After Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the New Year directly starts for us with two significant anniversaries. Not only dotSource will turn one year older in January (that’s a whole 14 years), but also our blog Handelskraft turns 13 years old today and is therefore a real »teenager« 😉 But how did everything actually start?
The e-commerce branch encompasses all digital business traffic and is a branch for the future. Big players, such as Amazon, eBay or Alibaba are leading the way: if you want to sell products in the internet successfully, you need more than just a pretty online shop.
Progress is not stopping for B2B companies either, quite the opposite: the digital transformation is increasingly putting pressure on B2B companies to address the topic of e-commerce and online sales. In this context, e-commerce is not limited purely to sales, but also includes the customer journey, which begins with the marketing of a product and continues after the completion of a transaction.
E-commerce just keeps growing – not only in Germany: even in our neighbouring countries, the shopping mania via desktop and smartphones only knows one direction – upwards.
A good reason to take a closer look at a neighbour who is particularly interesting for German retailers.
Experience here. Experience there. Barely any other word appears more often in our everyday work, in our research, in our Handelskraft articles and all the other publications. And that’s a good thing because in the end, we as private individuals also benefit from it if everyone involved in Digital Business always strives to provide a first-class experience. All the more when you quickly need to do your Christmas shopping before it is too late. The website has to perform, the shop has to work and same-day delivery has to be available.
Consumers still want to go shopping, see products with their own eyes, touch them and interact directly with brands. Offline is far from being dead, it is currently experiencing a boom instead – whether it is pop-up stores, events or eventful product demos. Digital brands are positioning themselves quite quickly and vehemently in the physical world in order to meet customer requirements.
With such stationary concepts, the product itself has fallen behind. It is important that the customer feels comfortable, has good memories of his visit and ultimately passes these on through word-of-mouth or »social propaganda« so that brand fans become enthusiastic customers – and vice versa.
For this reason, a type of marketing that promotes interaction between customer and brand in order to permanently strengthen customer relationships is becoming more and more important. We’re talking about experiential marketing! What is it all about and why is it so important for retailers, manufacturers and brands nowadays?
It is no longer possible without personalisation! Many companies have understood by now that they have to offer their customers more than just a simple webshop with standard product images and clumsy descriptions which only makes reading easier for the search engine, but not for the customer.
If orders are made more difficult because forms have not been set up correctly or if there is no way to contact the company in case of queries, it is unlikely that the customer will come back.
So what has to be done to offer an all-round successful user experience? Personalisation must not only be a buzzword but must be lived. It is the foundation for the successful design of digital customer relationships. Today, we show you how this theory became business practice for our client De Gruyter.
Two weeks after the spectacular Singles’ Day, it was time for the next online shopping mania: Black Friday and Cyber Monday – and they did not disappoint. Consumers and retailers enjoyed a week full of special offers and made millions of transactions. Similar to #Double11, this e-commerce mania far exceeded all forecasts.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday which have their roots in the USA have already established themselves as the most relevant sales events of the year in Germany (and throughout Europe).
Not only do they shape customer behaviour, they also revolutionise calendars as well as price and marketing strategies. Everybody wants to take part. But how should retailers, manufacturers and brands approach these huge sales events so that they constantly make a profit from them?
Customer focus, customer orientation or customer centricity – whichever buzzword you choose, one thing is certain: companies should have an eye on customer requirements. They should even constantly align their activities with the following question: »How do I provide my customers with the maximum added value?« This is the only way to strengthen customer loyalty in the long-term and to set yourself apart from the competition. Many companies, however, still have difficulties in putting the maxim of customer centricity into practice. On the one hand, they lack the required methods to derive customer requirements from customer behaviour; on the other hand, digitisation offers almost infinite possibilities, making it difficult to find the right way.
The development of the Internet of Things is nowhere near slowing down. Quite the opposite: by the end of this year, presumably 4.8 billion networked endpoints will be used in the enterprise segment and car industry. According to a forecast by Gartner, this figure will even rise to 5.8 billion by 2020 which is equivalent to an annual growth of 21 per cent.
Two forces are driving this development forward: speed and size. On the one hand, companies use an improved broadband connection to make real-time analysis and on-demand intelligence possible. In B2C as well as B2B, several use cases have already shown their potential. On the other hand, sensors – an essential component of the Internet of Things (IoT) – become smaller and smaller and more and more sophisticated.
In this context, Gartner states that companies will use physical space to interact with their customers through these tiny sensors. Smart Cars, Smart Cities, Industry 4.0 or Smart Farming are familiar terms surrounding a phenomenon that covers way more – for example the next stage of the IoT technology called »Smart Dust«, which currently attracts a lot of attention.
There are many awards. Every single one of them has its justification and you are always as pleased as Punch if you are amongst the lucky winners. Of course it is brilliant when you are »Agency of the Year« or when your clients win top awards in digital business. This motivates and strengthens visions and missions, makes you incredibly proud and makes you want more. Time to step up your game and then try to win awards which focus on soft skills such as the sense of togetherness and the faces behind the scenes. For example the »i-work Business Award«. Therefore, we are all the more pleased that we were able to take home this honourable award yesterday. Thanks to JenaWirtschaft and the Friedrich Schiller University Jena.
CRM kills Salespeople. As if. The success story of MEVACO shows that it should rather be called CRM supports Salespeople. Why? Because the suitable system and its networking ensure ideal processes. This, in turn, provides the basis for the measure of all things in terms of designing digital customer relationships: added values.
In the »As-A-Service-Age« and in B2B anyway, it is obvious to do everything to convince with first-class service. With the introduction of Salesforce Service Cloud, MEVACO GmbH managed to do exactly this because it allowed the company to have a sales department which – thanks to automation, system networking and pioneering technologies – not only meets customer demands in a personalised, but also efficient way.