Source: PriceWaterhouse Coopers
The 2012 global multichannel retail consumer survey was completed by more than 11,000 respondents from 11 different countries. For PwC, this is our most comprehensive research to date on multichannel retailing. In order to truly understand the trends and spot the patterns in multichannel shopping, we surveyed only those consumers who self-identified as online shoppers.
The 11 countries covered in the survey were:
- United Kingdom
- United States
Despite inflationary heat affecting many of our wallets, fresh foods continue to maintain healthy sales contributions at retail. In fact, fresh foods can comprise between 30-60 percent of total food, grocery and personal care expenses on average, depending on country and type of fresh product. Let’s face it, fresh foods are high-traffic volume boosters. They are a staple to a healthy diet, and we shop for fresh foods often.
New findings from the Nielsen Global Survey of Fresh Foods reveal how much fresh foods we consume, where we shop for fresh products and why we shop these preferred retail channels. By combining global survey research with Nielsen sales information collected from around the world, we unearth insights that re-define retail strategies to bolster sales in both the perimeter and center store aisles. The Shopper Trends Survey findings are based on a global study, covering 54 markets across 58 countries, with a total sample size of 87,000 respondents.
Organized Retail Crime (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)
Organized retail crime (ORC) involves the large-scale theft of everyday consumer items and potentially has much broader implications. Organized groups of professional shoplifters, or “boosters,” steal or fraudulently obtain merchandise that is then sold, or “fenced,” to individuals and retailers through a variety of venues. In an increasingly globalized society, more and more transactions take place online rather than face-to-face. As such, in addition to relying on physical resale markets, organized retail thieves have turned to online marketplaces as means to fence their ill-gotten goods.
ORC exposes the United States to costs and harms in the economic, public health, and domestic security arenas. The exact loss from ORC to the retail industry is unknown, but estimates have ranged from $15 billion to $37 billion annually. The economic impact, however, extends beyond the manufacturing and retail industry and includes costs incurred by consumers and taxes lost by the states. The theft and resale of stolen consumable or health and beauty products such as infant formula (that may have been repackaged, relabeled, and subjected to altered expiration dates) poses potential safety concerns for individuals purchasing such goods from ORC fences. In addition, some industry experts and policy makers have expressed concern about the possibility that proceeds from ORC may be used to fund terrorist activities.
Current efforts to combat ORC largely come from retailers, online marketplaces, and law enforcement alike. Retailers responding to the 2010 National Retail Security Survey spent an average of 0.46% of their annual sales on loss prevention measures. These loss prevention costs are ultimately borne by consumers in the form of higher prices on goods. Also, online marketplaces report taking various measures to combat the sale of stolen and fraudulently obtained goods on their websites, including educating sellers and consumers, monitoring suspicious activity, and partnering with retailers and law enforcement. Combating retail theft has traditionally been handled by state law enforcement under state criminal laws. Some, however, have begun to question whether state laws—which vary in the quantity of monetary losses that constitute major theft—are adequate to combat ORC.
While many agree that ORC is a national problem, there is debate over the federal government’s role in deterring ORC and sanctioning various actors that may be involved in committing or aiding these crimes. One policy issue facing Congress is whether criminalizing organized retail crime in the U.S. Code would allow for more effective investigation and prosecution of these criminals. Congress may also wish to consider whether regulating resale marketplaces (online markets, in particular), to require such entities to increase information sharing with retailers and law enforcement, would strengthen investigations and prosecutions of ORC as well as decrease the prevalence of retail thieves relying on legitimate online marketplaces to fence stolen goods.
A little brand loyalty goes a long way. More than half (60%) of consumers around the world with Internet access prefer to buy new products from a familiar brand than switch to a new brand, according to a new global study from Nielsen.
“Innovating products within established brands that consumers trust can be a powerful strategy,” said Rob Wengel, senior vice president, Nielsen Innovation Analytics. “Marketers and retailers can deliver successful new products for existing brands by ensuring they uncover unmet consumer needs, communicate with clarity, deliver distinct product innovations, and execute an optimal marketing strategy.”
The findings are from the Nielsen Global Survey of New Product Purchase Sentiment, which surveyed more than 29,000 respondents with Internet access from 58 countries.
