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  • Go Beyond Point of Sale Data: Understand the Moment of Purchase
    • 11/14/18
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • Global
    • English

    Go Beyond Point of Sale Data: Understand the Moment of Purchase

    Truly understand the every factor that influences consumers’ final decision at the moment of purchase.

    To make optimal decisions about product selection, retailer and manufacturer partnerships, and marketing, retailers and manufacturers in the technology and consumer durable sectors both need a holistic view of point of sales data and consumer behaviour. Having looked at how our GfK Consumer Journey solution helps brands to understand how consumers research a purchase in my previous post, I shall now turn my attention to the insights it offers into the moment of purchase.

    Brands want to know where, how, and why consumers purchase products, so that they can make smart decisions about retailer partnerships, product selection and development, and marketing and promotions. Retailers, meanwhile, need to understand how they are performing in different channels (in-store and digital), as well as which brands and models sell best and why. Manufacturers and retailers alike also want insights into competitor performance and partnerships.

    Powered by the GfK Consumer Insights Engine, GfK Consumer Journey offers technology and consumer durables manufacturers a full view of the online and offline consumer purchase journey. This enables them to answer key business questions such as:

    Lost shoppers: How many shoppers did we lose during the purchase journey and what is the size of this lost opportunity? Who are these shoppers? Which competitive brands or retailers did we lose out to and why?

    Partnership opportunities: Which retail or manufacturer brands should we partner with? Which retailers or brands could offer access to unique customers? Which competitive brands or retailers attract the same consumer profile as we do?

    Channel conversion: What are my channel conversion rates? How can I improve them? What role does each channel play in the consumer journey?

    As a subscriber to the Consumer Journey module, you can use the Consumer Insights Engine to get instant access to insights that will allow you to answer your key business questions. To provide you the data that leads to trusted and actionable consumer insights, we seamlessly integrate multiple data sources into this advanced analytics platform: global sales data*, consumer research, behavioural data, and AI-enabled review data.

    The data visualized below is pulled from a cross-market analysis of the TV category using the Consumer Insights Engine and is used to answer many important questions our clients are asking about the moment of purchase.

    (Source: Consumer Insights Engine Consumer Journey, Q1 2018 data for the TV category in multiple markets)


    As the data above illustrates, our solution provides a coherent view of – and granular detail about – the consumer’s purchase journey and the factors that influence his or her final purchase decision to equal granularity across participating markets. For a multinational manufacturer operating in multiple markets across Europe it is interesting to know that, when compared to France, a high number of recent TV purchasers in the Netherlands purchased a 4K UHD TV. This data informs the marketing team that messaging around this feature should resonate in this market. When this data is coupled with data identifying that 724,661 TVs were sold in this period in the Netherlands (fig2), it can begin to inform other business units within our clients’ organisations, such as supply chain and logistics. This total market view of units sold is achieved through our calibration with actual point of sales data*.

    Fig2. (Source: Consumer Insights Engine Consumer Journey, Q1 2018 data for the TV category in multiple markets)


    Taking a look at brand loyalty in the UK is another practical example of the value of insights derived from this data. Understanding how little brand loyalty consumers in the UK have compared to other major markets might prompt a manufacturer to focus its efforts on new customer acquisition rather than retention in this market.

    Our solution covers 13 major markets – France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, UK, US, Brazil, Russia, China, India, Japan, and South Korea. Thus, multinational brands can not only get insights into national markets, but also compare brand performance and consumer behaviour across multiple territories.

    Check out our online Consumer Insights Engine demo to understand more about how it works against specific business questions. Find out how to get actionable business insights at speed that go beyond point of sale data and help you get inside the mind of your consumers.

    Note: *In the US, GfK does not have access to Point of Sale 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.


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  • Beyond Point of Sale Data: Search and evaluation in the consumer journey
    • 11/07/18
    • Retail
    • Consumer Goods
    • Global
    • English

    Beyond Point of Sale Data: Search and evaluation in the consumer journey

    Getting insight into which touchpoints drive the best ROI for your brand

    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 my second post in 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.

