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  • 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.

  • Consumers seek health innovations from brands
    • 06/17/19
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Consumers seek health innovations from brands

    The relationship between consumers and their health is transforming at an unprecedented speed. From athleisure and cannabis to plant-based burgers and in-mall fitness centers, the trend behind so many of today’s breakthrough consumer movements is wellness. Consumers are seeking health innovations and depending on brands to help them achieve their goals. Regardless of industry, understanding these trends more deeply can help brands leverage this extraordinary moment.

    While there are many societal shifts driving health and wellness today (e.g. rising healthcare costs, aging population), consumers are also playing a major role in the changing marketplace today as well – many shifts in people’s attitudes and behaviors are worth a closer look.

    Seeking health

    Stress and anxiety are rising at an extraordinary pace.  Out of the 20+ concerns that GfK Consumer Life tracks annually, more societal worries have risen than declined since 2009 – from climate change and terrorism to economic inequality and the cost of healthcare.  What’s more, one of the fastest-rising mindsets from just 2016 until today is the worry about personal safety and security.  It’s clear that consumers are on the hunt for products and services that make them feel protected.

    This has manifested itself in the rising focus on self-care and mindfulness. More than half of Americans are seeking control over their unpredictable lives, and over a third are looking for opportunities to pamper themselves, a sentiment that has risen significantly in recent years. But these desires are often not material – they are much more about mental and emotional indulgences, products and services that give people the safety net they’re looking for. Health innovations include meditation apps like Headspace and Calm, increasingly part of the mainstream, deliver on this need, providing a safe space that makes users feel empowered and centered.

    Consumers are also telling us that safety and well-being are increasingly critical aspects of innovation. New offerings can take many shapes – from physical items that may offer new levels of comfort like weighted blankets to innovative textiles used by companies like Under Armour that convert your body heat into energy that is reflected back to you.

    Pivot to prevention

    The impact of the rising cost of healthcare cannot be understated. Today, this is the #2 concern among all Americans, who often have to make tough decisions about what level of healthcare they’re able to provide for themselves and their loved ones. Experts believe that the traditional model of healthcare delivery is shifting to a preventative mode, where the focus is more on healthy behaviors and real-time monitoring. It follows, then, that almost 7 out of 10 (69%) Americans today are taking a more proactive approach to their health through their behaviors and the products that they choose to consume.

    Many are re-examining their diets with this approach in mind and learning a lot more about the medical benefits of functional foods. For example, almost 3 out of 10 Americans today decide what to eat or drink based on whether pre- or pro-biotics are included. And in response, established brands like Tropicana now offer items that are friendly to the digestive system.

    Detection will also be an important element in health innovations. GfK Consumer Life research shows that Americans share a growing strong desire for proactive identification of threats such as allergens, contaminants, polluted air, and much more. New devices and services that do better jobs of identifying these threats to our health will become more of a “must have” in the future.

    Pushing for health innovations

    More and more, consumers are playing the lead role in managing their own health, and the roots of this trend are in the evolution of the consumer’s broader worldview. Today, freedom (#4) and self-reliance (#9) are top-10 personal values in the US. What’s more, we increasingly define ourselves by more personal metrics of success (such as being true to ourselves) than our relationships with others, whether it’s as a parent, spouse, or friend. Autonomy, which has in many ways been accelerated by technology, is dictating more consumer needs today – but this doesn’t mean that brands can’t be involved as well.

    This manifests itself clearly within the health and wellness space. Americans agree that their top physical concerns, particularly as they age, are closely tied to mobility and independence – it’s critical to them that they’re able to do what they want, when they want, for as long as they want.  Brands that support this need for both physical and mental mobility will be successful in the future, like this concept of a “smart rehab” device from Nokia.

    This shift of control from brands, retailers, and advertisers to customers is apparent across many other categories.  This is due to not only how attitudes and personal values are shifting, but also the vast amount of information now available from our peers via social media, review sites, and more. This is one of the reasons behind the growth of the direct-to-consumer industry in recent years. Consumers are informed and self-directed, and successful brands of the future need to accommodate them as such. Recently, we’ve seen established companies such as Nike take advantage of this business model, selling more products directly to individuals and creating more ways for them to find community.

    As consumers increasingly take charge of their well-being, brands of every kind need to track their changing desires and concerns to stay a step ahead of demand and build close relationships with their customers seeking health innovations.

