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  • Reducing friction in the digital payment process
    • 06/14/16
    • Financial Services
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Reducing friction in the digital payment process

    Today’s established financial institutions are under constant pressure from three sources. Read on to find out how working with Visa, we’ve been investigating the central role that user experience has in ensuring success in this complex and competitive sector. 

  • Five need-to-know trends: how the Chinese shop for fashion
    • 06/14/16
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Five need-to-know trends: how the Chinese shop for fashion

    We’re on the cusp of a revolution in fashion retailing. Today’s connected environment means every fashion brand has to become a retailer too. We may think that mobile is the cause of the big disruptions, but we believe there is more radical change to come.

  • Reducing friction in the payments process
    • 06/14/16
    • Financial Services
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Reducing friction in the payments process

    Today’s established financial institutions are under constant pressure from three sources. Read on to find out how working with Visa, we’ve been investigating the central role that user experience has in ensuring success in this complex and competitive sector. 

  • Maximizing multi-access strategies
    • 06/14/16
    • Financial Services
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Maximizing multi-access strategies

    The world might be omnichannel, but not all customers use all channels. What do you need to do to ensure your financial services brand reaches consumers via the right channel at the right time?  

  • Locking down cyber security
    • 06/14/16
    • Financial Services
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Locking down cyber security

    Cyber security has the potential to affect all Connected Consumers and businesses, but our experience shows that not all businesses are taking the steps needed to be protected. 

    Explore more about connected financial services

  • The slump in savings continues
    • 06/14/16
    • Financial Services
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    The slump in savings continues

    Savers in Austria end their fixation with building loans and savings accounts as property and real estate emerge as preferred investment options for the first time. 

  • How Connected Consumers are disconnecting financial services
    • 06/14/16
    • Financial Services
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    How Connected Consumers are disconnecting financial services

    Today’s Connected Consumers are demanding. If they don’t receive the service they expect, they are empowered to move their custom. How can established financial institutions ensure they stay relevant and address the competitive threat posed by fintech players and others? 

    • 06/10/16
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Technology
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Maximizing cross-media use: Four markets, four stories

    While digital is a well-defined medium, it is becoming increasingly complex through the take-up of different devices and other forms of media going digital. You need to be able to navigate your way through this complexity in all the markets you are in, because it is clear: Jakarta is not Sao Paulo, Istanbul is not Berlin…

    To improve your digital advertising effectiveness today, you need to understand how people consume media and use different channels in different markets. We’ve taken four countries that exhibit key characteristics common to many others as an illustration. These four markets show that you can’t simply create your plans based on maturity levels or the stage of economic and digital development. Findings from our GfK Crossmedia Landscape Report for Germany, Turkey, Brazil and Indonesia show that no two markets are the same.

    Choose the most relevant device for your market

    Consumers in some developing markets have leapfrogged using PCs to get online and have gone straight to smartphones. This is illustrated by our findings for Indonesia, where 95% of time spent online is via a smartphone. Smartphones are also increasingly favored as a means of getting online in developed markets. If you target consumers in Germany with your digital campaigns via their smartphones, for example, you will reach 48% of the online population. But the amount of time people spend online using particular devices is only one part of the picture. It is also important to assess the intensity and kind of usage of different device types during the times they are used.

     

    Most page impressions still displayed on PCs

    Although time spent on smartphones is crucial for the analyzed markets, PCs still win in terms of gaining the lion’s share of page impressions. In Brazil and Germany, over 80% of page impressions are attributable to PCs. For advertisers, knowing which devices people in a particular market use for the majority of their web browsing is key to developing creative and planning campaigns that will have the maximum reach and impact with a target audience.

    Compare mobile online activity on app vs. browser

    We know that many consumers are accessing the web via their smartphone, but it’s essential to know whether to create advertising for mobile apps, web browsing, or both if you are to reach your audience. In all four markets, apps are the preferred mobile online entry point with Indonesia leading the way.

    It’s worth noting that not all mobile use is the same. For instance, the majority of mobile devices in Indonesia are used purely for communication (e.g. chats, messaging, etc.), while mobile devices in Turkey are mainly used for social networking. The leading apps in each country reflect their inhabitants’ main uses for their mobile devices. Facebook or Google applications, however, appear top of the list of apps used in all four analyzed countries.