    My previous post looked at the purchase triggers in the UK television sector as an example of the insights brands can get from the GfK Consumer Journey module of the Consumer Insights Engine. This time, I’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.

    Our Consumer Journey survey data reveals that the majority of television buyers in the UK do their research online. Most of them visited major retailer websites during their purchase journey – the most popular among TV purchasers were Curry’s (63%), Argos (56%) and Amazon (49%).

    (Source: Consumer Insights Engine Consumer Journey, Q1 2018 data for UK TV market)

    Perhaps that’s not so surprising, but our numbers also show that in-store touchpoints still play a major role in the purchase journey. More than half of TV purchasers visited a physical store to research their new TV. Of those who researched their options online, 57% made their purchase in-store.


    What’s more, in-store visits have higher conversion rates than online channels. Around 82% of people who went to a store bought a television in-store, while only 42% of those who searched online made a purchase online.

    (Source: Consumer Insights Engine Consumer Journey, Q1 2018 data for UK TV market)

     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.

    In the new year, we introduce online passive behavioral data to the Consumer Journey module. The introduction of this data will allow visibility of device use, search terms, touchpoints, sites visited and more. This will provide brands an even more granular view of 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. I encourage you to try our online Consumer Insights Engine demo to understand how it works in practice and how it could help you make smart, rapid decisions.

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  • Consumer confidence – does it impact pricing of products?
    • 10/31/18
    • Retail
    • Online Pricing Intelligence
    • Global
    • English

    Consumer confidence – does it impact pricing of products?

    When consumers feel more confident about their own financial situation and about the economy they tend to be more optimistic and spend more. However, in recent times consumers are not feeling optimistic, as tracked by the GfK consumer confidence monthly report. With additional external factors like inflation and Brexit, will this impact consumer confidence further and what will retailers need to do to reduce the impact to them?

    Why does it matter?

    Consumer confidence is an indicator for businesses and economists to understand how consumers are feeling in current economic climates. It should give a good indication on what consumers feel and what their potential spending plans are, when it comes to making major purchases. This is important for retailers and manufactures to track, as this can affect profits and help with understanding a consumer’s outlook.

    The latest GfK consumer confidence index for October remains negative and decreasing from -9 to -10, which suggests consumes are ready to further scale back their spending. The GfK consumer confidence study (see table below) found that 65% of consumers that were asked, believe that prices either will have a rapid increase or will increase at the current rate in the next 12 months. This could mean that consumers decide to buy now rather than waiting for price increases, especially with the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.


    What affect does it have on pricing goods?

    With low consumer confidence and the majority of consumers think prices will rise, retailers and manufacturers need to act to entice consumers to continue spending. As both need to make sure they sustain or increase demand levels with their pricing and promotions, otherwise they could see profits fall.

    We are already seeing some action, with retailers’ pricing on 43-55 inch TV’s dropping by 18% in the past 12 months – and 10% over the last 3 months. This indicates that retailers know they need to compete for business to gain more consumers and increase sales.

    For both manufacturers and retailers, until recently there was an upward trend in the number of consumers who thought that now was a good time to make a major purchase. However, this has taken a slight decrease in the last month – as shown in the graph below. So enhanced promotions on items such as white goods or furniture may well entice more consumers to spend, rather than save in the upcoming sales events.


    What else can retailers and manufacturers do?

    This is a pivotal time for retailers, with the ONS reporting that wage growth is at its fastest for nearly 10 years, suggesting that consumers now have more disposable income to spend on major purchases. Inflation will play a major part on this with the recent announcement that it has fallen back to 2.2%. If inflation doesn’t increase it could mean consumers become more confident about purchases and feel the effects of wage growth even more.

    With wage growth on the rise and inflation not increasing as much as initially thought, what do retailers and manufacturers need to think about, going forwards, to make sure consumers choose to spend rather than save?

    Both groups will need find ways to stay competitive and relevant in an arena where consumers are now more concerned about getting value for money or having a memorable shopping experience. For example, John Lewis recently announced that they are looking to boost their in-store experience – aiming to buck the trend of more consumers moving to online shopping rather than in store. This is an ongoing battle, given that ONS reporting shows online sales have increased by 14.2% in August 2018, compared to the same time last year.

