we found widespread support for the methodological purity of panel measurement – albeit recognizing its limitations. In comparison, the myriad approaches available today causes confusion, and everyone needs to be clear what hybrid, cross platform or total measurement offer. This is particularly essential now as we try to make sense of changing consumer behavior and different means of measuring it.

    “It is the most extensive modelling we have ever done… what we are hoping for is that the aggregate results are right. […] And that’s difficult to sell to TV people, because they’ve lived for decades now with the idea that they already have the best possible audience research”.



    How will we measure it tomorrow?

    Our second topic relates to tomorrow‘s measurement, addressable TV, programmatic, and the total customer view. While a number of panellists were fairly dismissive of the impact of addressable TV advertising, Google and Facebook saw more significance in these innovations. Now that broadcasters and publishers are generating more data that can be linked back to consumer purchasing, everyone agreed there will be a growing challenge to connect multiple data silos. Some participants felt that research panels can still provide the base-level data to link, organise and make sense of these multiple data sets.

    “It does represent one more step from the traditional TV world towards the world that I represent, and it makes the politics slightly easier. It makes forging alliances, building bridges and so forth easier. We start to talk the same language.”

    —Niels Marslev, Google

    The future of currency and role of JICs

    What constitutes a currency measure for the trading of advertising is critical. What the industry needs from a currency – or equivalent accepted measure – changes as the media ecosystem evolves. Our experts felt that the increased use of proprietary datasets in a fragmented landscape could well increase demand for a neutral third-party to critically evaluate contending methodologies. So in the future a JIC could move from currency provider to trusted auditor.

    “It is really about what the currency should actually be doing and whose needs it is serving.”

    —Nik Shah, Facebook

    Will total media measurement grow budgets?

    Although media budgets in some markets have increased, the general consensus was that unlocking additional spend through expanded media measurement is unlikely. However, new forms of cross-media measurement may result in some form of redistribution of existing revenue streams.

    Advertisers are looking for more efficient ways to spend their budgets and need measurement advances to offer better ROI. Multi-platform measurement could drive down costs and make the process more efficient, with potentially more return.

    “I don’t think there is a massive pot of money sitting out there that isn’t being used, that is waiting for the JICs to get their act together and as soon as it happens will flood into the market”.

    —Ian Dowds, UKOM



    Is the industry moving towards measuring the total consumer rather than total media? Certainly at GfK, we believe that a stronger link between advertising and consumer buying behaviour is needed to create the kind of compelling evidence that will stimulate the appetite for advertisers to increase overall investment in media. Ultimately, advertisers will want high quality, GDPR compliant currencies and metrics they can trust and we continue to work closely with JICs and big data providers as we make further developments in this area.

    Want to know more about this study?

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  • Map of the Month: Retail share of private consumption, Europe 2018
    • 07/10/19
    • Fashion and Lifestyle
    • Financial Services
    • Retail
    • Geomarketing
    • Geodata
    • Global
    • English

    Map of the Month: Retail share of private consumption, Europe 2018

    GfK's Map of the Month for July illustrates the brick-and-mortar retail share of private consumption in Europe in 2018. 

  • Six steps to gain the competitive edge at your key retailer
    • 07/05/19
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Global
    • English

    Six steps to gain the competitive edge at your key retailer

    This white paper contains our insider guide that shows how to maximize sales insights at a retail account level.

  • Smart car technology and the evolution of brand loyalty
    • 07/01/19
    • Technology
    • Automotive
    • Global
    • English

    Smart car technology and the evolution of brand loyalty

    Summer is upon us and the chance to enjoy a road trip with car technology glory is here. What are today’s consumers looking for when it comes to purchasing a new vehicle? Are car brands meeting their expectations?

    It had been a while since I bought my last car – and, as someone who follows the auto industry closely, I was keenly aware of all the smart gadgets and services I could choose from. From self-driving capabilities to Wi-Fi to safety features, today’s cars are essentially smart homes on wheels; the options are extraordinary, and every choice comes with a price.

    Tech upgrades become a priority

    I had a number of luxury wagon models in mind – and when it came to car technology, I also had some clear “wants.” As mobile tech has grown, I have watched what were once gee-whiz gizmos and functions transform into mainstream “must haves.” So, apart from all-wheel drive, a sunroof, and curb appeal, I wanted my new wagon to have Bluetooth, standard connectivity features and Apple CarPlay. It is true—the other car in my household is just fine and would serve my transit needs; but I was looking for some upgrades to my connectivity suite, so I would feel safer on the road.

    But when I decided on a vehicle and looked up the trim/package that included Apple CarPlay, I was aghast to find that it would cost me nearly $10,000 to get this simple feature. The manufacturer was holding CarPlay hostage within wheel upgrades and other frivolous nonsense – on the assumption that spoiled, tech-loving folks like me would bite the bullet.

    My reaction was immediate and surprising, even to myself – I decided to find another “first choice” model. Forget about heated and cooled 10+way power-adjustable front seats or any semi-conscious investment I had in the iconic badge; getting Apple CarPlay into my vehicle at a reasonable price became my top priority.


    Smart car technology is the new normal

    Recent research for GfK’s Auto Tech study in the US shows that my decision was actually somewhat predictable. We found that 50% of auto intenders will switch brands or models if a vehicle does not have most-wanted technologies. Car purchases are no longer about the car brand that your mom or dad insisted on, but whether you can link your latest playlist to the car stereo.

    Luxury intenders are most likely to choose smart tech over brand loyalty. Over one-third (35%) said they would definitely consider switching brands to get cutting-edge, in-car technology – compared to 23% of non-luxury intenders. Another 55% in the luxury crowd said they would probably think about switching – essentially the same as non-luxury (57%).

    Luxury intenders are also more likely to say that specific technologies are “must haves” for them; for example, almost two-thirds feel this way about active safety technology, versus 46% of non-lux intenders. Not surprisingly, Luxury intenders overall hold  significantly higher interest, demand and willingness to pay for, a range of technologies from autonomous driving to infotainment systems and continue to be a driving force in the adoption of new technologies.

    In my strong but pragmatic desire for advanced car tech, I reflect the intersection of Gen X and Gen Y perspectives—drawn to tech’s perceived ability to improve the driving experience (Gen Y optimism), yet keenly aware that new technologies will be leveraged to command a premium (Gen X cynicism). In this case, the democratization of iOS coupled with Bluetooth might serve my purposes just as well, and I could save the scratch and enjoy a great family vacation or look for a vehicle that doesn’t extort me for this feature. A major car maker recently added Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality after years as a holdout, with some backwards compatibility to shore up recent models. And other brands have built the capacity for future flash updates into their vehicles to keep them relevant.

    The bottom line

    One thing the car industry has learned – the customer always wins. Overall consumer attitudes are changing especially when it comes to mobility and independence. When auto buyers want something badly, they will not let a little thing like brand loyalty stand in their way. If one manufacturer does not build it, consumers will leave for one that will. And as smart technology becomes more mainstream in other areas of people’s lives, the pressure on auto makers to provide the same devices and access at reasonable prices will only grow.


    Want more tech insights on the auto industry?

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  • Map of the Month: Sales area productivity, Europe 2018
    • 06/27/19
    • Fashion and Lifestyle
    • Financial Services
    • Retail
    • Geomarketing
    • Picture of the month
    • Global
    • English

    Map of the Month: Sales area productivity, Europe 2018

    GfK's Map of the Month for June illustrates sales area productivity (retail turnover per m2) in Europe in 2018.