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.
At the beginning of March, a friend of mine who works in a Parisian design office posted on social media: »Salut, mes chers, je passe au télétravail!« She was asked to leave her open-plan office due to the coronavirus. Télétravail is the French word for something for which we do not have a proper German word in German: we call it home office whereas real native speakers would rather describe it as »working from home« or »remote work«.
The word component »tele« is not even French but ancient Greek. It means far away. The French thus work discretely from far away these days. At least conceptually, they do not let themselves be nailed to any place in times of curfews (sorry, I mean contact bans) when they are not working from their office.
No matter whether they are working from far away, from home or via mobile devices: while the world is standing still to flatten an infection curve, the global working world is in fact changing rapidly. But what was the so-called New Work all about before the coronavirus? Why can such impulses lead to great benefits, in particular for many companies that now believe they are sliding into a crisis?
Personalisation – buzzword, trend, obsession. Whatever you want to call it: there is no way around personalisation for brands, retailers and manufacturers if they do not only want to be part of the battle for customer attention and loyalty, but also want to be at its forefront. And every step forward also brings new challenges. For example, it is one of these challenges that a targeted and individual customer approach must not be one-way traffic. Companies have to think and act in a cross-channel manner. Their customers have been doing this for a long time. Efficient marketing campaigns are required. The GRANIT PARTS Success Story shows what these campaigns should look like and how companies actually manage to keep up with the competition.
For years, artificial intelligence has been increasingly influencing our everyday life, but also the economy, politics and science – as chatbots in customer service, GPS assistants or characters in video games.
AI can be used in many different ways and offers us new innovative solutions to problems in the most diverse areas. However, deepfakes show that AI also offers potential for controversy.
Online? No problem. MVP? No problem. Last week, we proved with the debut of the Handelskraft Conference 2020 Online Edition that we are able to pull this off under enormous time pressure and extreme conditions. Up to the day of the conference, we experienced 16 exciting days between »Oh my God«, corona master plan and »dotSource goes home office«. Within a very short time, everything that had been prepared intensively for more than a year was rethought, rebuilt and turned into a day that we will not forget so quickly for various reasons.
The ability to operate internationally and scale globally is a high priority for many business models in B2B. However, meeting these requirements online often poses a major challenge: each country has different expectations with regard to the structure, design and functions of an online shop and communication takes place in different languages and time zones.
The minimum viable product (MVP) approach can therefore be worthwhile, particularly for complex products: first of all, mandatory core functions are identified to cover the basic requirements of the customer. However, an MVP is always only the first step, the basis for a well thought-out further development of the solution. The functional scope is then gradually expanded – and customer feedback can be incorporated directly.
The piggy bank of children in Denmark looks weird: it is black, not pink. It is made out of plastics and metals, not porcelain. It is rectangular, not round and no coins disappear in the slot. Instead, the charger docks – if the charging process is not wireless anyway. This is because the average Danish child already receives his or her pocket money directly on the smartphone these days. 13-year olds like August from Copenhagen simply hold their phone close to payment terminals when they want to pay for a bag of liquorice at unmanned checkouts in the supermarket.
What is already common practice in future-oriented Denmark also slowly gets going in Germany: mobile payment via smartphone – that small supercomputer we all carry around in our pockets. Cash is increasingly becoming a case for the history books. Credit and debit cards are also used less frequently. But how do payment methods actually change?
Attractiveness lies in the eye of the beholder. Those who clear out their wardrobe and ask themselves how they ever found some of the older pieces so beautiful that they spent money on them know this, too.
Fashion brands face this challenge time and time again: they have to offer something that customers find attractive and want to buy. But before they can do so, they must find a variety of ways – especially in the digital age – to be visible enough in order for customers to even come across their collection. In barely any other sector, the competition over online visibility is fiercer than in the fashion industry. The renowned German manufacturer LERROS Moden GmbH from Neuss in North Rhine-Westphalia is also presented with this challenge. So how has the renowned menswear brand managed to significantly increase its online visibility in a cost-effective manner?
Data is the gold of the digital age. Whether sales, marketing or service – no successful digital business without data. The collection, processing and analysis of all types of data, especially customer data, therefore plays a key role in many companies to break down data silos, drive omnichannel marketing forward and ultimately obtain a 360-degree view of the customer. Behind all these activities is the well-known mission – but also challenge – of creating a personalised customer experience across all devices and all channels.
The creation, spread and use of digital platforms are logical and necessary consequences to turn these missions in reality. Its major advantage is the direct data exchange between all parties involved (companies and customers, but also partners and employees) via the platform itself. To use data effectively and achieve real competitive advantages, however, it is not sufficient to only collect huge amounts of data. Whether ERP, PIM, MDM or CRM – an effective system is required to be able to structure, connect and analyse data. Real time is the keyword of the moment. It is becoming increasingly relevant as customers expect unique and individual experiences quickly, anytime and anywhere. Companies have to react to these expectations and find their single source of truth which, based on robust data, helps them better understand their customers and address them appropriately.
But despite all the possibilities and a variety of providers, systems and solutions, the one perfect tool does not yet seem to exist. Data silos persist. In the context of customer relationship management, a 360-degree view of the customer is too often still theory rather than practice. For this reason, software providers are working on a new solution that is to connect the remaining loose ends completely and cleanly. We are talking about customer data platforms (in short: CDPs). Which role do CDPs play in a crowded system landscape? What distinguishes them from other systems such as CRM? Which development stage are CDPs currently in? Who are the most important providers? We answer these questions today.
Digitisation requires courageous, well-founded decisions and a far-sighted strategy. To master digital transformation, many questions have to be answered and decisions have to be made accordingly. First and foremost the following questions: Which technology should I choose to support my company and to achieve my goals? Which type of software and which provider best meets my requirements and goals?
Once these key questions have been answered, a dilemma frequently arises among decision-makers. It is related to the selected software version: community or enterprise? Does this sound familiar?
Whether community or enterprise: the answer depends on the specific requirements of each individual customer and the selected digital solution and cannot be answered in general terms. Therefore, we will have a closer look at the differences and explain which version is more suitable in which cases.
New decade, leap year, the benchmark for several forecasts: 2020 is something quite special – even for us although the new 20s have barely started. We just started into the new year, celebrated the agency birthday and now it is already March again. The month of Handelskraft. Incredible. Not only the conference anniversary in Stuttgart makes March 2020 so special for us, but also this combination of numbers: 2020 – 300 – 30. You may remember 😉 The time has officially come. We have achieved our first goal: 300 employees in 2020. Whoop Whoop!