The Intershop Blog

Microsoft Inspire partner conference 2017- a Review of Goals

Microsoft Inspire partner conference 2017- a Review of Goals

By Ronni Swialkowski

The Inspire is Microsoft’s annual partner event, aiming to “Network, learn and collaborate with thousands of partners, personnel and industry experts”. Last week, several representatives of Intershop attended the conference in Washington D.C., as one of the 600 German partners, together with 17,000 attendees from 600 countries. Microsoft and its partners discussed trends and outcomes of digital transformation in various business segments during the keynotes, workshops, panel discussions, and region-specific gatherings. Ronni Swialkowski, Director of Strategic Alliances, was part of the Intershop team, together with Jochen Wiechen, Intershop’s CEO and representatives of our global partner management and sales team.

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How digitalization benefits the wholesale industry (part 2/2)

How digitalization benefits the wholesale industry (part 2/2)Quick and Easy Order Processing

by Matthias Müller

As more and more wholesalers recognize the potential of e-commerce to boost revenue, they are moving their sales online. Faster transactions, a larger selection of products at lower prices, plus comprehensive after-sales service are some of the main reasons that buyers now prefer the online channel over personal ordering methods.

 

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How digitalization benefits the wholesale industry (part 1/2)

How digitalization benefits the wholesale industry (part 1/2)Omni-channel

by Matthias Müller

According to a study by Forrester Research, two-thirds of all B2B customers expect their interaction with a company to be totally seamless across all channels. Regardless of whether they communicate directly through a salesperson or by cell phone, Internet, or mobile app, they expect to find exactly the same products, information, and services. While providing a consistent offering across all channels is not always easy, it does create some important advantages. Forrester noted that about one-third of all omni-channel customers are ready to spend more, while around half of the companies surveyed stated that omni-channel customers are more profitable overall.

 

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Digital transformation in B2B

Digital transformation in B2BBest practice: INDI

by Gerrit Enthoven

While many B2B organizations struggle in order to digitally transform their organization, Kramp Groep BV decided to establish a new company for the industrial market. Under the name of INDI it serves the market of technical parts with a professional commerce platform, delivered by Intershop specialized in B2B commerce.

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Intershop partner Sugerendo hits the sweet spot in Spain

Intershop partner Sugerendo hits the sweet spot in Spain

by René Martijn Verspuij

The number of B2B commerce projects is on the rise, and technology vendors around the world are being quick to capitalize on it. Today’s spotlight falls on Spain. In an interview with digital transformation specialist, Sugerendo, B2B e-commerce and omni-channel consultant Juan Manuel Rubio gives four reasons why Intershop’s new B2B digital commerce partner has hit the sweet spot:

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Digitalization as opportunity – Examples from two industries

Digitalization as opportunity – Examples from two industries

By Thorsten Desch

While large parts of the wholesale sector are still struggling to identify suitable digitalization strategies and business models, two industries have already seen the opportunities and understood how to use them. The book trade and IT industry were among the first to face the challenges presented by online commerce.

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How to achieve true personalized commerce

How to achieve true personalized commerceSynopsis Intershop Executive Master Class

By Roelof Swiers

On 13 June 2017 executives of the Synaptic Commerce partner community and customers of SphereMall enjoyed an educational and vivid afternoon at RAAF, a hotspot in Rotterdam (The Netherlands). The theme of the day was “How to achieve true personalized commerce”. The power of personalization was made present and tangible for everyone in a real-life case triggering the question about what “true” actually meant to be. And what it definitely wouldn´t mean.

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Consumerization of B2B commerce

Consumerization of B2B commerce

By Roelof Swiers

Should B2B web shops be identical to B2C web shops? For a while, this was a guiding principle in the world of e-commerce, and not without reason: ultimately, those who make purchasing decisions are all people. In addition to our 25 years of experience in B2C, we began to specialize in B2B several years ago, which taught us that the decision-making processes of B2B and B2C customers must be supported in the same way.

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The digital customer portal: strategic building block of an efficient digitalization strategy

The digital customer portal: strategic building block of an efficient digitalization strategy

By Drazena Ivicic

Many people are talking about the importance of digitalization and the opportunities it offers for SMEs in particular. But what does a successful digitalization strategy actually involve? And, more importantly, where do you begin?

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Digital transformation – Are you ready for change?

Digital transformation – Are you ready for change?

