The new GfK Connected Consumer Index is a ranking of 78 countries and eight world regions giving fast comparison of which have the world’s most connected consumers, both overall and in detail across eleven different device types.
The top five most important factors that shoppers say swayed their decision to make a purchase online rather than in-store, or in-store rather than on-line.
Each year, thousands of people worldwide are injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents involving a distracted driver. Rapid growth in the installation and use of in-vehicle electronic features, along with an array of associated visual and auditory cues, are adding to driver distraction. Future in-vehicle electronic systems will need safer and more intuitive designs to enhance the driving experience while, at the same time, reducing the risk of distraction for today’s multitasking drivers.
One of our clients in the emerging connected vehicle space offered an innovative concept that addresses both safety and experiential needs with precisely and logically-placed audio cues. They sponsored user experience (UX) research with us to understand consumers’ acceptance of the concept, examine the potential impact, and assess the value that potential car buyers place on this technology and its intended benefits.
Audio cues were considered by most participants in this study to be less distracting and more noticeable than visual cues, even among those who consider themselves to be more visually-oriented. Such audio prompts are perceived to be especially helpful in situations that demand the driver’s immediate attention, such as a blind-spot warning, lane departure warning or navigation prompt. They also have the added benefit of not requiring the driver to take his or her eyes off the road.
Our research uncovered the following perceived benefits of our client’s in-car technology:
As with any new technology, education, clear consumer messaging and if possible, hands-on experience, are also critical to build awareness, comfort and demand. And this is just the start to a future of more engaged, alert and responsive drivers.
Please share your thoughts in the comments below or email me at Melinda.Jamil@gfk.com (Senior Research Director, User Experience at GfK).
For a full summary of study findings and methods, download our free whitepaper.
As the world has become increasingly digitized, digital marketing and advertising ecosystems have grown into huge digital rivers of information where offline and online data converge.
Information collected via the “Internet of Things” – from our cars, heating systems, coffee machines and even our pets’ food bowls – will swell this river of data further still.
With such diverse digital data trails being created, the message for brands, media agencies and media owners is clear: move away from a siloed understanding of your audiences and embrace a data strategy to build a complete view of your customers – The Single Customer View.
In a fragmented digital ecosystem which is striving to demonstrate value and provide transparency, there is a real need for a strategic approach. So, how can you address your customers as people rather than a cluster of data points, through a comprehensive and scalable data strategy?
Brands, media agencies and media owners: we know you want to avoid drowning in data but, at the same time, you should not miss the huge opportunities for engagement with your customers in a personalized and effective way. The risk is not only adversely impacting user experience but also developing blind or inaccurate marketing and advertising messages and, ultimately, affecting revenue. In order to effectively build a Single Customer View, you must first develop a comprehensive data strategy.
It is often the case that client briefs focus on needs relating to specific product or service-use cases at the expense of the wider context. With separate client teams briefing these projects and managing different data sets, there is a real danger of efforts being duplicated and data being siloed. Having a solid data governance and management strategy, and a data science led, consistent approach to data across your business is crucial to avoid a fragmented view of your customers.
We know that a customer is not just a buyer of a certain product or service. He or she is also a human being with different characteristics, behaviors and attitudes. The customer may or may not have bought other products from the same brand before. Plus, there are all those activities that take place out of sight of the brand on various channels and in different environments. For example:
These are often unrelated, and yet, they are fundamental to fully understand the individual customer to build a Single Customer View.
Having a holistic view of the customer is a concept with huge, untapped potential. It needs to extend beyond the products and services people buy and be enhanced by the incremental data available to your business. For instance, how did the customer react to certain advertising? How did he/she engage with the targeted marketing messages from the brand?
As things stand, companies all too often use different data sets in different contexts – even though they are related to the same user. This is effectively “digitally dismembering” their customer – approaching him/her as if they were different separate entities. This results in different and incomplete views of the same user.
To construct a Single Customer View, you must focus on developing the following data strategies to give you the depth for viewing your customer as a person rather than a cluster of data points:
However, a Single Customer View would be of limited or partial use if you won’t be able to activate it and leverage it (where, when and how depending on your specific goals): this is when a Data Management Platform (DMP) comes into play.
By doing so, you can achieve the practical goal of being able to target that specific customer on different channels with tailored messages and, more importantly, the ultimate objective of building a more effective, rewarding and meaningful relationship with your customer.
With this level of information, websites or apps can be optimized depending on the characteristics of your customer. Relevant content can be published and product recommendations made, targeted messages delivered across the digital communications ecosystems (including programmatic), or via email marketing campaigns.
We are working hard to help clients in reaching their objective of a deep and multidimensional view of their customers, by supporting them in the development of a comprehensive data strategy while leveraging the rich data provided by our panels, purchase data and other sources, and combining this with our extensive expertise in data science and modeling techniques.
In an inconsistent digital ecosystem that is struggling to demonstrate value and provide transparency, there is more need than ever for expertise, quality and trust. These are the three foundation pillars to collect, enrich and make sense of the data, and provide the bigger picture: a complete view of your customer.