    Access our latest recording on this topic

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  • Clashing consumer trends battle for energy efficiency – pt. 2
    • 06/11/19
    • Retail
    • Consumer Goods
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • TEMAX
    • Global
    • English

    Clashing consumer trends battle for energy efficiency – pt. 2

    In part one of this blog series, we identified two clashing trends when it comes to consumers purchasing domestic appliances: Sustainability and Performance. In this post, we’ll try to better understand the interaction of these two core trends and explore their impact on energy efficiency.

    A disputed increase in energy efficiency

    Between 2014 and 2018, the average energy consumption of refrigerators has actually decreased by 2%. This represents a mix effect of different product segments which vary massively in their energy consumption. Side-by-Side fridges consume about 50% more energy when compared to Two-Door Combi fridges with No Frost technology. The trends towards larger and more energy-hungry appliances has almost offset the increase in the energy efficiency within comparable product segments (only 2% average energy reduction remains with this mix effect).

    Apart from the average energy consumed, if we look at the annual energy consumption of all sold refrigerators in 2018, the total sum of kWh even increased by 7% compared to 2014 (at a unit growth rate of 9%). This means that choosing larger and more energy-hungry appliances (performance/convenience related benefits) eats up almost all the technological efforts put into energy efficient innovations.

    Promising opportunities to save more energy in the future

    Within MDA 5*, almost 60% of energy is consumed by washing machines and refrigerators sold in 2018, which implies a big impact if such markets are subject to a change. Consequently, regulation standards bear quite a potential. For washing machines, the loading capacity plays a pivotal role: A+++ washing machines with 9kg+ capacity consume 18% more energy than a 6kg washer with the A+++ label.

    Scientific consumer research carried out by the University of Bonn** suggests that “consumers do not put more laundry into their bigger washing machines, but wash (almost) the same amount of laundry independent of the washing machine’s rated capacity.” Hence, these additional 18% of energy consumption is a potential for additional savings in the future.

    Some countries also present more potential in saving energy than others. In Germany, average energy consumption of A+++ washing machines is below the European average. Meanwhile in Great Britain, an average A+++ machine sold has used 19% more energy compared to the European benchmark.

    Besides regulatory approaches, there is also hope to stimulate awareness of energy efficiency when it comes to smart home appliances. In case transparency of real energy consumption increases (e.g. via live monitoring), this may stimulate more educated consumer behavior when deciding on a new appliance.

    As sustainability becomes more and more important to consumers, however, there is also a potential for the industry players to address such “energy savvy” consumers with products highlighting the best absolute energy consumption along with a reasonable capacity (e.g. 5-6kg). Differentiation can be achieved via the lifetime energy savings as well as a lower carbon dioxide footprint during production and lifetime.

    An opportunity arises

    There is a clear battle going on between the consumer demand for performance (capacity) and the need for sustainability. While the rise of Best-in-Class energy labels suggest that energy-efficient appliances are being sold more than ever before, almost all the improvement is lost because consumers continue to purchase larger appliances.

    It seems that even with low-involvement products like washing machines, the benefits of larger capacity (convenience) can beat the need for sustainability. This holds especially true when energy labels lead consumers to believe that they act responsibly while absolute energy consumption increases.

    The great thing about this “issue” is that another opportunity arises for brands to target “energy-savvy” consumers with solutions that truly advocates of energy efficiency. Smaller appliances can be promoted to them as an honest energy-saver for the good of our planet.

    * MDA 5: Washing Machines, Tumble Dryer, Fridges, Freezers, Cooking 

    **University of Bonn: Angelika Schmitz, Farnaz Alborzi and Rainer Stamminger

    Want more? Download the infographic below

    [Infographic]

    Download the full infographic here

  • RegioGraph LocationAdvice: On-the-go business site analyses
    • 06/06/19
    • Fashion and Lifestyle
    • Financial Services
    • Industrial Goods
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Automotive
    • Consumer Goods
    • Energy
    • Geomarketing
    • RegioGraph
    • Digital Maps
    • Digital Maps
    • Regional Market Data
    • Global
    • English

    RegioGraph LocationAdvice: On-the-go business site analyses

    GfK's newly released online tool RegioGraph LocationAdvice allows expansion and location planners to carry out location and competitor analyses on digital maps while traveling or away from the office.

  • Clashing consumer trends battle for energy efficiency – pt. 1
    • 06/03/19
    • Retail
    • Consumer Goods
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • TEMAX
    • Global
    • English

    Clashing consumer trends battle for energy efficiency – pt. 1

    What are really today’s consumer trends when purchasing Technical Consumer Goods (TCG) such as smartphones, computers, TVs or washing machines?

