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The Western European market for Technical Consumer Goods looks back at an overall positive year 2019, driven by a strong final quarter

GfK TEMAX® results for Western Europe, Q4 2019

  • Performance:The performance is seen as an enabler for the rich experiences. Through high-performing devices equipped with the right performance features, superior experiences can be delivered (for instance in the case of gaming or entertainment).  
  • Borderless Shopping: Consumers are shopping on any given channel and expect a seamless transition between physical and digital channels accompanied by their smartphones – anywhere, anytime.   
    In order to deliver the borderless shopping experience, digital retail technologies are becoming ever more important. Read more about retailing of tomorrow in our blog articles. 
  • Simplification: Rich experiences can be also delivered through products allowing the consumers to simplify their lives, for which they are ready to pay more. Smart devices with intelligent voice assistants can make this experience even more frictionless and bring next-level connectivity. 
  • Premium: Experience can also mean expressing identity. Aspirational products at a premium price point allow for pampering the “Me”.

To learn more about the trends and developments across TCG stay tuned to this page.

    • 11/13/19
    • Retail
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • TEMAX
    • Global
    • English

    4 facts you can’t ignore about Black Friday

    Seasonal promotions are one of the core reasons consumers make a purchase. The importance of good deals to consumers can be clearly seen in GfK’s weekly long-term sales trends for Technical Consumer Goods. GfK has found that about a quarter of cumulative global sales come from select promotional events that only take place during 10 weeks of the year. Of course, there are regional differences, but Christmas, Singles’ Day and Black Friday dominate the promotional calendar in many countries around the world.

    1. Black Friday 2019 is timed perfectly

    Every year, Black Friday falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving in the US, which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. This year’s Black Friday takes place on the latest possible date, 29th of November: right after payday and only three weeks before Christmas. As a result, many consumers will already feel the pressure to buy gifts and, probably more importantly, will have money to spend on Black Friday deals. For some shoppers, this might be the first time that they can go bargain hunting without having to organize a loan before making their purchase. This year’s Black Friday could well set new sales records thanks to its timing.

    2. Black Friday is bigger than Christmas

    Traditionally, the Friday after Thanksgiving has been regarded as the beginning of the United States’ Christmas shopping season. Today, both in volume and value, Black Friday is bigger than the original peak trading periods including Christmas and the January sales – and it continues to grow. Our Weekly Point of Sales Tracking shows that Black Friday week in 2018 generated more than double the turnover (+113%) of an average selling week across the EU5 (France, Germany, Italy Spain, UK) markets. For those countries plus Brazil, Black Friday is the most important week of the year in terms of sales value generated. Latin America has seen unprecedented peak sales during Black Friday.

    3. Black Friday attracts aspirational bargain hunters

    In general, consumers love bargains and they are actively looking for them. shows that with the ease of making price comparisons online, a growing number of consumers shop around before making a purchase decision. Globally, nearly half of all consumers (44%) have increased the frequency they compare prices from different stores. This is true for 58% of shoppers in Latam, 45% in Europe, 41% in APAC and 35% in North America.  And this is what makes Black Friday so successful and important – but retailers need to make sure the price drops are genuine in this environment of comparing prices. And our research shows that a significant proportion of shopping decisions might be driven by consumers wanting to treat themselves. A growing number of shoppers state that they want to “indulge or pamper themselves on a regular basis” or that they “prefer to own fewer, but higher quality items” or they “only buy from trusted brands”. These types of shopper attitudes give an indication of what aspirational bargain hunters could be looking for on Black Friday.

    4. It’s happening – so don’t fight it

    Black Friday has become an essential part of the annual retail calendar for deal-loving shoppers. So for retailers, it’s a question of “do or die”. To “do” it successfully, it’s important to understand the nuances of purchase behavior and shoppers’ attitudes. To make this key event in the “golden” quarter of the year deliver for your business, manufacturers and retailers alike need accurate weekly point of sale data to evaluate performance and plan tactics. In today’s competitive retail environment, it’s vital to respond quickly to consumer purchase behavior and competitor offers. And in the more mature markets, we’re seeing a trend in retailers and manufacturers finding new strategic answers on their quest to make Black Friday profitable despite the challenge of meeting consumers’ demand for bigger and better bargains. This trend is called “Premiumization” and it could transform Singles’ Day, Christmas and the rest of the 2019 shopping season.

    Can “Premiumization” save shopping season 2019?