Please share your thoughts with me in the comments section below or email me at Alessandro.DeZanche@gfk.com (Global Product Lead, Data Activation).
When Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) manufacturers think digital, behavioral tracking and social media often come to mind. However, as we’ve uncovered in our Tech Trends Report, innovative technology is changing consumers’ lives and subsequently, the products and services they purchase. When leveraged correctly, virtual reality, augmented reality, connectivity, artificial intelligence and other innovations offer CPG brands a great opportunity to completely reshape category and brand experiences.
But how do you deliver this innovative technology in a meaningful way for your customers? How do you ensure it supports your brand promise? Drives customer adoption and loyalty? Consider these three steps when reimaging your user experience:
We’re seeing reinvented experiences from bus shelters that interact with you to product packaging that can be scanned to trigger additional content. The consumer can be connected to anything at any moment in time; experiences can seamlessly integrate digital and physical elements. But the first thing CPG manufacturers must understand is where and how to deliver these digital experiences.
Do consumers really want their breakfast cereal to be a platform for interactive games?Conversely, a leading toy company is completely reimagining the coloring experience by simultaneously maintaining the physical benefit of coloring and enhancing it with a digital component that brings the product to life in a four-dimensional image.
The gap between a consumer’s digital and non-digital life is narrowing, often times seamlessly blending. And, products that incorporate new technology must align with real world needs, behaviors and pain points in a way that makes sense to consumers.
Bringing the user experience (UX) perspective early in the product development process ensures that manufacturers create new and exciting experiences consumers want, in the way they want it.
We know from the data we’ve collected that some of the digital experience evolution is tech-led rather than consumer-led which slows consumer adoption and can ultimately lead to failed products.
Ok, your customers want it…now what? Once the new product or experience is identified, keeping the user at the center of the design process ensures a product will be delivered in a way that fosters adoption and loyalty. This incorporates strategic elements like what type of technology should be used as well as tactical execution, such as, where the interface should be placed to make it as easy as possible to use and incorporate in consumers’ lives. Getting product instructions right also takes on new importance as there is inherit complexity of digital features and products.
Finally, we know that these reimagined products and experiences must be delivered in a way that’s consistent with the overall brand experience. Deviating from this message is confusing for consumers and ultimately creates fragmentation. When aligned with the brand’s overall strategy, satisfying digital experiences are memorable, leave a great impression and improve overall brand equity.
Incorporating technology such as virtual reality, augmented reality and connectivity offers tremendous opportunity to reimagine your customers’ experiences and consequently grow and strengthen your business. But to be truly successful in the market, you must keep the user at the forefront of the design. Ground your strategy for your brand and customer, understand category experiences and where digital can play a role and design with user insight along the way to ensure these technologies are intentionally designed into meaningful customer experiences.
What are your thoughts? Please share them with me in the comments below or email me at Meredith.Paige@gfk.com (Senior Vice President of User Experience at GfK).
GfK’s Connected Consumer Index provides a single measure covering how much, and on what devices, consumers in each of 78 countries and 8 world regions digitally connect with each other and with digital content.
One of our clients in the emerging connected vehicle space sponsored research to understand the impact of new technology that incorporates precisely- and logically-placed audio cues on the driver experience.
I recently chaired the World Autonomous Vehicle Summit in Stuttgart, Germany where speakers and attendees peered into their crystal ball to understand what the future holds for the automotive industry. How do manufacturers innovate to embrace the future? What does ‘innovation’ really mean in terms of success? What impact will autonomous driving have on the industry? I reflected on these questions as applied to recent technological announcements and published research. Several themes emerged from these which resulted in four considerations for those innovating the next auto frontier.
Data from our Automotive Technology Insights Report, The future is here…can you see it?, found that consumers are factoring in-vehicle technology as a purchase decision attribute. Moreover, the research revealed that new car intenders would be willing to pay more for new car innovation, such as emergency braking, self-parking control and pre-incident preparation (e.g., automatic seat belt tightening).
On the downside, awareness of what the new vehicle features actually do is quite low. An example of a perceived benefit versus reality was highlighted when the study revealed 65% of respondents did not find autonomous driving appealing if it cannot be used after drinking alcohol. This suggests the need to educate consumers about the benefits and not just list the features as bullet points.
It should be no surprise to anyone that we are at the cusp of great changes in the auto industry. Just a few years ago, the introduction of new vehicle innovations used to be dependent upon the chassis of the car and with the traditional seven to eight year lifecycle, innovation took time. Today’s chassis is more akin to a computer where the product development lifecycle is flexible and fast.
The challenge for manufacturers with this faster lifecycle is to ensure the technology features will work and leapfrog them over competitors. Involving users throughout the development process will result in technology that meets user needs, in a way that they expect it to work and where they want to use it. Stand out from competitors by delivering a great user experience.
Another area the study revealed was the variable acceptance of autonomous-driving vehicles across countries. There was a strong emotional anxiety and fear associated with autonomous driving in the U.S., U.K. and Germany. I argue it’s because we like to drive our cars! Surprisingly, Brazil and China were open to autonomous-driving vehicles.
