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OPINION


How did tablets fare in the lead up to Christmas?


GfK Account Manager Andrew Walsh takes a look at how the ever-broadening tablet market continued to attract consumers in the final quarter of 2013…


MEDIA TABLETS continued to post strong year-on-year growth as the market turned its attention to the final quarter of 2013 and strong pre-Christmas activity. This was evident from the 50 per cent year- on-year volume growth seen by the media tablets market versus last October and now accounts for almost two-thirds of all personal computing devices bought in October compared to 50 per cent the year before.


Higher-end “Ultrathin” notebooks (those that are 2cm thick or less) grew by ten per cent in October 2013 versus the year before, yet this category still accounted for less than ten per cent of the mobile computing category. Desktop Computing also experienced growth. The movement towards All-In-One (AIO) had been strong, growing by 65 per cent in value versus October 2012. The AIO market is now more valuable than


The future of pricing


Kantar Retail’s Stephen Mader talks about the importance of reaching shoppers at the right moment with the right proposition…


ARTHUR C. CLARKE once said: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” When looking at the pricing landscape today, in particular the disruptive nature of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing, it is tempting to see Clarke’s quote as somewhat prophetic for present day through 2020: that sufficiently advanced technology in the hands of both consumers and retailers will condemn pricing strategy to the realm of the mystical. At the same time, nothing is


Media tablets’ increasing


affordability and ever-broadening offering continued to pull consumers towards the market – average tablet prices had declined by 25 per cent compared to 2012, when the average price was nearer to £290, now it sits nearer £220. Due to such increased popularity


and affordability, which has been driven by a move to smaller display sizes, has ensured the traditional notebooks market has suffered and declined by 15 per cent in volume demand versus October 2012.


Andrew Walsh is account manager at GfK. www.GfK.com


the Traditional Desk Computing segment, which itself is in seven per cent value growth. Akin to Media Tablets and Ultrathins, there was a high adoption of touchscreen technology within AIO as well as a thriving premium segment. During Christmas, it was no surprise to see media tablets continue to grow market volume as they became ubiquitous in major retail stores and were promoted ahead of traditional computing devices, which become marginalised over this time.


more fundamental to a retailer’s ability to navigate the challenges presented by the e-commerce era of retail than the ability to build a working commercial model. That commercial model for most retailers (be they multi-channel or more pure-play bricks and mortar) will be rooted in the ability to earn a sustainable trading margin. Pricing strategy is obviously an essential part of that, but many of the tools available today (largely item-level price-elasticity- style analytics that hold the rest of the world constant in their models) seem… well, pretty far from the magic of a sufficiently advanced technology.


The primary impact of an


“Retailers that create contextual pricing and promotions will see success in 2014. ”


Stephen Mader, Kantar Retail


increasingly digital world is the ability to see pricing more visibly across outlets. Either on their own, or powered by retailer or third-party applications, truly price-sensitive shoppers can compare prices in real time. In particular, this pricing strategy is most prevalent for items considered high-ring purchases and for SKUs with highly memorable price points. Retailers that create contextual pricing and promotions will see success in 2014. To a large degree, this could very much be a big part of the future of impulse purchasing: reaching shoppers at the right moment with the right proposition. Context can also be about the set of products the shopper is trying to buy (i.e. what solution they need). The most obvious example of this remains the


bundled solution


sets available in the electronics and home improvement segments, as well as Amazon’s “if you bought this, buy that” style of contextualised solutions. Every retailer will need to


improve their understanding of which items are “context drivers” and which items can most comfortably be sold along with those context drivers.


Stephen Mader is digital retail director at Kantar Retail. www.kantarretail.com


16 | PCR January 2014


www.pcr-online.biz


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