For the uninitiated or unfamiliar, IFA Berlin is one of the oldest and longest running consumer electronics and home appliance shows in the world. Though the analogy isn’t exact, you could think of the show itself as a European version of the Las Vegas-based Consumer Electronics Show put on by the Consumer Technology Association each year.
IFA, which will take place September 2-6, offers consumers and industry attendees alike the opportunity to get hands-on with some of the latest and greatest innovations. This year, as IFA hosts its first close-to-full-scale event since the pandemic, Nationwide Marketing Group will be on hand to both participate and explore the halls of the expansive Messe Berlin campus.
In the run-up to the show each year, IFA hosts a Global Press Conference that highlights some of the major exhibitors, keynote speakers and more. IFA also provides a platform for GfK, a global consumer insights firm, to share consumer and retail trends. During this year’s GPC, which was live streamed this week, GfK dropped two data nuggets that stood out for the retail community, and independent retailers specifically.
1. Hybrid work is here to stay.
Perhaps not surprisingly at all, GfK reported that consumer interest in working from home, at least a portion of the time, is not waning. Over the past two years, as we were all forced to shift our working environments, we became comfortable with, and perhaps accustomed to, the idea of working and living in the same space. As such, GfK found that 63% of consumers say they want to continue to have the option to work from home at least three days a week.
For retailers, this represents an important opportunity to continue being a resource for the consumer who needs to either establish or upgrade that work-from-home experience. In particular, demand should continue for office furniture, networking equipment, computing equipment and more.
2. Consumers are very willing to spend on premium products.
Last year, premium brand sales growth grew by 32%, according to GfK. The bottom line there, consumers showed a willingness to spend more to obtain nicer, higher-quality product. Whether that’s a nicer pair of headphones, upgraded appliances, etc., more time at home meant wanting to upgrade that at-home experience.
That’s good news for retailers and those premium brands, to boot. But independent retailers, in particular, should be excited about the shift towards more premium brand sales for two reasons.
First, our data shows that the average ticket price for a Nationwide Marketing Group dealer is higher than the industry average. That tells us that consumers opt to shop with our retailers when they’re looking to make those more premium purchases. And it shows that Nationwide Members have a strong close rate when it comes to making those premium sales.
And second, we know that if a customer is looking to invest in premium-grade product — no matter the category — they want to experience that product before making the investment. The shopper journey starts online, there’s no denying that. But when it comes time for the consumer to make the purchase, especially on a premium-level item, they’ll likely take every precaution and want to turn over all stones to ensure they’re making the right investment. Independent retailers are uniquely positioned to offer that top-notch experience and professional expertise to reassure the customer that they’re making the best decision — not something they’d find roaming the aisles of a big box store.
Rob is the corporate communications manager for Nationwide Marketing Group.