    Consumer attitudes observed by GfK Consumer Life® as well as the purchase behavior at retail POS provide us with solid evidence that the most impactful drivers for people to make a purchase are:

    1. Performance: Enabler for rich experiences through high end product features
    2. Simplification: Automating recurrent tasks or making tasks more seamless
    3. Premium: Aspirational products making a statement about own identity
    4. Borderless Shopping: Consumers: I want it now!

    More consumer trends with big impact

    Sustainability is another decisive consumer trend, strongly present in the world of domestic appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators. Consumers now seek a significant potential to save energy which means energy labels are an important factor in the decision making process.

    The energy label in Europe has been a success story in that sense for the past decade – allowing for differentiation of manufacturers as well as contributing to consumers’ peace of mind by saving energy.

    In 2012, only 24% of appliances in European countries* had an A++/+++ label while the share of sold appliances with “Best-in-Class” labels increased to 62% in 2018. Appliances sold with A+++ rating are washing machines whereas this label is still rare in refrigerators or freezers.

    But this is only half the truth!

    On one hand, appliances with comparable size became more efficient in recent years (e.g. Combi fridges with No Frost technology consumed 9% less energy on average in 2018 vs. 2014) whereas on the other hand, more and more consumers turn to larger appliances.

    Performance is another rising consumer trend when it comes to technical goods. Consumers are also looking rich and convenient experiences, i.e. high capacity fridges helping to stock more food and hence, fewer shopping trips are required. However, more and more consumers feel the responsibility for our environment—global warming initiatives like “Fridays for Future” convey this evolving attitude. GfK’s Consumer Life® study confirms the advance of sustainability: In 2018, 45% of global respondents said that they feel guilty when they do something that is not environmentally friendly. This mindset has grown steadily from 37% in 2015.

    Obviously, two consumer needs clash here: Sustainability (energy saving) and Performance (energy hungry). Check back for part 2 of this blog to find out how these trends affect energy consumption in home appliances.

    *Data was acquired from 10 major countries in Europe: AT, BE, DE, ES, FR, GB, IT, NL, PT & SE.

    This blog is a preview of my presentation at
    ECEEE’s Summer Study

     

    [Infographic]

     

    Download the full infographic here

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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). 

  • Map of the Month: Six-digit postcodes, Colombia 2019
    • 04/24/19
    • Fashion and Lifestyle
    • Financial Services
    • Industrial Goods
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Automotive
    • Consumer Goods
    • Energy
    • Geomarketing
    • Digital Maps
    • Digital Maps
    • Picture of the month
    • Global
    • English

    Map of the Month: Six-digit postcodes, Colombia 2019

    GfK's Map of the Month for April depicts the six-digit postcode boundaries for a region of Colombia.

  • The TV consumer journey in India
    • 04/23/19
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • Global
    • English

    The TV consumer journey in India

    My previous post looked at the purchase triggers in India’s television sector as an example of the insights brands can get from our Consumer Journey module of the Consumer Insights Engine. In this post, we’ll look at how the solution can give brands accurate, actionable information about how and where consumers research and evaluate their options when they are looking to purchase a new TV.

    To maximize their performance in today’s competitive retail landscape, brands need a single, accurate view of the market with instant insight into consumer purchase behavior. In this post of this blog series, I’ll look at how the GfK Consumer Journey solution delivers that and enables brands to understand how consumers do their research when they buy a new product.

    Touchpoints that drive the best ROI for your brand

    Our Consumer Journey survey data reveals that the majority of television buyers in India do their research both in-store and online. While 45% did their research only through offline channels, a majority of the remaining 55% used both offline and online channels. Only 12% customers relied solely on online channels.

    Overall, an average customer in India typically visited 1.7 physical stores while researching to purchase a TV, while those who conduct online research visited 2.8 retailer websites.

    Perhaps that’s not so surprising but our numbers also show that in-store touchpoints still play a major role in the consumer’s purchase journey. More than half (52%) of TV purchasers in India visited a physical store to research their new TV prior to purchasing. Of those who researched their options in-store, a whopping 89% went on to make their purchase in-store. It is interesting to highlight that over three-quarter (76%) of those who researched various options online, also eventually made the final purchase in-store.

     

     

    Even in a digital age, in-store advertising and displays play a major role in driving sales but as our Consumer Journey insights research shows, this does differ somewhat by brand.

