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  • 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

  • Retail trends and technologies – pt. I
    • 04/23/19
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    Retail trends and technologies – pt. I

    We have been hearing about digitization and the impact it might have on value chain for quite some time. But now in addition to theoretical analysis, we also see lot of commercial products and solutions surfacing at retail events which are the significant steps to realize this transitionary phase in retail. We have classified the retail trends and technologies in four parts:

    1. Intelligent Retailing
    2. Security in Retail
    3. Connected Experience
    4. Automation

    In this post, we’ll discuss two of the four retail trends and technology which stood out at EUROCIS-2019 (Dusseldorf, Germany) and NRF-2019 (New York, USA).

    Trend #1: Intelligent retailing

    GfK FutureBuy revealed that the agreement for statements like “I am now less loyal to anyone retailer” is growing year after year (4 percentage points in 3 years) especially among Gen Y and Gen Z. With growing paying parity that Gen Y and Gen Z are capable of, this emphasizes the need for the retailer to become smarter and more responsive to the changing customer behavior. What we term as intelligent retailing includes a whole ambit of technologies like Big Data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, new sensor hardware and varied solutions stemming from them.

    Dynamic pricing and inventory optimization

    These retail trends are designed to enable dynamic pricing, markdown optimization and inventory optimization so that retailers can plan quantity and pricing of their products appropriately. Simply put, cost savings for the retailer. The predictive pricing solutions include usage of daily/weekly/monthly data and uses historical trends and current sales metrics to forecast best pricing scenarios to help the retailer in promotion planning and to determine percentage of discount per product per region. Predictive inventory management and cognitive demand forecasting solutions that were demonstrated a way to optimize the stock and re-order at right junctures to reduce holding cost and unnecessary discounting to clear old stock. Using smarter inventory management tools using analytics and dashboards can also help the retailers to identify the hot-selling product categories enabling them to plan their assortment strategy in a more informed manner.

    Over the last few years, we assume that traditional retailers are feeling the pressure of being left out if they don‘t participate in new promotion formats like Black Friday, 11.11, and other events or fear a possible loss of promotion efficiency and effectiveness. Our GfK FutureBuy study shows us that the key customer motivation for shopping online is cost savings and easier shopping. The above stated reasons emphasize the need for adopting intelligent retailing solutions which might enable the retailers to become more efficient in operations and optimize their pricing when and where needed. Thus it would help retailers create a synergy between the bricks and the clicks.

    Retail technology: Dynamic pricing for seasonal sales events

     

    Facial recognition to optimize floor space

    Advanced facial or gesture recognition and optimized sensors are other solutions under this theme which enable quick recognition of products for real-time inventory tracking. Another variant of this technology is what we see at the self-checkout kiosks. Image or gesture recognition coupled with intelligent algorithms can be used for heat mapping within the store as well as outside. This technology can be used to determine “the most attractive zones” within the store and organize product allocation and shelving accordingly. It helps retailers to optimize floor space so as to stock only the key products and generate maximum ROI per square meter. Heat mapping also has applications like determining key selling periods, queue prediction and it can also help employees with in-store route analysis in store thereby reducing the time taken for stocking the shelf.

    Trend #2: Security in retail

    Proactive prevention of product theft/fraud should be a priority for retailers. Security retail trends include a whole new set of hardware + software solutions which include electronic tils, RFID tags, wet tags, sensors, enhanced cameras used in conjunction with real-time algorithms.

    Electronic tags for better tracking

    RFID tags and wet tags are typically costlier than the paper/cloth-based barcode tags but enables reuse and better tracking. These tags were marketed as optimal for scenarios like self-checkout kiosks and unmanned stores. As these tags would be used along with sensors to determine movement of a product from store inventory to a customer’s cart by means of sensors/cameras or the in-store scanner or phone application scanners can be used to add the product to the customer’s shopping cart. Enhanced cameras and sensors can be used for real-time image/gesture recognition to generate alerts and to log anomalies. These would become essential in unmanned stores. Similar security solutions can be used for warehouses. This would gain more importance as well maintained secure warehouse would be essential with the growing lucrativeness of click and mortar model.

