Impressions from e-Commerce Day 2019

As a fan of the 1. FC Cologne, the e-Commerce Day is especially popular. After all, the organizers of real.de invite the visitors of the event year after year to Cologne's home stadium. This year the visitors even came very close to the "holy lawn": The organizers had moved one of the stages into the interior of the stadium without further ado. But the e-Commerce Day, which celebrated its 10th birthday this year, also had a lot to offer away from the local patriotism in Cologne. In addition to a trade fair with 100 exhibitors, 30 exciting lectures invited visitors to exchange experiences. With this article I would like to make the most exciting insights of selected presentations accessible to all those who stayed at home.

Welcome & Update to real.de (Dr. Gerald Schönbucher, Managing Director, real.de)

  • In recent years, real.de has grown by an average of 91 percent per year from a small base. The growth of the overall market amounted to 11 percent.
  • Numerous other successes:
    • Among the top 3 marketplaces in Germany, real customers order the most expensive shopping basket (over 80 euros per order on average).
    • The visibility at Google could be increased last year by 100 percent.
  • In addition, the International Marketplace Network was established together with Cdiscount (France), ePrice (Italy) and eMag (Romania) in order to simplify the cross-border trade of traders.
  • real.de is working on further services and wants to involve retailers in the decision-making process.
  • In response to questions from the audience, Schönbucher also commented on the future of real: There is a consortium of investors interested in buying real. However, the contract negotiations have not yet been concluded. The aim is to ensure that the whole can continue to exist in real terms.

Digitalization of sales in the area of conflict between retail and consumer requirements (Holger Kretschmer, Senior Sales Director & Trade Shopper Marketing DACH, Philips GmbH Market DACH Personal Health)

  • While in the past decades industry and trade dominated the relationship with the customer, now the consumer takes the lead. His unfulfilled wishes lead to disruptions.
  • Each industry is at a different level of disruption. The travel industry, for example, is already much further advanced than the chemical industry.
  • In the healthcare sector, in which Philips also operates, the customer decision journey and the retail landscape are also changing ever faster.
    • E-commerce grows
    • Discounters are looking for new customers
    • Buying Groups Shrink
    • Focus on Shop Experience
  • Accordingly, both the sales department and the entire organization must transform themselves.
  • In terms of the organization, this means
    • More cross-functional teams that focus on customer needs instead of silo thinking
    • Strengthen the self-responsibility and adaptability of these teams, because only with these characteristics can disruptions be shaped.
  • Therefore new rolls are also necessary. For this, suitable employees must be found and trained. Further training thus becomes a central success factor.

Innovation meets Consumer needs - What really drives trade (Sabrina Mertens, Head, ECC Cologne)

  • Amazon dominates German online trade
    • 2017: approx. 45 percent of sales (incl. Marketplace)
    • The order frequency among Amazon customers is increasing significantly: from 8.1 orders in 2004 to 41.3 in 2017. Prime customers even ordered 60.9 times on average in 2017.
    • The size of the shopping basket, however, decreases: From 1.76 items per order in 2004 to 1.33 in 2013.
    • Amazon can also be regarded as the world's largest product search engine: 83 percent use Amazon to find out about prices. 65 percent read reviews.
  • However, examples from other companies show that there are opportunities to exist alongside Amazon.
    • In the area of bargain hunting, for example, Wish has established itself. Wish has the fifth most used shopping app in Germany.
    • Social media is increasingly developing into a trigger for purchases. For example, Instagram is working on offering the check-out on its own platform. This could change the world of shopping.
    • Voice control has only played a minor role in online trading so far, but the breakthrough will come. In particular, if Amazon were to sell its own brands through Alexa, this could become a danger for brand manufacturers.
  • Learnings:
    • Innovations change consumer behaviour.
    • If you don't stay on the ball, you lose.
    • This process not only creates challenges, but also opportunities.
    • But the changes must be reflected in the organization.
    • The transformation process will never be over.

Voice & E-Commerce - Limits and Possibilities of Voice Control (Maik Metzen, Voice Expert, Author & Investor)

  • The development of voice control is still in its infancy. Currently, the focus is still clearly on hardware, but this will change soon. In the future, digital assistants will be used everywhere.
  • Smart speakers have reached 50 percent market penetration in the USA faster (2-3 years) than e.g. smart phones (5 years) and television (10 years). The existing use should therefore not be underestimated.
  • According to a Beyto study, digital assistants are hardly used for shopping (13 percent). However, 57 percent of potential buyers could imagine ordering food via voice control.
  • There are currently about 10,000 Alexa Skills. These are currently focusing primarily on the entertainment sector. For example, there are only 76 shopping skills. This situation is comparable to the app market about 11 years ago. Here the offer has differentiated only in the course of the years.
  • Challenges:
    • Presenting a large product portfolio without a screen is difficult.
    • The development of a skill is still very complex at the present time.
  • Voice control will not be the end. In the future, control via gestures and facial expressions will also be possible.