    This sort of insight is invaluable to marketing teams in optimizing their online and offline marketing and advertising channel and touchpoint investments throughout the consumer journey. They will know which channels and brand/product touchpoints consumers use during their search and evaluation of new products, helping them to make better decisions about campaign execution.

    They can also see which consumers considered their brand but bought something else, and why they made that choice. We will look into why consumers in this market purchase products in my next blog post. These insights enable brands to plan ahead and improve conversion rates amongst lost shoppers. Product category managers and operations departments, meanwhile, can learn about where consumers are researching and buying product, so they can make better stocking decisions.

    We will soon be introducing online passive behavioral data to the Consumer Journey module and this will give us visibility of device use, search terms, touchpoints, sites visited and more. Brands will be given an even more granular view of the consumer’s online behavior during the purchase cycle

    One way in which GfK Consumer Insights Engine is unique is that it provides all of these insights in a single platform. This eliminates the need for multiple data and insights suppliers and provides a coherent view of your consumer’s purchase journey.

     

    Get a demo of our Consumer Insights Engine online to understand how it can help you make smart, rapid decisions

  • What triggers the consumer journey in India?
    • 04/17/19
    • Retail
    • Consumer Goods
    • Global
    • English

    What triggers the consumer journey in India?

    What is POS?

    Point of Sales (POS) data tells you what consumers buy as well as when and where they make their purchase. When you calibrate this data with actionable consumer insights, you can maximize its potential in the consumer journey by understanding who the purchasers are, how and why they make their buying decisions.

    What is the Consumer Journey?

    With the GfK Consumer Journey module of the Consumer Insights Engine, you can generate high-impact insights that answer questions which include:

    • What triggers a consumers’ need to purchase?
    • What proportion of consumers are upgrading a working product and what proportion are replacing a faulty product?
    • Which marketing channels are consumers receptive to at this early stage of the purchase journey?

    The Consumer Journey module of the CIE is the only solution that provides a full view of the online and offline consumer purchase journey for the technology and consumer durables industries. Our solution takes you beyond POS* by combining sales data with market research, online consumer behavior data, and advanced analytics in a single interface.

    Note: *In the US, GfK does not have access to Point of Sales (POS) data. US data is calibrated using information gathered from a telephone survey based on probability-based sample representative of both mobile phones and landlines. No retailer data is used in the development of the US offering.

    In this series of blog posts, we’ll look at practical examples of how this new solution brings brands closer to their customers, allowing them to understand the story of a customer’s purchase from the realization of a need up to early usage. In this first post of the series, we’ll dive into how customers in India begin to buy a new television.

    What are the purchase triggers for television shoppers in India?

    Although replacing a faulty product is the key reason for over one in three (33%) consumers in India, a quarter of purchases (25%) are triggered by the desire to buy an extra unit for the home, while one in five (21%) of television purchase journeys in India begin because consumers want to upgrade their TV. The remaining 21% are accounted as first time TV buyers.

    Similar to a study done in the UK, it’s evident that a certain percentage of Indian consumers are considerably proactive and ready to seek a newer and better product even before the existing one breaks or becomes obsolete (3% bought TV within a year of purchasing a previous one while another 12% had purchased their last TV in the past 1-2 years = so 15% purchased a TV within 2 years of purchasing the previous one).

    As we can we see from this data, major tech and durable purchases no longer necessarily have a long lifespan in the Indian consumer’s home. To capitalize, brands need to dig deeper to understand which consumers are happy to replace large appliances at regular intervals and the factors that prompt them to make a new purchase:

     

     

    Half of the TV shoppers replaced an existing non-faulty product due to a change in personal income or circumstances—which is much higher than what we see in many other markets we track. This opportunity is much larger than the market of consumers who buy a new TV because they are dissatisfied with their current model. Brands should not ignore this. However, it is also worth highlighting that 23% of shoppers are brand loyal, while the majority prefers to try new brands. Customers who are 55 years or older are most loyal to the existing brand they use.

    While making their purchase decision, over half (52%) of all shoppers visited a retail store to physically evaluate their different options of TV sets, even though a higher level of 54% conducted their research online. Clearly, even in today’s digital world, the in-store experience has a significant role to play in decision making. In India, one-third of all offline sales were through four key retailers. Therefore, it is crucial that brands are partnering with the right retailers.

    Insights from our Consumer Journey module of the Consumer Insights Engine also reveal that while doing online research, chances of TV shoppers buying a particular brand increase substantially if they visit the manufacturer website.