Getting What You Pay For
While brand familiarity is important, half of global respondents say they’d be willing to try a new brand: consumers in the Middle East/Africa and North America were the most enthusiastic (57%), followed by Europe (56%), Latin America (47%) and Asia-Pacific (45%).
Value, variety and proof-of-concept resonate most with consumers worldwide when they consider buying new products. Sixty-three percent say they like when manufacturers offer new product options, but 60 percent wait for a product to build a track record before buying it. Brand isn’t everything, however, especially when a store brand or value option will deliver the same benefit for less money. Sixty-four percent of global respondents say they’d buy a store brand or value option, and 45 percent agree that a tight economy makes them cautious about trying a new product. Cost is less of a factor for some, however, as four out of 10 (39%) say they’re willing to pay a premium price to stay loyal to a favorite brand.
When it comes to devices, kids’ holiday wish lists are simple this year. The most-wanted gifts are predominantly from one company—Apple. According to a recent Nielsen study, Apple’s popularity leading up to the holiday season continues a trend seen over the last couple of years, with American kids aged 6-12 generally more interested in the latest iOS offerings than other consumer electronics and gaming devices.
Approximately half the children surveyed expressed interest in the full-sized iPad (up from 44% last year), and 36 percent in the new iPad Mini. The iPod Touch and iPhone are also coveted devices among these young consumers (36% and 33%, respectively). Kids are also likely to ask for dedicated gaming hardware this holiday, with 39 percent excited to own Nintendo’s just-released console offering, Wii U, and 29 percent indicating they want a device from that company’s portable DS family. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3 also proved appealing, with approximately one-quarter of kids 6-12 saying they want these high definition consoles.
Secret Scrooges: Holiday Shoppers, Beware Rogue Online Retailers
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday right around the corner, the U.S. holiday shopping season is set to officially kick off in just a few days and many consumers will be looking online to find the best deals for gifts on their shopping lists. But the hunt for holiday shopping deals can have a “bah humbug” side: about one in five bargain-hunting, online shoppers in the U.S. and Europe has mistakenly shopped counterfeit goods online. Nielsen collaborated with MarkMonitor– an online brand protection company–on their new MarkMonitor Shopping Report, released today, and found that many consumers shopping for knock-offs may only be looking for the best deals on legitimate products.
An analysis of anonymized panelists’ search terms and referral traffic to rogue websites shows that for every shopper searching for counterfeit goods on the web, 20 more were merely bargain hunters looking up the best deals, using terms like “discount” and “clearance.” As consumers surf for bargains, counterfeit goods sold at steep discounts may not be as easily distinguishable from end-of-season sales across the web. And if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Many websites selling counterfeit goods can look legitimate – even using official product images.
In fact, consumers visiting sites that sell counterfeit goods are demographically similar to those visiting trusted online retailers, further demonstrating that consumers may not be able to distinguish between legitimate and black-market, online retailers. An anonymized demographic analysis of Nielsen’s permissioned panel showed that online shoppers who browse rogue sites are nearly identical to visitors to more mainstream retailers.
E -commerce solutions fulfill shopper needs in ways that brick-and-mortar channels cannot match. As a result, digital shopping has transformed entire industries, such as music, books and travel. A new report from Nielsen examines the impact of digital on Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) and seeks to lay out key principles for marketing success in a world where digital is the new standard.
Are clicks destined to replace bricks in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry? E-commerce in CPG has undoubtedly grown at an impressive rate and is estimated to continue to grow at 25 percent through 2015. However, it only represented two percent of sales in 2011, despite being the fastest growing channel.
“For CPG products, online shopping will not completely replace trips to stores anytime soon. However, digital will continue to play an increasingly important role. Manufacturers and retailers will benefit from examining both the marketing and the sales/e-commerce opportunity afforded by digital,” said Nikhil Sharma, Vice President, Consumer & Shopper Analytics at Nielsen. “In an industry with modest growth like packaged goods, e-commerce will likely grow at the expense of more traditional channels, and may be a risk to some businesses unless appropriately addressed.”