    Retail technology: RFID tags

     

    GfK FutureBuy study shows that the hassle to return products has reduced in traditional retail has reduced from 30% in 2015 to 24% in 2018. In retail stores, many frauds are committed on the occasion of product return. Especially in scenarios when stolen products are returned against the same value receipt, it’s hard to determine if it’s a valid/invalid return. Mapping of product to such RFID/wet tags and using it in conjunction with real-time algorithms running in the background of POS systems would help to detect such false returns and prevent theft enabling smart return management. Such real-time background algorithms can also help to flag anomalous purchases e.g. when a rounded value purchase (like cigarettes and liquor) is made at regular intervals (just before store closing daily/on weekends).

    Augmented reality for retailers

    Another very interesting security retail trend is Augmented Reality. AR is usually associated with high tech experiential purchasing. This can especially beneficial to premium luxury goods stores wherein they can project a jewelry item or watch onto the customer. The customer can verify the look at feel and the retailer can enable good experience without exposing the products to a risk. It is also convenient for the customers as they won’t need to undergo the hassle of trying on multiple things.

    Online channels are growing over the last few years but GFK FutureBuy points out that consumers (even Gen Y and Gen Z) would shop in-store if it’s an enjoyable experience. Hence, making the traditional purchasing experience easier, secure and offering the right prices at right junctures will be very much essential. We will cover the other two retail trends in the next article where we discuss the connected experience offered by borderless shopping and how automation can be leveraged to making retail shopping more efficient.

     

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

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  • 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]

     

     

  • Map of the Month: GfK Retail Turnover, Germany 2019
    • 03/29/19
    • Financial Services
    • Retail
    • Geomarketing
    • Geodata
    • Global
    • English

    Map of the Month: GfK Retail Turnover, Germany 2019

    GfK's Map of the Month for March illustrates the forecasted 2019 regional distribution of brick-and-mortar retail turnover in Germany.

  • Recording: GfK webinar “RegioGraph 2019: New features”
    • 03/29/19
    • Geomarketing
    • RegioGraph
    • Geodata
    • Global
    • English

    Recording: GfK webinar “RegioGraph 2019: New features”

    Watch the recording of our GfK webinar "RegioGraph 2019: New features".

  • RegioGraph 2019 now available
    • 03/28/19
    • Fashion and Lifestyle
    • Financial Services
    • Industrial Goods
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Automotive
    • Consumer Goods
    • Energy
    • Geomarketing
    • RegioGraph
    • Global
    • English

    RegioGraph 2019 now available

    GfK has released the latest version of its geomarketing software RegioGraph. 

  • Slight setback for German consumer climate
    • 03/26/19
    • Press
    • Global
    • English

    Slight setback for German consumer climate

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

  • How Marketers Can Adapt to TV Programming Trends
    • 03/19/19
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Technology
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Consumer Life
    • Global
    • English

    How Marketers Can Adapt to TV Programming Trends

    Even though we are still kicking off the year, we’re also winding down the latest round of “must-watch” TV programming that comes early in the year (e.g. Super Bowl, Oscars) – and it is a good time as any to assess the latest consumer attitudes & behaviors towards media consumption.

    TV Programming Trends

    Notably, recent ratings continue to show a bleaker outlook for traditional TV – for example, the Super Bowl was the lowest-rated in 11 years, with 98.2 viewers tuning in (a 5% decline from 2018).  Additionally, the Grammys pulled in 19.9 million viewers, a minimal improvement over the lowest-rated 19.8 figure from last year. And finally, the Oscars very recently did beat last year’s record low of 26.5 million viewers, with 29.6 million for 2019.

    So where are consumers heading from here – and what are the opportunities for marketers? Let’s focus on three key areas to assess.

    The Streaming Option

    Of course, cord cutting is a phenomenon that continues to have ripple effects. According to a recent GfK Consumer Life study, 26% of Americans have used a streaming device in the past 30 days (e.g. Roku, Amazon Firestick, etc.) – this rises to 36% among Millennials).  And new players will be offering their own streaming services soon – including Apple, Disney, and AT&T – which means that viewers will have even more choices to pass on traditional TV/cable options.

    However, with more to choose from, consumers might find it difficult to select the best option for them.  And if the cost is not right – we don’t know yet what pricing plans will look like (especially for newer, more a la carte-type packages) – then reverting back to traditional TV programming, or simply not subscribing to any service at all, might be the more viable scenario. In fact, even today, many TV streaming packages are starting at a monthly $40-$50 range – but that is typically with limited channel availability (i.e., tack on more dollars for upgrades), plus the cost of monthly Internet service – and consumers quickly approach a similar $100-type bundled package that traditional cable companies currently offer.

