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Around the world

What we are all looking at on desktop, smartphones and tablets is the focus of one study highlighted in this issue, before moving specifically to retail and views of the leading powers in global retailing.

comScore has published a report into desktop, smartphone and tablet usage around the world showing how content consumption changed over the course of 2017 in a number of different countries. It also highlights global commonalities as well as local nuances in the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, India, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Key insights revealed in the ‘Global Digital Future in Focus’ report include:

● Smartphone takes the leading share of digital minutes (versus desktop and tablet) in every region studied, from 43% in Canada to 89% in India.

● Mobile users spend around 2x more minutes each on the platform than users on desktop, and more than 3x in Argentina, where the largest disparity exists.

● Six categories (entertainment, social media, games, portals, retail, news/information) account for over 50% of all digital time in every market studied.

● Among apps, four major content types (entertainment, social media, instant messaging, games) represent more than two out of three minutes.


Deloitte meanwhile has taken a look specifically at retailing around the world and reports that the Top 250 global retailers generated aggregated revenues of £3.16 trillon (US$4.4 trillion) in the fiscal year 2016. This represents composite growth of 4.1%, according to the ‘Global Powers of Retailing 2018: Transformative change, reinvigorated commerce’ report.

“The global economy is currently in the midst of a period of relatively strong growth and benign circumstances. Growth has accelerated in Europe and Japan, stabilised in China and the US, and revived in many other emerging markets,” explains Dr Ira Kalish, Deloitte Global Chief Economist. “For retailers, the stronger economic growth is most welcome. Yet they must also contend with the negative consequences of rising income inequality, protectionist actions and the potential impact of monetary tightening.”

The top five largest retailers maintained their positions on the leader board. A combination of organic growth, acquisitions, and exchange rate volatility shuffled the rest of the Top 10 –which now accounts for 30.7% of the overall Top 250’s retail revenue (compared to 30.4% last year).

Europe’s share of the Top 250 dropped, with 82 retailers based in Europe (85 in FY2015, 93 in FY2014) and the gap widened versus North America. However, despite dropping share, European retailers remain the most globally active as they search for growth outside their mature home markets. Nearly 41% of their combined revenue was generated from foreign operations – almost twice as much as the Top 250 group as a whole.

The report also discusses how the rules of retailing are being rewritten in this time of transformative change. Innovation, collaboration, consolidation, integration, and automation will likely be required to reinvigorate commerce, profoundly impacting the way retailers do business now and in the future.

Putting a different view of global retailing, the inaugural BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Global Retail Brands ranking has been announced by WPP and Kantar. Amazon, McDonald’s and Alibaba top the inaugural ranking as the most valuable retail brands in the world.

The ranking shows that while store closures often grab headlines, those retailers rising to the challenges of the current climate are innovating their way out of trouble, and winning consumers’ hearts in the process.

Together, the BrandZ Top 75 Retail Brands – from markets as diverse as the US and Spain, China and Chile – are worth over $1 trillion in brand value.

For the first time in a BrandZ retail ranking, the Top 75 brings together brands in four categories, of which Pure Retail (supermarkets, ecommerce platforms, department stores, convenience stores and DIY chains) is just one. The ranking includes Luxury brands, Apparel, and Fast Food retailers.

“Shopping is no longer just about buying things,” said David Roth, CEO of WPP The Store, EMEA and Asia. “Often, a decision to shop is a search for entertainment – whether in a physical space or the virtual world. It can be a way of spending time with like-minded people, or being in an environment that reflects an individual’s values.”

He adds: “Shopping is also a way of simply feeling good – what we used to call ‘retail therapy’.

This explains why the BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Global Retail Brands includes brands specialising in everything from business suits and bras to bath oil and burritos. Today everyone is a retailer.”

The BrandZ Top 75 Retail Brands report shows how retail brands are seeking new ways to connect with consumers, through unique experiences and products customised for groups of shoppers and individuals.

Leading brands are identifying new shopping missions and fresh ways to build loyalty. And while competitive pressures for many years led inevitably to price wars, now there are innovation wars.

Highlights from the BrandZ Top 75 report include:

● Retail brands have been growing value 35% faster over 10 years than non-retailers;

● Innovation in services, linking online and offline, is helping brands stand out;

● “A good deal” has overtaken “low prices” as shoppers’ biggest priority;

● Having a stress-free experience is almost as important as price;

● Personalisation is helping brands justify a premium and avoid price wars;

● Voice-controlled devices promise to transform consumer loyalty;

● China is showing what’s possible in speed, online with offline and seamless shopping.

The unique BrandZ calculation of brand value links financial performance with the opinions of millions of consumers surveyed in more than 50 markets around the world.

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