    If online sales keep growing this way, retailers will more than ever need to be able to react fast in areas such as changing their prices instantly to make sure they aren’t second best or being undercut by a rival. This could also lead more manufacturers to having their own website to sell directly to consumers, and as a way to connect with consumers directly rather than through a retailer.

    Final Thoughts

    Overall, consumer confidence is an important indicator for retailers and manufacturers for current and future plans.

    With consumer confidence not improving, prices will need to be more attractive to get consumers to spend. Manufactures may need to take a leaf from Apple’s book and offer a high-end product at a more affordable price to entice consumers – as seen with the iPhone SE and iPhone XR. How retailers plan to entice consumers will be important to events like Black Friday and the Christmas period coming up. It is crucial that their promotions and pricing are well positioned, compared to competitor promotions, to make these events a success.

    On the plus side, with wages on the rise and consumers feeling that prices will increase if they wait too long, this could lead to a new wave of spending – especially with Brexit looming. The uncertainty could mean that consumers choose to spend now, rather than waiting to see what happens.

  • UK Consumer Confidence drops one point in October to -10
    • 10/31/18
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    UK Consumer Confidence drops one point in October to -10

    GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index decreased by one point in October 2018 to -10. Three measures decreased and two measures stayed the same.

  • Beyond Point of Sale Data:  Which consumer needs trigger the start of the purchase cycle?
    • 10/30/18
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • Global
    • English

    Beyond Point of Sale Data: Which consumer needs trigger the start of the purchase cycle?

    Key insight: UK consumers replace tech products long before they’re broken or obsolete

    Point of sale (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 by understanding who the purchasers are, how and why they make their buying decisions, and answer questions like:

    • 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?

    This is the level of high-impact insight you can get from the GfK Consumer Journey module of the Consumer Insights Engine – 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.

    Over this series of blog posts, I’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. We’re looking at how customers in the UK start on the road to buy a new television in this first post in the series.

    Let’s start by considering the purchase triggers for television shoppers in the UK.

    Most UK television purchase journeys begin because customers want to upgrade their TV or buy an extra unit for the home, not because they’re replacing a faulty product. By contrast, in Germany, more than half of new TV purchases replace a broken product. What’s more, some 12% of UK TV purchasers are acquiring a new television to replace one that is two years old or newer.


    Interestingly, this dynamic is present in other segments of the UK consumer durables and tech market. Some 12% of new dishwasher purchases and 10% of washing machine purchases replace functional products that are not older than two years. Clearly, the typical UK consumer is proactive and ready to seek a newer and better product long before the existing one breaks or becomes obsolete.

    As we can we see from this data, major tech and durable purchases no longer necessarily have a long lifespan in the UK 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:


    In the markets we track, UK TV purchasers are among those that are most receptive to inspiration from marketing materials, even when they are not actively seeking to replace a product. This opportunity is nearly as large as the market of consumers who buy a new TV because they are dissatisfied with their current model. Brands should not ignore this.

    The effect is especially strong with people aged 25 to 34; some 34% in this group are spurred to upgrade by stimuli such as advertising. To make this insight actionable, we need to get more specific. For instance, we might want to know which touchpoints are best for reaching 25 to 29-year-old consumers who might be persuaded to upgrade to a 4K 65-inch television.

    Among UK shoppers looking to upgrade TVs rather than replace faulty units, 43% reported that in-store displays are their biggest inspiration. This indicates that even in a digital age, you still need a presence in the high street.

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

    • Around 10% of UK consumers are highly proactive, and ready to actively replace products within two years.

    • Consumers can be inspired to upgrade by strong above-the-line marketing.

    • When purchasing a new TV, brick-and-mortar stores are still a dominant influence in the decision-making process.

    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 touchpoints consumers interact with when they are looking for a new TV and which are most influential.

    In the meantime, try our online Consumer Journey demo to discover how we can help your business to make faster, smarter decisions.

