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    • 03/07/17
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Why consumer behavior and digital convergence matter for electronics manufacturers

    Since the mid-nineties, digitalization has ensured a regular boom in the tech industry. Many new products, applications and services have succeeded in massively boosting the use of the latest technology at ever lower prices.

    At the same time, consumer behavior has changed fundamentally due to the ubiquitous and unlimited access to the internet, social media and networking between content and hardware. In a relatively short period of time, the high demand for smartphones and smart TVs has drastically and sustainably reversed the use and distribution of music and television or film.

    However, the development of digital products has not only characterized consumer behavior, but has also been the source of some convergence of hardware. In many cases today a smartphone replaces the MP3 player, the navigation device, the photo camera or the tablet and the credit card, the fitness tracker and much more thanks to ever-increasing screen sizes and advanced technology.

    Structural change in the multimedia sector

    The market for multimedia products is now in a deep crisis as measured by demand. The high demand of the past years has led to strong market saturation, so the manufacturer has had to foot the bill for the end customers the past two years.

    On the one hand, a large number of devices are only in the middle of their service life, which means that the consumer often does not see any additional use or buy-in for a replacement purchase due to small or even poorly communicated innovations in conventional products.

    Even for 2017, the bottom is still not reached. The prospects for recovery are low, with a noticeable, structural change in the sector.

    Smart TV dominated CES

    The groundbreaking annual CES fair in Las Vegas produced a glimmer of hope at the beginning of the year with the industry presenting a large number of innovations. The focus, however, was once again on smart televisions with bigger and better pictures.

    The TV market is, of course, an essential part of the entire multimedia business and the decline in sales recorded in recent years is indeed striking. Whether the presented innovations can stimulate the saturated TV market in the short term, however, is questionable.

    All-in-one smartphone

    The driver in the multimedia area is undoubtedly the smartphone. The steady growth was attributable to the penetration, which had not yet been exhausted, as well as the product innovations up to 2015 and 2016. The turnover in this area was only partially compensated for by other declining multimedia categories.

    In the future, the opposite will probably be the case despite advances in new devices with higher battery operation times. The trend of growth could decline in the future as a result of the lower subsidies by the telecom providers as well as the often achieved marginal use.

    Unsteady photo market

    The whole photo and video area is almost right in the free fall, as the smartphone increasingly replaces the classic camera with increasingly better camera functions.

    As CES 2017 showed, the innovations and visions of the industry are likely to hit the market again in many places with new perspectives. Particularly interesting are 360-degree film cameras in combination with VR glasses, as well as compact film drones in addition or as a replacement to Actioncams.

    Renaissance in audio

    As far as the sound is concerned, high-quality audio seems to be experiencing a renaissance. Thanks to high resolution audio, sound quality is coming back to the forefront for consumers. Both audio-players and headphones in the highest resolution promise an unprecedented sound experience and bring the music lover into completely new spheres. This kind of innovation not only enhances the quality of the sound world, but also creates new, desirable products in the market.

    At the same time, the audio-home market is benefiting from unbroken demand in the streaming and multi-room segments, which grew by 8 percent in value and 5 percent in value respectively. This trend will continue to grow as a result of continuous development and new suppliers.

    Taking a chance on the smart home

    The smart home has become an ever-present catchword at CES. The term is as broad as it is incomprehensible, but everyone seems to be able to imagine something related to home networking. The range of products and innovations also take into account the primary need for safety, energy management and control of all possible household appliances and equipment.

    The challenge of the manufacturers is to offer the consumer simple and reliable products, which can be installed and operated easily and intuitively at an affordable price. A simple communication of the benefits and understandable advertising play an equally important role.

    Conclusion

    The recent changes in consumer behavior have presented a number of challenges and opportunities for electronics manufacturers. The convergence of hardware has made many products obsolete and led to structural changes in the sector. The markets for smart TVs and phones face growth challenges, while innovative products in the visual and audio segments are opening up new opportunities for established players. The smart home remains a mystery and presents maybe the biggest opportunity, with consumers showing interest but lacking understanding of products in that segment.

    Luca Giuriato is a Senior Market Manager at GfK. To share your thoughts, please email luca.giuriato@gfk.com or leave a comment below.

  • Optimize your retail leaflet promotions to deliver greater ROI
    • 03/07/17
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Optimize your retail leaflet promotions to deliver greater ROI

    With a few key considerations, you can optimize your leaflet promotions to deliver greater ROI. Take a look at our 'Creating effective leaflet promotions: Top five factors' infographic'.

    • 03/02/17
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Vehicle features and the importance of having the latest driver technology

    While safety, reliability, fuel economy and low running costs top the list of what people see as being ‘very important’ in a vehicle, over a third (36%) of those surveyed online rank having the latest driver technology in the same regards.  Driver technology includes steering or parking assist, adaptive cruise control, and keyless entry or ignition.

    Over a quarter (28%) of the online population also ranked having the latest passenger technology, which includes audio or video streaming and social network connectivity, as ‘very important’ to them.

    Where driver and passenger technology is most important

    Out of the 17 countries surveyed, Brazil, China and Korea have the highest percentages overall of people saying that the latest driver technology is ‘very important’ to them.

    China, Brazil and Mexico, meanwhile, have the highest percentages of people rating the latest passenger technology as ‘very important’.

    “The value of these findings for vehicle manufacturers lies in being able to assess precisely which features different consumer segments say appeal most to them – and adjust marketing content and product development to match those aspirations”, said Global Head of Automotive Research, Siegfried Hoegl. “By combining this attitudinal data with analysis of actual sales across different markets and consumer segments, or insights from running in-depth car clinics, we help our clients to fine-tune their customer insights to the maximum extent – both globally and at country specific level.”