“The keys to success in the digital shopping environment is understanding shopper needs, how a product category gets shopped and the digital touch-points that influence shoppers’ decisions along the path to purchase,” said Jeanne Danubio, Senior Vice President, Consumer & Shopper Analytics at Nielsen. “We have identified two barriers and two enablers that translate into convenience, choice, and price-value for a shopper.”
Free registration required to download white paper.
Source: RAND Corporation
While the prominence of unhealthy food in U.S. retail locations is perhaps never more pronounced than it is now, in the days leading up to Halloween, store placement of candy and other junk food has a significant effect on consumer behavior year-round.
A clear example of this influence is the placement of candy at the cash register, widely acknowledged to be a promotional strategy called “impulse marketing,” which encourages spur-of-the-moment, emotional purchases.
In a recent editorial, RAND Health’s Deborah Cohen, who studies how environmental and contextual factors influence health, argues that we should consider treating prominent store placement of unhealthy items as a hidden risk factor. Impulse marketing influences our food choices in a way that is largely automatic and out of our conscious control, which affects our risk of diet-related chronic diseases.
When it comes to retail, no channel has more than convenience – and the U.S. convenience industry remains on a roll. More than 8,100 convenience stores (C-stores) have been added nationwide since 2005, bringing the total to 148,764. In fact, there are more C-stores than warehouse clubs, supercenters, dollar stores, supermarkets and drug stores combined.
In addition to store count, revenue is up for C-stores as well. Year-over-year sales in the U.S. grew 4.9 percent in the 52-week period ending August 4, 2012, compared to 3.7 percent growth for the marketplace overall. C-store drive-thrus are also on the rise, making most store items including grocery staples such as bread, eggs and cereal available through the window of the car.
Free registration required to download full report.
Lower-income households represent a high growth opportunity sector for retailers and manufacturers. Over the next ten years, more people will move into the lower-income group, which is expected to grow twice as fast as total households. Over the next ten years, the total number of households in the U.S. is expected to grow by eight percent; however, households closer to the poverty level will grow twice as fast, at 17 percent. To better understand consumers across the economic spectrum, Nielsen conducted an analysis of media usage and purchasing behaviors. Results revealed dramatic differences in the media consumption patterns and delivery platforms across income levels. The same differential was found in CPG shopping behavior, alongside notable similarities in some categories.
Source: International Monetary Fund
We study the cyclical properties of sales, regular price changes and average prices paid by consumers ("effective" prices) in a dataset containing prices and quantities sold for numerous retailers across a variety of U.S. metropolitan areas. Both the frequency and size of sales fall when local unemployment rates rise and yet the inflation rate for effective prices paid by consumers declines significantly with higher unemployment. This discrepancy can be reconciled by consumers reallocating their expenditures across retailers, a feature of the data which we document and quantify. We propose a simple model with household shopping effort and store-switching consistent with these stylized facts and document its implications for business cycles and policymakers.
Consumers’ days of cutting back-to-school spending are behind them, and shoppers are reverting to more traditional information sources to study up before heading to the store, according to Deloitte’s annual “Back-to-School” survey, released today.
Nearly 9 in 10 (88 percent) consumers surveyed plan to spend the same or more on back-to-school shopping this year, with higher prices a contributing factor for some families. Among those who plan to spend more this year (34 percent), nearly 6 in 10 (58 percent) cite higher prices as their reason for doing so and more than one-third (34 percent) say their children need more expensive items than last year.
Despite these intentions, few intend to forego the tradition of setting a budget or looking for a sale. Nearly 6 in 10 (59 percent) consumers have a budget in mind for back-to-school shopping, and while two-thirds (66 percent) say they will shop for items on sale, fewer respondents feel stores are offering them more value for their money (36 percent in 2012 versus 47 percent in 2011).
Source: National Retail Federation
The tardy bell will be ringing sooner than we know it. Parents, kids and retailers have one thing on their minds: back-to-school shopping. According to the National Retail Federation, combined K-12 and college spending will reach a record $83.8 billion. That’s quite a few colored pencils and new backpacks.
See also: NRF Back to School Headquarters
Source: Idealo Blog
IKEA is the world’s largest furniture retailer. The popularity and conformity of their products allows for an intriguing price comparison. Back in 2009, prices for the Billy Bookshelf were compared across 38 countries to create an IKEA Billy Bookshelf Index.