    Key insights

    Using the Consumer Journey solution, we could quickly identify several key insights that any player in this category can act on, including:

    • Around 15% of Indian consumers are highly proactive and ready to actively replace products within two years.
    • When purchasing a new TV, brick-and-mortar stores are still a dominant influence in the decision-making process.
    • The drop from consideration to purchase varies significantly across brands – some brands lose as high as 80% of their potential customers, while some are able to retain 50% of the customers who initially considered their brand.

    These insights can be distributed to the relevant business functions to inform tactical and strategic planning processes where they can make a difference to category performance.

    My next blog will drill deeper into which specific touch points consumers interact with when they are looking for a new TV and which are most influential. In the meantime, check out our Consumer Journey demo to discover how we can help your business to make faster, smarter decisions.

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  • How Key Account Data helps you win at MediaSaturn
    • 04/16/19
    • Consumer Goods
    • Global
    • English

    How Key Account Data helps you win at MediaSaturn

    Key Account Data enhances POS reporting

    We recently announced a partnership with the Media-Saturn-Holding (MSH) to integrate their sell-out data into our Point of Sales (POS) reporting for all 14 countries in which they operate. This is a significant enhancement to our Key Account Data Reporting (KADR) as it offers our manufacturer clients access to the complete sales data for one of the biggest retailers in Europe.

    Gain a competitive advantage with Key Account Data

    The goal of these partnerships on account level is to provide the common information framework that manufacturers and retailers of technical consumer goods need to compete in today’s increasingly complex environment. With KADR manufacturers can access the same sell-out data as the retailer, allowing both parties to work together as equally informed players to engage effectively in joint category management, co-create strategies, gain efficiencies and agree on growth opportunities.

    KADR integrates individually named retailer data in our standard POS reporting. It covers all brands and items listed by a retailer and includes a panel market benchmark too. This information empowers both parties to speak the same language and to focus on their joint priorities: Meeting the needs of their customers, improving their shopping experience and, ultimately, driving growth. This is crucial in a sector where shoppers are less loyal, less engaged, and constantly on the lookout for value.

     

    Speaking the same language

    With KADR, we want to help answer key business questions our clients have about their competitive retail performance such as:

    • How do we perform versus our main competitors at the retailer?
    • Are there opportunities to build sales with the retailer?
    • Which segments are growing, and which are declining at the retailer?
    • How can I help the retailer to fill gaps and grow at the same rate as the market?

    KADR provides actionable insights that our clients use for day-to-day tactical decision-making to gain a competitive edge at a retailer and strengthen their trade relationship.

    Three major functions benefit most from this account-level intelligence:

    1. Key account sales managers often lack reliable insights into their competitive position at an individual retailer. To meet their targets, they need to get the right products promoted and listed at key retailers and outperform their competition. KADR provides full transparency of their own and competitors’ position by product life cycle, range of offer, distribution and pricing policy. Based on this, they can analyse own strengths and weaknesses at the retailer and assess potential risks and opportunities versus the competition.
    2. Category Managers are tasked with identifying growth potential with the retailer and understanding how to build sales, to develop programs to help the retailer fill gaps, and to influence range and merchandising plans at category reviews. KADR offers them a common data currency to aid effective category management. They can benchmark the sales performance of a category at the retailer versus the total panel market or a specific distribution channel and identifying and qualifying market opportunities.
    3. Trade Marketing Managers often lack reliable insights into the impact of promotional activities on their own and competitors’ sales. They need to know how to invest promotional spend most effectively: Which in-store promotions work best? What is the ideal promotional schedule? How to win more shelf space? KADR helps them track the sales success of a specific sales promotion at a retailer on single item level and compare sales results to the competition in order to optimize the trade spend.

     

    Working and growing together

    Key Account Data Reporting facilitates effective trade relationships in three fundamental ways – and the addition of MediaMarkt data reinforces this:

    1. It offers a common currency for efficient category management as it provides consistent sales channel breakdowns and indisputable performance insights into category, segment, brands, and items.
    2. The reporting is simple, structured, actionable and comparable with regular POS data–perfect for busy teams.
    3. Users get the complete picture of the total market. They see not only how they perform at a retailer, but how their competitors do too. This is extremely powerful when negotiating with retailers.

    KADR is the starting point of effectively analyzing own and shared business performance and we believe it will transform the way manufacturers and retailers work and grow together.

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    [infographic]