Online retail is continuing to grow in Germany. This increase can be felt in two main directions – on the one hand, the digitisation of stationary retailers and the considerable dominance of Amazon, on the other hand in the proliferation of smartphones in all day-to-day operations.
This tendency covers the main points of the current survey of the retail association of Germany (HDE) “Onlinemonitor 2018”. We’ll summarise which trends are defining German online retail and which aspects retailers and manufacturers should pay particular attention to in order to master the digital transformation.
Artificial intelligence, voice control, and the Internet of Things – These are, in general, trends of the past and probably also of the coming years. It seems justifiable, as developments in these areas don’t just bring professional changes – Keyword: Industry 4.0 -, but also private ones. No wonder, then, that smart speakers and strangely human-like robots receive the most attention.
But Google is currently working on a technology that could change the way we access the internet forever. With “Progressive Web Apps” (PWA), expect a revolution in the browser, which is equivalent to jumping from animated pixel websites of the 90s to flat-style WordPress blogs. But what exactly are PWAs and why does Google push this idea forward, an idea that could, ultimately, usher in the end of existing app stores?
I’m Franziska Kunz and I’ve been a part of the Handelskraft team as a new blogger since April 2018. Together with Oli, Sara, and Nico, I explore digital trends to keep our content creation pipeline on track.
One of the most read articles on Handelskraft to this day is “Counterfeiting in E-Commerce: Why Does Amazon Have so Many Fakes?” (Only available in German) Three years after the fact, the topic has remained relevant. It was also noticeable during ECD18 in Munich.
I cancelled my visit to re:publica18 because I was given the opportunity to host two panels on the main stage of ECD next to Dr. Armand Farsi and Alexander Graf. The focus of “Brand Cockpit 2020” was the future of brands on platforms as well as blockchain and entrepreneurship in the panel “The Customers of Tomorrow”
A reason enough to look at the current state of marketplace business and to take take a look into the future after the reunion of platforms and brands.
Photo: Messe Düsseldorf
From February 27 to March 1, 2018, “EuroCIS – The Leading Trade Fair for Retail Technology”
took place in Düsseldorf. The fair, which presents different technology solutions every year, should make retail more convenient – With new various payment solutions, self-checkout systems for employee-less stores, and smart price tags – This was not just thematically interesting for us, but above all, an opportunity to look behind the scenes at the value of such solutions. At the same time, the event was also the premier of the new Online Order System (OOS), the in-house solution for the distribution of trade fair services.
Photo by Berto Macario on Unsplash
Mobility is progressing. People and data flow together on the way. New technological developments and changing digital lifestyles allow global society to be mobile and not stand still. The car has lost its traditional meaning and has turned into a rolling data vehicle, which offers more and more possible experiences. Meanwhile bikes are getting popular again.
The bike market is on the moving and rapidly developing. Actually, it’s booming. According to Zweirad-Industrie-Verband (ZIV)
, 720,000 e-bikes were sold in Germany in the past year. The number of electric cars
is, in 2018, much lower: 53,861.
Biking is trendy and offers many benefits for users and business. Established companies and start-ups from various industries are currently competing with smart solutions to open up new business opportunities for e-bikes and freight bike fleets.
Anyone who wants to sell a product must present it well. That isn’t just the case for stationary retail, but online as well. High-quality product data should therefore be the highest priority in all companies, regardless of industry and size. Today’s customers expect everyone who sells products to have accurate, complete, high-quality, and consistent product data across all channels.
Due to the increasing variety of distribution channels that need to be recorded with specific content (such as an online shop, an app, and various print catalogues), this expectation couldn’t always be met by many companies.
Source: arahan – Fotolia
Tracing the customer journey is becoming more and more complicated as touchpoints, communication channels, and customer data have doubled. More and more companies are implementing CRM software, to effectively manage their tasks and strengthen customer relationships.
Because of this, it’s not surprising that the CRM software market continues to grow rapidly, and that CRM software is becoming increasingly important to marketing departments. The leading provider, Salesforce, continues to grow. CRMs are already the most important tool for retailers, manufacturers, and brands. At least we can conclude that with the data from Gartner’s latest estimates.
Photo by Amauri AM on Unsplash
Configurators are becoming more and more popular as an alternative method for manufacturers and retailers to classic consultations. Their use is particularly widespread in the B2C world. For example, enthusiastic customers playfully put together cars and wardrobes using a configurator.
In the first part of our two-part article series, we showed you the benefits of what an online product configurator can offer, with a particular focus on B2B applications. Complex goods, such as cranes, components, or connection components can already be compiled right online. B2B companies are already recognising their great potential: effective and first class digital sales consulting, lower costs, better tailored products and services, and happier customers.
However, in order to be able to offer this added value to customers, it is necessary to finish the initial design and implement the configurator. In the second part of our series, we’ll explain the success factors for digital configurators and why retailers and manufacturers should use one.
Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash
The here and now: We’re all busy and always seem to be running short on time. Consumers are looking for any kind of information with their cell phones, and they’re looking for an answer in the blink of an eye. Chop-chop! Google quickly recognised this need and has been refining their mobile image search for several months.
Since last week, users looking for pictures are better able to see if the landing page can provide more relevant content related to their query. For this, Google offers image caption filters apart from the image badges, à la Pinterest. The goal is to guide the user to their desired search result even faster than before so that both the optimisation of the metadata and Google image search as a traffic source gain in importance.
In the same way, the demands on visual content in both B2C and B2B are increasing. The challenge is to create high-quality, usable content, and strong visual means so that readers can quickly absorb the information and (in B2B) pass on relevant insights to the purchasing department.
How exactly can merchants and manufacturers use visual content to generate more qualified leads and support the buying process?