In our price comparison, we increased the scope to include 40 IKEA products which can be found in 33 different countries. Five products were chosen from 8 distinct home furnishing categories in order to improve the product diversity in our research and help to ensure the results are not skewed in favour of any particular country.
Since the prices for the USA do not include VAT, we compared the prices for each country both with and without VAT, based on each country’s tax rate.
2012 State Sales Tax Holidays
Source: Federation of Tax Administrators
Chart includes links to relevant pages for each state.
As Nielsen reviewed the vast information about new product launches in the CPG space, we saw an opportunity to expand the view. We analyzed 11,000+ products launched between 2008 and 2010. We stood these launches up against our criteria for breakthrough innovations and came out with 34 clear winners. One key element in our model was examining endurance. We wanted to ensure that winning initiatives achieved at least 90% of year one sales in year two. I think we can all agree that when a product launches with high sales, but then fails to continue that pace, the success is short-lived, and probably not one you want to replicate.There are two activation models that we’ve identified when looking at how to sustain momentum in the marketplace for breakthrough performance: marathoner and sprinters. Marathoners launch at a slower pace and build off their momentum, picking up speed as time goes on. Sprinters launch with substantial support and come out fast, rarely slowing down. More often, larger companies use this model when they are launching line extensions or a product that is relatively lower risk. These products carry a meaningful price premium, on average 1.9x the category average. But the marathoner approach is certainly capturing its share of the consumer wallets as well. These products are priced at 35 percent premium on average versus competitors in their categories. Smaller companies or brands launching products in a new category were more likely to follow this model.
Free registration required to download report.
Questions and Answers: Proposed Rule – Retail Pet Sales (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Agricultural (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service)
APHIS is proposing to revise its definition of “retail pet store” to close a loophole that has in some cases threatened the health of pets sold sight unseen over the Internet and via phone- and mail-based businesses. Under the current definition of “retail pet store,” which was developed over 40 years ago and predates the Internet, some breeders selling pets are taking advantage of a loophole that improperly exempts them from meeting the basic requirements of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The proposed rule will close this loophole, ensuring that animals sold over the Internet and via phone- and mail-based businesses are better monitored for their overall health and humane treatment.
The proposal will restore the definition to its original intent so that it limits the retail pet store exemption to only those places of business and residence:
- that buyers physically enter to observe the animals available for sale prior to purchase and/ or to take custody of the animals after purchase, and
- where only the following animals are sold or offered for sale at retail for use as pets: Dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice, gophers, chinchilla, domestic ferrets, domestic farm animals, birds, and coldblooded species.
APHIS is also proposing to increase the number of breeding females from three to four that small hobby breeders of dogs, cats, and small exotic or wild mammals can own and still be exempt from licensing requirements. To meet the exemption requirements, these breeders can only sell the offspring of the breeding females that were born and raised on their premises, and sold for only pets or exhibition.
NRF Report Finds No Retailer Immune To Organized Retail Crime
Source: National Retail Federation
Growing in severity, number and type, retailers are reporting organized retail crime (ORC) has become more troublesome than ever before. Of the 125 retail companies surveyed for NRF’s eighth annual Organized Retail Crime Survey, a record-setting (96.0%) say their company has been the victim of organized retail crime in the past year, up from 94.5 percent last year, and another 87.7 percent say ORC activity in the United States has grown over the past three years.
“What this tells us is that as retailers and law enforcement become more aware of and more proactive in pursuing organized retail crime gangs, criminals have become more desperate and brazen in their efforts, stopping at nothing to get their hands on large quantities of merchandise,” said NRF Vice President of Loss Prevention, Rich Mellor. “Selling this stolen merchandise is a growing criminal enterprise and retailers must remain vigilant as this is an issue that involves everyone’s cooperation when it comes to protecting retailer’s assets, including their valued store associates and customers.”
The silver lining: more companies this year believe law enforcement is aware of and understands the severity and complexity of the issue (40.0% vs. 32.3% in 2011). More than half (54.4%) say top management at their company is aware of the problems associated with organized retail crime.