    Build media plans around cross-device use

    Understanding cross-device usage is crucial to maximizing the effectiveness of your ad spend. This is particularly true when assessing how different devices such as PC, smartphone and tablet are used to access content in combination with each other and how those combinations differ by market. In each market, the greatest device crossover is with PC and smartphone.

    This information can help you maximize reach across different devices and also provide insight into adapting creative treatment. In Turkey for example, 15% of the online population accesses content across all three devices, so storylines and format can be tailored to develop complementary campaigns across all devices to improve overall cut-through.

    Four markets, four stories

    Successful media planning relies on strategic insights to better understand market differences, ensuring your message gets through using the right channels and devices. In addition to these topline findings, the Crossmedia Landscape Report can provide deeper insights on:

    • Cross media usage including smartphone, tablet and desktops across social-economic classes, age and gender
    • Media habits, including online and offline versions of major newspaper and magazine titles
    • Key TV genres and their viewership
    • Key e-commerce players, mobile apps or top social media

    This report will be rolled out to Netherlands, Poland, UK, Russia, Italy, Spain, Argentina and Mexico during 2016.

    Stefan Heremans is the Product Head of Crossmedia Link at GfK. Please email me at Stefan.Heremans@gfk.com to share your thoughts.

  • Innovation strategies for the connected home
    • 06/07/16
    • Technology
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Innovation strategies for the connected home

    We helped this technology vendor explore how it could work with service providers to capture opportunities in the smart household.

    • 06/03/16
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Travel on the small screen

    Travel and video are perfect companions. Two out of three US consumers watch online travel videos for inspiration when they’re thinking about taking a trip according to a 2015 Google study. In fact, video could well be where your customers start the serious business of researching their next trip.

    There are two main sources of travel video content, brand-led and consumer generated. Video offers travel brands a huge opportunity to engage consumers because it communicates experiences so effectively. One brand, Jumeirah, has already embraced the medium for this very reason. In 2015, the Jumeirah Group launched Jumeirah™ Inside – a virtual platform comprising 360° video and photography that enables users to make hotel bookings, access never-before-seen footage, discover hidden treasures and share them with the world. In collaboration with Google, the luxury brand brings its hotels to life using images, sound and interaction.

    But video isn’t just for high-end travel brands. Mainstream travel players should be considering how to incorporate video into their websites and advertising to help would-be travelers on any budget visualize themselves on holiday. Our research into purchase journeys for flights and holidays suggests that connected consumers start researching their options and comparing prices approximately two months before they travel. At any one time, almost half of the population is researching some form of travel. Video offers one way to reduce the planning time and encourage consumers to make purchase decisions quickly. In a crowded marketplace, it can help one brand to compete effectively and win competitive advantage over another.

     

    Video in marketing

    Much of this video consumption is done on a smartphone, particularly among Millennials and pre-teens. Our US data suggests that 25% of 13-64 year olds have streamed TV or films on their phones[1]. Increasingly, this audience is engaging with video advertising on their smartphones too, and brands are maximizing the opportunity to use this platform to engage with them in this highly personal and targeted way.

    With so much video content being consumed, it is becoming more important to understand audience behavior: what people consume, where, on what device and what would make their experience better.

    Brand marketers will need not only to embrace the new opportunities for better optimization of their advertising and marketing, but will also need to use them to offer the consumer relevant information as well. If they do not use video as a fundamental part of their communications, their competitors will. And with so many players involved, from content producers and publishers to brands, there will be a need for partnership and collaboration. This is particularly pertinent at present, as much of the data currently exists in silos – its power can only be unlocked through a mutual exchange of information.

    Summary

    The vast amount of video consumption online has another benefit for brands too: a digital data trail that presents an opportunity to target marketing and advertising messages more effectively. The key is to enhance the experience through that information, rather than becoming “too personal” with your visitors.

    [1] GfK How People Use Media Report, US

    • 06/03/16
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Connected Consumer
    • Tech Trends
    • Wearables
    • Global
    • English

    Could wearables be the key to customer loyalty?