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    • 10/16/19
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • TEMAX
    • Global
    • English

    The importance of localizing your global e-commerce strategy

    One in every four US dollars spent on Technical Consumer Goods (TCG) today are for transactions made online, but it’s not a consistent global story of expansion. Therefore it’s time to rethink if your global e-commerce strategy on a local level. The growth of online shopping has slowed in some markets and where spend happens varies hugely by country and region. E-commerce share ranges from almost zero to more than one-third of turnover. The perception of online retail also varies, from a premium destination driven by promotion to a mass-market channel offering value-for-money solutions. In this article, we discuss the regional differences in sales dynamics, pricing and assortment to evaluate the characteristics of e-commerce.

    Global online shopping keeps growing, but…

    Where does the natural equilibrium between online and offline retail sit? There are already indications that growth is slowing in countries where online shopping is more mature. Globally in the first half of 2019, e-commerce increased to about 24% of total revenues (+1.6 percentage points), a flattening dynamic compared to past years, when almost three percentage points were gained annually. However, the global view masks local nuances. China is leading the online retail sector with a share of 36%. In the Chinese and other advanced markets, there’s a blurring of online and traditional retail concepts. For instance, e-commerce players have been moving from pure online stores and integrating traditional shops into their retail ecosystem to reach customers regardless of channel. Many brick and mortar retailers have been adding e-commerce operations and technology to add digital experiences to the traditional in-store shopping trip. Offering a seamless omnichannel approach is challenging the definitions of e-commerce and ‘traditional’ retail used today. Other regions are at a much earlier phase of the online retail evolution, such as Middle East/Africa and Emerging Asia (excluding China). Here, online sales account for about 5% compared to 36% of turnover in China.

    E-commerce pricing reflects a region’s socio-economic developments

    How online retailers are seen in different markets is not just about the assortment mix offered or their pricing, it’s about the socio-economic market situation and the adoption level of online shopping. In some markets, it’s predominantly the more affluent consumers whohave access to online shopping. Retailers have responded by offering premium items. This is the case in Brazil, where online retail offers a premium assortment mix and generates high average prices. Facilitated by online promotions, consumers buy premium product segments at an attractive price which is reflected in an above-average price index of almost 140% compared to the total market covering online sales. It’s a different story in the huge Chinese online market: internet shopping is highly adopted by consumers and online retailers employ a mass-market approach, facilitated by simple-to-use app-based payment systems, to sell lower-end product segments at entry-level prices. Hence, the price index is below 60%. For both markets, a convergence is visible – but they are still distant from a 100% price index average.

    Getting the assortment spot on: Balancing conflicting customer needs

    It’s not only socio-economic considerations adding to the challenge of creating the right e-commerce strategy – individual consumer needs and wants are also important. Where consumers are in their purchase journey determines how they view the product assortment on offer. For instance, shoppers in the exploration phase who are unclear about what to buy may perceive too many choices as a barrier for their decision-making. On average, shoppers have 2.7 times more choice online compared to what is offered by a traditional retailer. However, overwhelming choice is a common concern among consumers: 59% agree globally that “there are too many choices in many of the categories I shop” (GfK FutureBuy study, 2019). On the other hand, for a shopper who is at the end of a purchase journey and ready to buy, tan online retail store with a large assortment can maximize their advantage. Offering a choice of both touchable and digitally available products is the solution desired by the consumer. In-store, retailers need to offer the right assortment to make a directional decision about what to purchase. Should consumers want to access more product variants, this can be done via a virtual assortment of stock at the location, or at a central warehouse.

    There’s no one-size-fits all approach to e-commerce strategy

    It is essential to understand local and regional differences that affect your strategy: from the level of online shopping adoption to the assortment and pricing of your range, to how channel dynamics are changing, to where consumers are in the various stages of the purchase journey. GfK’s Point of Sales Tracking can help you keep up-to-date with how online and offline sales channels are developing at a country level. This will enable you to adapt your e-commerce strategy to stay relevant for consumers and the market—wherever that may be.

    Stay on top of sales channel dynamics
    with GfK’s POS Tracking

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    • 09/03/19
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • TEMAX
    • Global
    • English

    Strong gaming ecosystem meets the cloud

    With an estimated value turnover of 140 billion USD in 2019 and projected robust growth, the video games industry has become a giant in the entertainment business. Gaming is about experiences. Experiences are for consumers. And in the world of gaming, “everybody can be somebody”. For many of the millions of gamers around the globe, gaming is a lifestyle. It offers a way of identifying themselves and expressing emotions, of being connected and belonging to a group. Linear gaming has evolved into multi-platform gaming ecosystem, on PC, console and smartphone/tablet, streaming and watching on video platforms, all of which are integral to gamers’ engagement.

    The importance of mobile gaming

    Smartphone and tablet developments provide a good understanding of multi-platform gaming and in particular, the current importance and future potential of mobile gaming. As smartphone displays grow, tablets needed to adapt and offer the bigger screen sizes too. In EU 15, over 5.7 million tablets above 9” were sold in the first half year of 2019, while smartphones reached over 17.2 million units in the same period. Although these devices aren’t currently suitable for high-end gaming, there’s the promise that this will change in the near future. Overall, these numbers demonstrate the current importance and further potential of mobile gaming.