    Note: *In the US, GfK does not have access to Point of Sale 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.

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    Note: *In the US, GfK does not have access to Point of Sale 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.



  • Europeans have around €355 more per person in 2018
    • 10/30/18
    • Press
    • Global
    • English

    Europeans have around €355 more per person in 2018

    GfK Purchasing Power Europe 2018 now available.

  • GfK releases updated maps for all of Europe
    • 10/29/18
    • 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

    GfK releases updated maps for all of Europe

    GfK has released its Europe Map Edition 2018/2019, which includes thousands of changes to Europe's regions.

  • Consumer climate in Germany remains stable
    • 10/26/18
    • Global
    • English

    Consumer climate in Germany remains stable

    Findings of the GfK Consumer Climate Study for October 2018

  • Map of the Month: Purchasing power for new automobiles, Germany 2018
    • 10/18/18
    • Automotive
    • Geomarketing
    • Geodata
    • Picture of the month
    • Global
    • English

    Map of the Month: Purchasing power for new automobiles, Germany 2018

    GfK's Map of the Month for October illustrates the distribution of 2018 purchasing power for new automobiles in Germany.

  • Olivier-Thomas Wade joins GfK as Vice President Global Retail Management
    • 10/12/18
    • Retail
    • Global
    • English

    Olivier-Thomas Wade joins GfK as Vice President Global Retail Management

    GfK SE appoints Olivier-Thomas Wade as Vice President Global Retail Management effective October 15, 2018.

  • Back-To-School – revenue growth, despite delayed sales
    • 10/05/18
    • Retail
    • Global
    • English

    Back-To-School – revenue growth, despite delayed sales

    Back-to-school’ has shown growth, due to price increases and despite a drop in larger packs.

    This years’ Back-To-School (BTS) extravaganza has perhaps not been quite so extravagant, according to our snapshot look at the Writing category in our Weekly tracker – but it is showing growth.

    Sales appear to have been left to the last minute, with weeks 35 and 36 (straddling September) both remaining the key active time for parents to fill those school bags. However, these weeks did not attain the same lofty heights in sales terms as they did in 2017, leaving us with some unseasonal summer blues over this typically strong sales period.

    Why? I hear you ask. If we look at weeks 29-38 this year compared to last year, the topline figure of +2.3% growth in value does appear pretty positive. However, the driver behind this is down to price increases. Average prices across the Writing segment of the stationery market have grown 5.8% over the same time period, which appears to be aligned to wider economic trends observed this year.

    The knock-on effect of this is that smaller pack sizes are winning out, and we see lower sales for large pack products like colouring pencils and colouring felt pens, writing felt pens and markers which are carrying higher price points. Each of these categories has really struggled for growth, with the volume of market sales declining 3.1%.

    However, let’s not be too glum from this one snapshot from our weekly indicator – because there is bright news, including within this Writing category of stationery.

    Traditional categories like Ballpoint pens, Correction Products and Highlighters are all in growth. The fact that these categories include price increases (for example – a standard 10 pack of ballpoint pens is on average 7% more expensive this year than last) shows that traditional stationery is still important for schooling, despite indications that more children may well be using digital means to support their educational development.

    Looking at writing instruments, a noteworthy trend is the continued sales of stationery or writing sets. Stationery sets are seemingly a reasonable choice for savvy and budget-conscious parents who are looking to buy multiple items in one go. With a large number of these sets released in early July (around 200) it seems that offers that make it easier for parents to find and buy the various products that are required by their children for school is going to be the goal-post by which BTS is now measured.

    In conclusion: while this year’s sales paints a picture of a more subdued BTS than before, there is growth, and there are clear areas where the industry can focus on continuing to deliver value and overall revenue to the category.

  • German Consumer Climate looking sunny
    • 09/27/18
    • Press
    • Global
    • English

    German Consumer Climate looking sunny

    In September, the consumer climate in Germany has, by and large, seen positive developments. Both economic and income expectations are on the rise, whilst propensity to buy has taken a slight hit.