    Imagine if we could travel with a single wearable device or item of clothing “unlocking” the world for us as we go. With our identification documents, payment methods, guidebook, maps, etc. all in one place, there would be no hassle, no fuss. The benefits for the consumer are obvious, but this also poses great opportunities for travel and leisure brands.

    As we explored in our Tech Trends series of articles, the adoption of wearables has been limited to date. This is partly because some of their uses or the benefits of them are not clear, partly because the potential of the technology hasn’t yet been realized and also in part because of their price. However, if the benefits were more obvious, price might not be such an issue for some consumers.

     

    As the technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, however, the opportunities that wearables offer to travel and leisure brands will emerge and take off. In an increasingly technology driven and connected world in which personalized products and services are king, wearables are the potential holy grail for brands. They are a mass market device that is tailored to each unique connected traveler. They are an opportunity to connect with consumers individually, to appeal to their interests and tastes and to build a relationship that encourages their loyalty.

    Wearables that offer a personalized travel service

    The key to successfully using wearables to provide that individualized and seamless experience that today’s consumers crave will be all about creating smarter ways to interpret the data collected using them. It is the processing, analysis, interpretation and delivery of the personal information that will be critical to success. Connected travelers will expect their wearables to be completely personalized to their needs – be that recommendations on sights to see and where to eat based on their recorded preferences and past behavior, or advice on what factor sun lotion they should use given their skin type, or the adjustment of the thermostat in their hotel room based on their body temperature.

    Wearables are the gateway to offering the truly personalized and seamless experience that consumers want. As long as the benefits to them are made clear, including how their personal data will be used and safe-guarded, consumers are more likely to be willing to share details about themselves with a brand.

    • 06/02/16
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Hey, retailers! You know the experiences buyers want, but how should they be designed?

    Good user experience (UX) in online and offline retail shopping matters.  A poor experience can poison the well, and people simply will not go back, especially if they have functional, sexier alternatives.  Another dimension of this, of course, is that paid and owned media are losing influence.  Customers talk to each other a lot, and not about brand attributes that marketers talk about. They talk about their experiences, and these experiences cover all aspects of the journey.  To fit seamlessly into consumers’ lives, users’ experiences must be mapped, measured, and elegantly designed.

    Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last 20 years, it is no surprise that the shopping experience has morphed in ways that are almost non-recognizable.  Today, Connected Consumers can ask Echo (a wireless speaker and voice command device from Amazon) to send them a new bag of kitty litter in three seconds.  I can go into a store and pay for a pile of groceries by tapping my card.  Using an image recognition app, I can order a bottle of wine online.  Suffice to say that it seems that almost any product I can think of, I can acquire using multiple types of technology and media.

    Why UX is an integral part of omnichannel shopping

    The confluence of research and design skills needed to develop a seamless omnichannel shopping experience involves not only the market researcher and shopper insights teams, but the UX team as well.  Increasingly, retailers must establish ‘ecosystems’ that support the shopping experience from all angles.  These ecosystems involve having customers do multiple things: Download apps, register, buy and install new hardware, learn new gestures, and much more.

    What I’m driving at here is that getting the product properly positioned in its respective category and understanding how to reach the market are necessary – but no longer sufficient – for success.  We know from our GfK Consumer Life data that customers are no longer just buying a product, they are buying an experience.

     

    I mentioned Echo above.  In the past, configuring a device to a home network was tedious at best.  Echo is an amazing out of the box experience with a beautiful package, simple instructions, and flawless installation.  These experiences do not come easy.  They come with a lot of UX research to ensure that the once tedious task is now a pleasant one.  I’m guessing Amazon understands that without perfecting this part of the purchase journey, they would have thousands of ‘no trouble found’ Echos sitting in a warehouse ready to be resold at a discount.

    Successful retailers understand the new reality of the omnichannel consumer, and know that the ‘whatever, whenever’ culture demands that user experience is seamless across all devices.  If retailers don’t understand this, customers will simply delete their app and move on.

    Learn more about the Future of Retail and how evolving technology and consumer needs and expectations will impact how you design and deliver product, service, and omnichannel experiences.

    Robert Schumacher is an Executive Vice President of User Experience at GfK. Please email robert.schumacher@gfk.com with your comments.

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