A data scandal here, sinking user numbers there. It looks like Facebook is continuing down the path of bad press for the long-haul. But Facebook has something good to announce, which should at least make environmentalists happy, among all their critics.
Music has always been part of my everyday life. Through the good times, and the bad. During special moments I won’t forget. It has the power to shape every moment with the right notes and melodies. It has only recently become possible to have a limitless catalogue of music with you at all times – and when Spotify launched in October 2008 they made it possible. A lot has changed in ten years. Today, Spotify does even more than just music streaming. Let’s take a look at their track record and explain what other companies can learn from it to drive their digital business.
The platform age is fractured, not just for B2C but also for B2B commerce. That was the focus of this year’s ECC Forum on April 12th at the BALLONI Hallen in Cologne, that we got to attend. We got to eavesdrop of presentations from large retailers and manufacturers like Conrad Electronic and Gabor Shoes. Furthermore, we got to exchange ideas and knowledge about new e-commerce developments with many different other retailers, manufacturers, and other digital experts. That helps us summarise what the five trends in the platform age are for you.
German companies are fit for the digital transformation from the inside out. Not just external macro data such as the status quo of the online retail has proven this. Working methods and internal organisation are adapting to the pace of the digital world. Agile methods are no longer empty promises. On the contrary: Every other major company already relies on agile project management, as a from Bitkom Research makes clear (German only).
The past few months have brought new developments from Facebook and others. Younger platforms and other large companies have been trying to gain their share of the marketplace as well. Even though these products from these companies are new, they take into account what went well for others, and what’s flopped.
At a time when the availability of products and services has become a standard across countless providers through digital channels, customer loyalty is increasingly becoming a privilege for both retailers and manufacturers. A strong relationship with the customer is the key to long-term business success.
So how does customer loyalty lead to success? Targeted customer orientation based on the principle of personalisation can systematically cultivate customer relationships. The documentation, administration, and profitable preparation of the necessary data, however, requires the sophisticated technological support of a CRM solution suitable for the company.
In our new white paper, “Selecting Customer Relationship Management Software” we’ll provide an overview of the basic characteristics of customer relationship management, a guide to system evaluation, and a detailed overview of system vendors on the market. For examples, solutions from companies like Sugar CRM should be considered for small and medium-sized companies, SAP for medium and large companies, and Salesforce for any company, regardless of size.
Digital is better! In fact, in 1995 the band Tocotronic’s debut album made that claim with their album name. Kind of ironic, considering that at the time, cell phones were as big and heavy as bricks. Just a few years later, Boris found his way to the internet. “Am I already in it or what?” He asked naively, pointing the way to the digital future. Then the dotcom era, during which network pioneers were sure that digitisation would go quickly.
But that couldn’t be further from what happened because technical innovations were geared towards an exponential growth of computing power through computer chips. It was only a matter of time before we could only remember the analogue, grey past. Unfortunately, it’s often said that in desperate times, reality doesn’t keep up with our visions. In the broad spectrum of digital transformation, for example, you move between a lot of hot air and not enough visionary best practices.
Handelskraft celebrated its eleventh anniversary and we proudly looked back on a productive 2017 full of experiments and innovations. But more important than the past is the future. Especially in digital business, interactive retail, time passes twice as fast and one can hardly believe that the times in which a webshop was the ultimate solution of the digital transformation, are hardly a decade old. In the meantime, digitisation means the seamless interaction of people and machines in marketing, sales, and services across all channels – online and offline.
In order to meet the demands of networked customers, whether as consumers in B2C or business customers in the B2B sector, entrepreneurs need to think outside the box. What brought enthusiasm a few years ago is now expected by customers, partners, and employees alike. The quality of the digital user experience decides more and more about the entrepreneurial success. Their excellent implementation requires know-how!
The changes are immense and the challenges for retailers and manufacturers are technically, organisationally, and culturally diverse. So we are all the happier and proud to publish our sixth Trend Book in a row, with this edition also being the first also available in English, with Handelskraft 2018 »Moving Towards Digital Excellence« we are happy to provide leaders from business, e-commerce, sales, marketing, IT, and digital decision makers with a free compass for their digital business, that gives them a concrete overview of the most important digital trends, innovations and industry developments, without getting lost in the buzzword jungle.
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.
Teens are mobile
We just published some thoughts in the difference in internet and TV use with adults from different socio-economic backgrounds, but what about the teens? About ¾ of teens these days (yes, I do feel old) have a smart phone and 91% of these go online with their mobile. We already noted that mobile internet access increases in the lower income bracket, and the situation is similar for teenagers. Nearly all African American youth – those statically most likely to belong to a low income household – access the internet via mobile vs. 91% and 90% of Hispanic and white teens respectively.