New year, new luck. Well, or a new strategy. New? No, the service-first approach is nothing new. However, not everyone has understood or implemented it yet. As a study conducted by ecom consulting and gominga shows, interaction with customers usually does not take place on marketplaces. This is disastrous in the age of the attention economy. Interaction is service and service is key!
Memo: The Marketplace World Is Complex
In 2020, 173 online marketplaces existed in the DACH area (Germany, Austria and Switzerland). In 2014, there were only 81. Not only has the new marketplace world become more dense, it has also become more complex.
Compared to 2015, for example, there is a remarkably high proportion of companies with a dual role, namely almost 30 per cent. Breuninger, Real and Douglas are among these platforms that – just like Amazon – are marketplace and online shop at the same time while also operating branches.
Not only does this create competition within the own ranks, but it also increases the overall pressure to hold one’s own in the conglomerate of superlatives. The widest range of products, the best price, the fastest logistics – all these aspects are important, but service is indispensable. More specifically: service through interaction.
Memo: Service Concept as Marketplace Strategy
With @createbyobi or the »Nachgefragt bei hagebaumarkt« (»Ask hagebaumarkt«) podcast, OBI and hagebau integrate DIY tutorials and consulting into their marketplace strategy as special service concepts. With its digital competence centre, the experience gift provider mydays is developing a new business model and advises companies on the digitisation of events.
In terms of service through interaction and customer focus, everyone can learn from concepts like these. They remain in the memory and create trust.
If customers tolerate shortcomings in terms of customer trust at online giants like Amazon in exchange for a wide range of products and quick delivery, the majority of other marketplaces have to earn customer affection anew every day. New brands or niche players cannot rest on a newcomer bonus any more than established players can rest on their name.
Memo: Sell Service, Not Products
Given the density and rapid growth of the marketplace world, specialisation should be the goal: specialisation away from products towards services. ManoMano, a pan-European marketplace for home and gardening products, impresses with its own live consultation system.
Picnic, a prime example of an e-food business, offers free delivery, develops its own infrastructures, just like the beverage suppliers Durstexpress and flaschenpost, and thinks and acts mobile first. However, »mobile« is no longer to be understood as a device, but as a role-model service extension. After all, if you want contact and interaction with customers, you will only be able to reach them via mobile services in the future.
Our 5 Reading Tips of the Week
Customers’ Choice 2020 – Deutschlands beste Onlineanbieter [ECC Köln in Cooperation with dotSource]
Customer Service Is Essential for Survival [European Business Magazine]