What’s the best price for a product? Which packaging will attract shoppers? What’s the best placement in a store aisle or shelf? Is a new menu item or special offer drawing customers into a restaurant? Questions like these demand fast data to drive quick insights that can help boost revenues ASAP. They’re the kinds of challenges consumer insights professionals are tackling every day.
But what’s happening on the ground week-to-week or quarter-to-quarter is also significantly influenced by decisions made with an eye on a much longer-range future: how much to invest in capital spending for new facilities and equipment.
The U.S. Census Bureau’s “Annual Capital Expenditures Survey” for 2016 is one indicator of how bullish corporate decision-makers in different sectors feel about their companies’ or industries’ futures. As the Census Bureau explains: “Capital expenditures fuel future economic growth and productivity by permitting businesses to produce more output in the future. By definition, capital expenditures provide long term benefits…”
With that in mind, here are findings for some key industries in consumer sectors. We’ll leave the analysis to you.
Sectors with Expanding Capital Investment:
Amusement, gambling and recreation: $16 billion, +49.9% over the previous year.
Electronics and appliance stores: $1.8 billion, +23.6%
Non-store retailers: $9.5 billion, +20.3%
Motor vehicle and parts dealers: $7.8 billion, +12.9%
Food and beverage stores: $15.1 billion, +11.1%
Clothing and accessories stores: $10.6 billion, +9.5%
Air transportation: $21.9 billion, +9.3%
Wireless telecommunications carriers: $31.3 billion,+3.8%
Wired communications infrastructure (including cable/internet): $53 billion, up +3.6%
Sectors with Declines in Capital Investment:
Legacy publishers (newspapers, magazines, books): $1.4 billion, -30.7% from the year before.
Traveler accommodations: $12 billion, -14.9%
General merchandise stores: $15.7 billlion, -13.8%
Movies and sound recordings: $2.4 billion, -12.1%
Restaurants and bars: $17.8 billion, -5.7%
Economy-wide, the Census Bureau reports that capital spending was $1.58 trillion in 2016, down 4% from 2015.
To make these capital investments pay off, rising sales must follow, and that’s where consumer insights come in. A major new advance in mobile location-based research technology is transforming the reach, depth, reliability and effectiveness of path to purchase insights by effectively harmonizing Big Data with mobile-app consumer surveys for the first time. It's called the Path-To-Purchase™ Platform. For a conversation about what it can mean to your specific projects, just get in touch by clicking here.