    PC hardware as a gaming ecosystem

    When it comes to PC gaming hardware, we’ve experienced an evolution from a niche segment to a gaming ecosystem over the last few years. Turnover of over 5.3 billion euro, generated by gaming PC hardware in the first half year of 2019, exceeded the turnover for the whole of 2016 . In 2018, the turnover of consoles in EU15 fell slightly by -1 percent to 3.7 billion euro. Although over 14 million consoles were sold in 2018, they still recorded a decline of -4 percent. Sales of consoles dropped further in the first half year of 2019, recording a double-digit decline. At the same time, gaming notebooks generated 1.1 billion euro in EU15, which corresponded to a growth of +18 percent. However, revenue declined by -3 percent from January to June 2019, indicating signs of maturity. During the same period, gaming monitors recorded another strong growth globally up +42 percent, while monitors with at least 100 Hz refresh rate rocketed, growing by +70 percent. On average, gaming desktops cost 2.4 times the price of non-gaming ones, while gaming notebooks and gaming monitors achieve a price ratio of 1.6 times. Overall, gaming hardware offers an attractive price tag and margin to the industry and retailers. However, the current business model may well experience the transformative effect of the on-demand subscription-based model.

    Gaming reaches for the cloud

    With an estimated value turnover of 140 billion USD in 2019 and a projected robust growth, the video games industry has the full interest of the tech sector. Consumers are already used to streaming entertainment services from the cloud, and it seems it’s time for the gaming ecosystem to reach the cloud. In the last year, more focus has been devoted to cloud gaming, often referred to as the “Netflix for games”. The promise of delivering a high-end gaming experience on any device without the need for high-performing hardware may have the power to disrupt the gaming industry.

    The importance of WiFi and 5G

    Currently, connection speed is perceived as the possible bottleneck. This is especially true when it comes action games. Here, where every millisecond might be decisive, having an ultra-fast and reliable connection is essential – otherwise, hardcore gamers will be disappointed. Casual gamers, on the other hand, may still accept a time-lag of a few milliseconds. Combining cloud capabilities together with the technological promise of 5G may offer a technology leap to low-latency gaming, particularly when it comes to screen-independent gaming and gaming-on-the-go. In addition, with the advent of cloud gaming, the cost barriers to play may reduce, and more people around the globe could be encouraged to join. No matter what technology innovations are available, ultimately, the consumer has the final word. Gaming gear and hardware have been a key enabler for rich gaming experiences and, although the landscape might change in the future, one thing will remain consistent – the desire for immersive game play. One topic with global importance that we expect to become more relevant for gaming is sustainability and energy efficiency in the form of green gaming. The energy consumption of gaming devices is already significant and with increasing numbers of people playing more often on powerful devices and servers, this will only grow. Based on a GfK Consumer Life survey from this year, nearly 60 percent of people strongly agree that brands and companies have to be environmentally responsible. Although its main domain is virtual worlds, gaming has the potential to be very impactful in the real world.

    Want to know more about this topic?

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    • 08/20/19
    • Press
    • TEMAX
    • Global
    • English

    PC hardware for gamers: Performance and experience drive demand in a maturing market

    The gaming PC hardware market recorded a 15 percent increase year-on-year (January-June 2019) to reach over $6.1 billion turnover. 

Table summary

Western Europe 15 - Q4 2019
Q1 2019 M. EUR Q2 2019 M. EUR Q3 2019 M. EUR Q4 2019 M. EUR Q4 2019 / Q4 2018 / +/- % Q1-Q4 2019 M. EUR Q1-Q4 2019 / Q1-Q4 2018 +/- %
Consumer Electronics (CE) 6,078 5,112 5,415 8,496 -5.3% 25,101 -6.5%
Photography (PH) 877 946 915 1,033 -7.0% 3,771 -6.3%
Major Domestic Appliances (MDA) 8,481 8,207 8,861 9,713 5.5% 35,262 3.1%
Small Domestic Appliances (SDA) 4,513 4,096 4,302 6,406 5.6% 19,317 5.5%
Information Technology (IT) 14,204 12,834 13,547 17,041 2.9% 57,626 4.4%
Telecommunications (TC) 14,116 13,356 14,482 19,719 3.7% 61,673 1.5%
Office Equipment & Consumables (OE) 3,376 3,081 2,936 3,288 -7.3% 12,681 -5.0%
GfK TEMAX® Western Europe 51,646 47,631 50,459 65,697 1.9% 215,433 1.3%