GfK Insights Blog

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Recent Posts

A close look at the retail situation in Europe

May 27, 2015 by in Retail

Europe’s economy has again gained momentum. Increased domestic demand as well as improved external competitiveness, particularly in several of the economically weakened countries, can contribute to more balanced, sustainable growth to the benefit of retail. While this overarching assessment is positive, the situation varies starkly at the regional level.

We have just completed a comprehensive analysis of the European retail scene in 32 European countries. The study examines purchasing power, the retail share of the population’s total expenditures, inflation, sales area productivity, changes in retail due to eCommerce, as well as a turnover prognosis for 2015. Here are some results:

What’s moving and shaking the Russian market for engine oils?

May 26, 2015 by in Automotive

The Russian market for engine oils is undergoing a shift: After a good 2013, the market began to stagnate in 2014 and experienced a slow start in 2015. Market players are looking to adapt and transform their strategies. Their focus is shifting from segment expansion (the good old days) to price competition and efforts to minimize the loss of market share. Trends indicate that some smaller players in the automotive industry will be forced to leave the Russian market.

I expect to see a one-digit decrease in sales for engine oils in 2015 because of the expected decline in sales for new cars and overall crisis-related expectations of consumers.

Six challenges for every potential smart home supplier

May 22, 2015 by in Technology

The widespread adoption of the smart (connected) home is getting tantalizingly nearer. So it’s not surprising that the competition is circling as more companies look at how to exploit what could be a potentially massive market.

Big players such as Google and Apple have already declared their intention to carve out share through acquisition and technological partnerships, while Samsung and other entrants are taking their first tentative steps.

It’s true that the concept is not yet mainstream. However, consumer appetite for managing homes, including heating, security, entertainment systems and household appliances, is growing. Our 2014 study showed that more than three-quarters of consumers are keen on the idea of living in a fully-connected, smart home.

24 million diagnosed and counting: can we afford to ignore diabetes?

May 21, 2015 by in Health

Responsible for over 75,000 American deaths in 2013, diabetes is an increasingly common condition where the body’s blood glucose levels are higher than they normally should be. Most of the food we eat turns into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use to as energy. In order for the glucose to be properly used by the body, the pancreas produces a hormone called insulin.

Patients with Type 1 diabetes are not producing enough insulin, whereas patients with the more prevalent Type 2 diabetes are not able to effectively use insulin properly, a condition called “insulin resistance.” Without insulin, sugar builds up in the blood, which starves your cells of energy.

The global wearables market: sales, forecasts and trends

May 20, 2015 by in Technology

How did the wearables market perform in 2014?

According to our data, we saw 2.9 million units being sold in 2014 in the most important markets of Europe – Germany, Great Britain and France. 40% of these 2.9 million units were sold in the fourth quarter, especially in the Christmas season. This was a huge uptake in the market.

This makes us pretty optimistic for 2015 that this trend will continue as major tech companies have already announced new products for the first quarter.

The shopper of the future: why young shoppers won’t turn their back on physical stores

May 20, 2015 by in Consumer Goods

Despite their love of and ease within the online world, today’s young people are not exclusively virtual shoppers, glued to their screens throughout the purchase journey. This new generation of digital natives loves the environment of the store, and values the interaction it offers. And they show no signs of changing their viewpoint.

This creates opportunities for brick and click retailers to challenge the purely online players, some of which – like eBay and Amazon – are responding by migrating out of their virtual comfort zone to investigate the high street.  Global Young Shopper survey questioned shoppers aged 16-21 in ten markets around the world. Here’s what they told us about their online and offline shopping experiences.

What chinese drivers want from the connected car

May 19, 2015 by in Automotive

The connected car will be a reality within a few years, as enhanced safety, economy and entertainment become standard features of most new vehicles. So how do the Chinese feel about the car of the future?

In this extensive global project carried out at the end of 2014, we interviewed 5,800 consumers in six key markets – China, Brazil, Germany, Russia the UK and the US – to find out what the future really looks like for consumers, automotive manufacturers and the wider supply chain. We asked Chinese drivers about their attitudes towards driving now and their thoughts about expected future innovations.

Rigs before rides: UX considerations for the self-driving vehicle landscape

May 18, 2015 by in Automotive, Technology

Daimler Truck unveiled a few weeks ago what is potentially the future of big rig trucking. The Inspiration Truck is a partially autonomous semi that has driven more than 10,000 miles on Nevada highways and could revolutionize the way that goods are shipped across the country. Instead of focusing on consumer vehicles like many car manufacturers and tech companies, Daimler Truck thinks that the more immediate future of autonomous driving lies in trucking as evidenced by the Inspiration and the July 2014 unveiling of the Future Truck 2025 by Mercedes-Benz (also owned by Daimler AG).

Financial services innovation: some thoughts from Net Finance 2015

May 18, 2015 by in Financial services

I spent three days in Miami at Net Finance, a conference dedicated to providing insight into the digital financial services space. On the final day, Marc Andrews of IBM mentioned that as he was preparing his remarks for his talk that day, he noticed that although many are talking much about the disruptive power of digital, not a lot had changed in the last two years.

Worries of car drivers and how they differ by country

May 15, 2015 by in Automotive, GfK Verein

It may be a status symbol or a means to an end, an office on four wheels or a family car – the car fulfills so many functions for us humans and is still a bestseller worldwide, despite fluctuating markets. Globally there were more than 70 million new car registrations last year alone, and the number is still rising. Yet, however great the enthusiasm for driving may be at times, the person behind the wheel does have one or two worries. Drivers’ concerns vary from country to country. At least in terms of numbers, the Brazilians are the world champions at worrying, and most frequently come top in the evaluation of individual aspects.