    Vehicle technology importance and the role of income

    A notable difference in the responses was found when breaking down the results by income. In the highest income range (the top quarter of the total income in each country), 44% see the latest driver technology as ‘very important’, compared to the bottom quarter income band, which had 30%.  A similar dip was seen across income quartiles for the importance of passenger technology as well.

    In fact, income had an effect on what people see as important for a range of features, including the quality of workmanship, a comfortable and spacious interior, a powerful engine and the reputation of the manufacturer.  However, other areas such as the fuel economy and environmental friendliness had much more even results across income ranges.

    About the study

    GfK conducted the online survey with over 22,000 consumers aged 15 or older across 17 countries. Fieldwork was completed in summer 2016. Data are weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population aged 15+ in each market. Countries covered are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Spain, UK and USA.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • How to win the 2017 shopper
    • 03/02/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    How to win the 2017 shopper

    Consumers tell us that they shop using both online and offline channels for different but complementary reasons. Take a look at our infographic and discover "How to win the 2017 shopper".

  • Tech Trends 2017
    • 03/01/17
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Tech Trends 2017

    Wearables, mobile payments, smart homes or augmented reality, all make the list in this year’s ultimate Tech Trends guide. Watch our video.

  • Five Tech Trends you can’t afford to ignore in 2017
    • 03/01/17
    • Connected Consumer
    • Tech Trends
    • Global
    • English

    Five Tech Trends you can’t afford to ignore in 2017

    The pace of change driven by new technologies never slows. For our latest thinking on how five key trends will impact Connected Consumers now and next, explore our full Tech Trends 2017 report

  • Tech Trends 2017 - Virtual and augmented reality
    • 03/01/17
    • Connected Consumer
    • Tech Trends
    • Global
    • English

    Tech Trends 2017 - Virtual and augmented reality

    2017 is set to be a turning point for virtual reality (VR). Download our infographic and get key facts why 2017 will be the prime time for virtual and augmented reality.

  • Tech Trends 2017 - Wearables
    • 03/01/17
    • Connected Consumer
    • Tech Trends
    • Global
    • English

    Tech Trends 2017 - Wearables

    Manufacturers and retailers need to understand real-life wearable users to increase appeal. Download our infographic and find out where the market for wearables is headed in 2017.

  • Tech Trends 2017 - Mobile payments
    • 03/01/17
    • Connected Consumer
    • Tech Trends
    • Global
    • English

    Tech Trends 2017 - Mobile payments

    Consumers are ready for a compelling mobile payment experience - and less loyal than ever before! Download our infographic and get the latest trends.

  • Tech Trends 2017 - Autonomous vehicles
    • 03/01/17
    • Connected Consumer
    • Tech Trends
    • Global
    • English

    Tech Trends 2017 - Autonomous vehicles

    The road ahead for autonomous cars is long and winding. Download our infographic and explore the four key challenges to achieving mass market take-up.

  • Tech Trends 2017 - Smart home
    • 03/01/17
    • Connected Consumer
    • Tech Trends
    • Global
    • English

    Tech Trends 2017 - Smart home

    In 2017, the hype about the fully connected smart home continues. Download our infographic and explore the top three reasons older Millennials monitor/control a device in their home.

    • 02/24/17
    • Consumer Goods
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Don’t call it a comeback: What health means to consumers today

    As we get busier and more distracted every day, key priorities like health often fall to the wayside.  But interestingly, health and fitness (defined as “making an effort to be in good physical and mental shape”) is a rising value globally; currently, it’s #12 on a list of 50 personal values tracked by GfK Consumer Life, up four ranks since 2011.  And nearly half (48%) of Americans believe that their eating habits, diet and overall health are better than their parents were at their age, a 6-point jump from 2012.

    After years of being back-burnered by the Great Recession, people finally feel ready to take a more active role in their own wellness.  But the return of health brings new questions: what does health mean to today’s consumer?

    Mind + body matters

    Most (69%) Americans agree that a key aspect of good health is “having a positive, optimistic state of mind and outlook on life” – #4 on a list of 12 possible health descriptors.  As new outlooks on health emerge, this is a critical one.  No longer are people consumed just with the number on their scale or the size of their jeans – they need to feel good, not just look good.  This outlook is more pronounced among those who are 60+, perhaps due to enhanced expectations for a longer, happier life.

    New nuances to fitness

    Almost six in ten (58%) Americans believe that “being physically fit” is included in their definition of “good health” – but it’s a bit more complex than that.  Other dimensions of physical fitness are actually ranked higher on this list, including the ability to do daily activities without obstacles (78%) and avoiding obesity (62%).  This heightened awareness of the impacts of fitness are evident in the top physical concerns Americans share about aging – gaining weight (34%) and loss of mobility (34%) are among the top five items on this list.

    With that in mind, it may come as no surprise that nearly two in three (65%) Americans exercise to keep fit weekly or more often; this habit is up six points since 2012.  And one in three (32%) admit that physical movement helps them treat health conditions they have.

    “Whole person” customization

    The marketplace for health and wellness solutions has expanded in recent years to include many more players.  Tech companies are competing with pharmaceutical leaders, and startups are often able to deliver solutions faster and more efficiently than more established brands.

    This is good news for the consumer.  Not only are there more products and services to choose from, the ability to personalize one’s wellness regimen has accelerated tremendously.  There’s a combination of solutions for everyone, whether it’s aging consumers who are focused on declining mobility and memory, younger individuals who care strongly about fitness, or the affluent audience drawn to more preventative health solutions.

    With wellness finally back on the front burner for consumers around the world and new spaces for a variety of companies to play a role, discussion of what “health” is will continue to grow – opening doors to new ideas on how to live healthfully.

    Rachel Bonsignore is a Senior Consultant for GfK Consumer Life.  She can be reached at rachel.bonsignore@gfk.com.