These differences highlight the need to address attitudes when launching products into markets. In this case, manufacturers should address the fear and anxiety in the U.S., U.K. and German markets. But in Brazil and China, perhaps call out the ride-sharing benefits.
An interesting result from our Future of Auto study was around market segmentation. The six segments of car buyers were:
Of the six segments, the two that bubbled up for me were Young Ambivalent and Living and Loving Cars.
The Young Ambivalent segment is the one that should scare the auto industry. These are consumers who don’t care. While the data only revealed this was 19% of the market (relatively low), when we looked deeper, two thirds of Millennials made up this segment. That is almost an entire generation who are ambivalent to car ownership. And, I don’t have to look too far to understand this – I remember how long it took my son to get his driver’s license.
I am in the Living and Loving Cars segment. I don’t want someone driving my car for me or carpooling. When I asked the conference audience, who were largely from Germany, their feelings about carpooling and car sharing were very negative. People, like me, could not fathom letting someone else drive, eat and smoke in their car.
But I started to rethink how car sharing and autonomous driving would impact how I looked at car ownership. If the car is autonomous, it becomes a service not a product. It is clearer to me that autonomous driving is changing car ownership to a service.
And I’m not the only one thinking this. In June 2015, Deutsche Bank downgraded Progressive because they see this change. “We believe the concurrent rise of instant ridesharing and autonomous vehicles presents real questions as to whether there will even be an auto insurance industry as we know it in twenty years…Vehicle utilization will rise and cars on the road will decline as one car can serve the driving needs of multiple travelers per day, which, in-turn, means fewer cars,” said their analysts.
With this looming shift in the auto industry, I’m reminded of a quote from Bill Gates: “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.” (The Road Ahead, 1996). While everyone continues to speculate how autonomous driving will impact the future, let’s focus our energy on getting it right for the user.
Please share your thoughts in the comments below or email me at email@example.com (Executive Vice President, User Experience at GfK).
Which European markets offer the most potential for online sales of technical consumer goods? Download the infographic below and find out.
We partnered with Orange to help drive its strong customer experience strategy by enhancing its consumer segmentation model for the digital age.
The opportunities for restaurants to introduce a digital component into the dining experience are wide and diverse. However, for this exciting technology to result in happier, more engaged and satisfied diners, integration must maintain focus on the entire experience, not just the digital interface itself. After recently dining at a restaurant that incorporated a digital interface, with my UX ‘hat’ on, I came away with three guidelines to ensure that a strong user interface leads to an overall good experience for your restaurant diners.
During my recent dining experience, the restaurant provided an iPad at every table on which I was able to view the menu, order my food and pay. The interface was great and I was able to quickly navigate the menu and choose my dinner.
To ensure your digital interface is useful, intuitive and visually appealing, the following UX design best practices can be applied:
Integrating digital components into restaurant environments should result in a simpler and faster dining experience. One way to do this is to combine order and pay through the same interface, saving the user the extra step of paying after they order.
Since customization is very important to diners, the digital interface must allow easy customization options for food ordered through the interface. For example, when ordering a burger, a diner should be able to customize toppings, cheese type, condiments and any other options that could be asked for when ordering at a counter or through wait staff. Don’t slow down the dining process – if these customization options are not included and/or easy to see, a user might be forced to seek out other guidance when they cannot be found.
My food arrived within 10 minutes, but when I needed some mustard for my hamburger, I could not find a waiter. The iPad offered an option to request a server, but after pressing it a few times, no one arrived. My excitement at using the digital interface was quickly soured by the lack of anything resembling a non-digital experience.
The most well-designed interface will never result in a great user experience if the non-digital components of the dining experience are not equally well-designed. The user experience of dining is a combination of both the digital and the non-digital.
The delivery of food should be seamless from the ordering process. Orders should go to the right person at the right table. This can be done through the digital interface by allowing users to enter their names when ordering or tagging each step with an easy-to-see order number to ensure that wait staff can easily see where the order belongs. However, if the food is not brought out quickly, or orders are prepared incorrectly, this can detract from the experience.
Assistance must be easily accessible. The digital interface can again help with a clearly visible help option, but once help has been requested, a staff member must arrive promptly to ensure that diners do not become frustrated when their request is not fulfilled.
Staff can also serve as “trainers” for the digital interface and must be well-versed in its use. Some diners may not be as tech savvy and may not be able to use the interface as intuitively as others. This is the most important time to ensure that staff is able to help these diners to ensure that their digital interface struggle is not detracting from their dining experience.
Non-digital elements must also work seamlessly to ensure that once the diner has completed their interaction with the digital interface, the experience continues to be a positive one.
At first glance, a unique digital solution with an easy-to-use interface might seem like it should be enough to improve any dining experience. However, if there is a lack of thought beyond the digital interface of the ordering system, it will ultimately result in a poor overall user experience.
The digital and non-digital must blend seamlessly into a customized and efficient experience, and the best user experience will be one where diners’ needs are met equally though the digital interface and the “human element” of the restaurant.
Please share your thoughts in the comments below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (User Experience Specialist at GfK).
Shopper expectations are set by their best experience.
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