    Moreover, traditional TV still has the backing of being the ‘go-to’ for live events – for example, only 2.5 million viewers streamed this year’s Super Bowl (accounting for just ~2% of all viewers) – so we still have a long way to go before those numbers start matching traditional TV viewership.

    Everything Is More Niche

    Forty-seven percent of Americans have binge-watched more than three episodes of content in one sitting more often than last year.

    Ultimately, with media fragmentation (and the many different types of content to choose from), viewers are picking and choosing what types of programming they want to consume (and not just ‘what types’ but ‘when’). According to MRI, 47% of Americans have binge-watched (i.e. 3+ episodes of content in one sitting) ‘at the same amount or more often than last year’ (55% for Millennials). This of course goes completely against the traditional next day, ‘water-cooler’-type conversations (e.g. “Did you see what happened there last night?” “No I’m still not caught up, so don’t spoil it…let’s talk about it again in a few days/weeks/months/etc.”)

    And marketers are not only fighting to get in front of consumers’ eyes, but their ears too. Podcasts have certainly picked up steam and are catering to all sorts of audiences with niche-type interests (Hollywood is getting in on the act too). MRI data shows that 14% of Millennials have downloaded or listened to a podcast in the past 30 days (+6 pts already just since 2016, and +5 pts from all Americans).

    What’s Left in the Mass Market?

    While perhaps not drawing the same audience metrics as they used to, large “must-see” events such as awards shows continue to exist in today’s world of TV programming (reaching tens of millions of consumers all-at-once is still quite the opportunity).  And though viewers are probably more fragmented themselves than ever – based on demographics, interests, and aspirations – there are some constant themes that seem to resonate with most everyone.

    GfK Consumer Life lists the following as the top advertising themes that Americans prefer: those that humorous, those that are optimistic, and those that represent giving to others. Notably, this top three list remains relatively the same regardless of age or gender (among other demographics such as political leaning). Marketers seem to have taken note, as these narratives were commonplace in recent spots from the big live events (e.g. Super Bowl ads such as Audi’s “Cashew” spot or Microsoft’s “We All Win”).

     

    Types of advertising themes Americans prefer. Source: GfK Consumer Life

     

    How can companies and marketers adapt?

    The TV programming trends that are taking place in the media world will continue to disrupt moving into 2019 and beyond. Although new offerings will drive fragmentation further, companies and marketers have to acknowledge which opportunities will work best for them.

    Keeping abreast of cultural shifts is another way to connect with consumers – case in point, the recent resurgence of nostalgia in popular culture. GfK Consumer Life research tells us that 85% of Americans are nostalgic about specific time periods in the past (including two-thirds citing the 1990s or earlier). It’s no surprise, then, that companies and marketers are playing off this theme (e.g. Disney bringing back classic animated films in the form of live-action movies, with their latest effort, “The Lion King”, set to be released in July).

    Another opportunity area is leveraging influencers and specifically ‘meme’-worthy content. The recent Netflix thriller “Birdbox” did just that – while it may not have been critically acclaimed, the traction from social media & memes undoubtedly led to its success.

    Want to learn more about digital trends?

    Watch the full video & download slides on “The Promise of the Smart Life.”

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  • GfK and Media-Saturn launch Key Account Data service for technical goods manufacturers
    • 03/14/19
    • Press
    • Global
    • English

    GfK and Media-Saturn launch Key Account Data service for technical goods manufacturers

    GfK Point-of-Sales information at account level for MediaMarkt and Saturn will now be available to technical goods manufacturers following the signing of an agreement between MediaMarktSaturn and GfK. 

  • Keeping the finger on the pulse of the market with sell-out insights anytime and anywhere
    • 03/05/19
    • Press
    • Global
    • English

    Keeping the finger on the pulse of the market with sell-out insights anytime and anywhere

    GfK announces “GfK Performance Pulse”, a digital weekly sales mobile app to help commercial teams make informed decisions on-the-go. Based on data from Point of sales tracking and GfK´s decades long experience in working with manufacturers and their sales teams the mobile app provides the actionable insights required to gain a genuine competitive advantage. 

  • Map of the Month: Single-person households, Germany 2018
    • 02/27/19
    • Fashion and Lifestyle
    • Financial Services
    • Industrial Goods
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Automotive
    • Consumer Goods
    • Energy
    • Geomarketing
    • Geodata
    • Picture of the month
    • Global
    • English

    Map of the Month: Single-person households, Germany 2018

    GfK's Map of the Month for February shows the 2018 distribution of single-person households in Germany.