Omnichannel Management - Challenges for Brands and Retailers (Carsten Feiler, Teamlead Sales & Enabling, Tradebyte)

  • Challenges in serving marketplaces
    • IT setup and connection options
    • Data quality, content depth and image variants
    • Logistical requirements
    • inventory comparison
    • Team, Management, Process understanding
  • So there are numerous showstoppers. However, there is no universal way. Rather, the individual recipe for success depends on the respective starting situation.
  • Some rules of the game to succeed:
    • Choose the right tools.
    • Understand every single channel.
    • Note the requirements of each channel.
    • Take every opportunity.
    • Networks.
    • Pay attention to content quality.
    • Faster time-to-market.
    • Choose a scalable setup.
    • Choose the right partners.
    • Place value on ownership.

SEO for online shops: You should avoid these mistakes in order to generate more sales via the SEO channel (Mario Träger, Geschäftsführer, B+M Webworks).

  • Träger explained three typical sources of error.
  • Error 1: Lack of indexing rules
    • Google tries to reach as much information as possible on a website and includes it in its index. The valuation is based on this index.
    • You can find out what content Google knows about my site by using the Google Search Consule.
    • The indexed pages should be analyzed. Unimportant pages without relevant content should be removed from the index.
    • Conclusion: Solving indexing problems can have a massive impact on visibility. Indexation management is therefore one of the foundations of a good SEO programme.
  • Error 2: Underestimate Mobile First
    • Since April 2015, the factor "mobile friendly" has been a ranking factor.
    • AMP capability also has an impact and is necessary in certain business areas (e.g. news, recipes).
    • The mobile index is currently becoming the main index. More than 50 percent of the websites are already rated according to the new criteria. The URL check of the Search Consule allows you to check whether your own website is already rated according to mobile factors.
    • Conclusion: Google already rates websites according to mobile criteria. The optimisation must therefore take place "mobile first".
  • Error 3: Neglect SEO scaling
    • What growth opportunities are there?
  1. Improve the position of the existing keyword set in the ranking
  2. Enlarge number of climbing keywords
    • It makes sense to try and strike a middle course.
  1. Phase: Content on category pages and unique content on product detail pages
  2. Phase: Use of filters
  3. Phase: Create Glossary
  4. Phase: Develop magazines & blogs to sell via information-driven search queries as well
    • Conclusion: The SEO scaling should be started when the basics are finished.

From sales to storytelling - How to become a brand on Google (Matthäus Michalik, Managing Director, CLANEO)

  • Why should you build a brand?
    • Branding can keep customer acquisition costs low. After all, new customers are more expensive than existing customers.
    • Example: The keyword "buy furniture online" has a CPC of 1.47 euros and a conversion rate of 2 percent. The CAC here is therefore 73.50 euros.
    • The keyword "Home24" has a CPC of 0.04 euros and a conversion rate of 5 percent. The CAC here is only 0.80 euros.
  • A generic brand name such as "Möbel24" leads to high CPCs because Google does not protect such keywords. Competitors can also advertise on these keywords and in the worst case even lure the customer away.
  • How do you become a brand on Google?
    • Get registered as a trademark by Google Adwords.
    • Defend the search results for your own brand.
    • Understand the customer better (e.g. analyze which keywords customers enter).
    • Using different content to address the different phases of the customer journey.
  1. Magazine content for branding purposes in the Attention and Interest phases.
  2. Category and product content for performance purposes in the Desire and Action phases.
  3. Service content for retention purposes in the satisfaction and conviction phases.
    • The content created in this way can also be played on other channels (e.g. newsletters, print supplements, etc.).
  • Learnings:
    • Choose the right brand name - preferably not a generic one.
    • Defend search results.
    • Understanding customers.
    • Provide suitable content.

From Garage Dealer to Omnichannel Player - The impressive success story of RIESS-Ambiente (Mats Röwekamp, Head of eCommerce, RIESS-Ambiente | Mario Raatz, Managing Director, ROQQIO)

  • RIESS-Ambiente started on eBay in 1999 and specialized in furniture and furnishings in 2002. The company now has an online shop, three branches in the Hamburg area (with its own logistics) and also sells via Amazon.
  • Challenges in the furniture business:
    • Availability of goods: storage capacities are required -> costs & risks
    • Logistics, shipping, returns: Enormous logistics effort -> Costs & risks
    • General growth pains -> Costs & risks
    • Technical requirements Isolated solutions & interface problems, automation of processes -> dependencies & costs
  • In the system landscape there is an IT of two speeds (frontend: Oxis-Shop, marketplace connections - backend: FiBu, CRM, route planning).
  • The ROQQIO Commerce Cloud is located in between, is used in the areas of Channel Management, Order Management, Payment, Procurement, Branches and Logistics and homogenizes the channel-specific data and processes.
  • Manual intervention is important for RIESS ambience. These are ensured, for example, by manual filter options.
  • Next Steps at RIESS-Ambiente:
    • Optimization of branch concept
    • store expansion
    • Expansion Internationalization
    • Expansion of relevant marketplaces and cooperations