By Tobias Giese

Digital transformation is now well underway and placing real demands on all wholesale companies. After all, their customers, employees, suppliers, competitors, and service providers are also becoming increasingly digitized. So the question is no longer whether it is possible to avoid digitalization, and if so how, but rather the order in which the necessary changes must be implemented.

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How Indi, Zamro, and Panalpina solve omni-channel commerce obstacles

How Indi, Zamro, and Panalpina solve omni-channel commerce obstacles

By Roelof Swiers

For B2B suppliers the complexities of stock administration and management have increased in line with the number of electronic and other sales channels being used. Customers expect the same omni-channel experience and service as their B2C counterparts. That was the reason why INDI, Panalpina, and Zamro opted to implement an order management system (OMS).

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Do B2B customers expect more than just the lowest price around?

Do B2B customers expect more than just the lowest price around?

By Roelof Swiers

These days, the lowest price is easy to find for any product. Through the likes of AliExpress, Amazon, Gifi and Wish, global and local suppliers put the lowest prices out there for every conceivable product. There is no longer any need for all the various intermediaries of the past. As a customer, you can now request samples direct from manufacturers, set bulk discounts and even send off your own requests for quotations.

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Evident: 'Intershop has become our ecommerce flagship'

Evident: 'Intershop has become our ecommerce flagship'

by René Martijn Verspuij

When the Utrecht-based B2B digital agency Evident started experimenting with the ecommerce software of Intershop in 2016, it didn't expect it to become such a great success. The collaboration between these two companies went so well, the two are now focusing fully on the B2B ecommerce market. The first success has already been celebrated and Evident expects to add several more this year.

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What is the future of wholesale – the way of the dinosaurs or giants of the future?

What is the future of wholesale – the way of the dinosaurs or giants of the future?

by Matthias Müller

Since the advent of digital commerce in the 1990s, the demise of the wholesale industry has been predicted many times. Why do we need a multi-tier distribution model when manufacturers can now sell directly via the Web, and new online platforms bring vendors and customers together?

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‘The wishes and needs of our customers are key’

‘The wishes and needs of our customers are key’

By Roelof Swiers

When the Imbema Groep unfolded an e-commerce strategy for the first time in 2011, this took some doing. An interview with COO Jan-Willem Mantel. ‘Our customer needs to be able to obtain his information quickly and easily, and be inspired. He is key in everything we do. With Intershop and our implementation partner Eperium we have achieved more in the last 2 months than in the past 5 years.’ A story about ups and downs.

 

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Digitalization in the wholesale industry

Digitalization in the wholesale industryChallenges | opportunities | strategies

by Jochen Wiechen

In 20 years, how will people look back on today’s wholesale industry? Will they view it as a business model from a bygone era, long since superseded by more modern alternatives? Absolutely not. Instead, what they will see is the precise moment when the wholesale industry set a bold new course for the future. Our current era will be remembered as a time of change and upheaval, driven by the wider digitalization of society. A period with fundamental implications for our personal lives, for how we collaborate at work, and for the way companies interact with each other.

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Are you ready for customized manufacturing? Customers are.

Are you ready for customized manufacturing? Customers are.

By Tim Cochran

Need new glasses don’t feel like wasting time at the mall or your local optician? Customers of Mr. Spex, an eyecare retailer, save time by shopping at MrSpex.com for their customized eyeglasses. The process starts with a blank slate. You choose from one of 3,000 frames. Then comes the fun part. You can upload a photo of yourself or, using your webcam, try your glasses on “live.” Once you’ve found one you’re happy with, you upload your prescription, decide what type of lenses you want – standard or thin, varifocals—and your glasses will be manufactured and mailed on their way.

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Ready for disruption

Ready for disruption

By Roelof Swiers
Zamro is an ambitious and dynamic e-commerce company that was founded in February 2016. It has great ambitions for cross-border growth and focuses on the rapidly changing behaviour of the technical B2B buyer. With an assortment of over 550,000 industrial components, Zamro wishes to become a one-stop shop primarily directed at smaller and medium-sized business clients. Ease of use, perfectly understanding the customer and complete transparency are key ingredients for Zamro to disrupt its sector. But how can a young start-up become lean enough to scale up quickly and conquer Europe?

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Investing in the digital future of B2B

Investing in the digital future of B2B

by Toralf Lahs

The success of B2B commerce to a large extent relies on more seamless integration of information and IT systems. But where are organizations at right now? And what will the next investments look like?

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Build a future for your business by digitalisation

Build a future for your business by digitalisationDigitalisation can revolutionise your organisation

by Jochen Wiechen

Digitalisation seems to be a mantra for politicians, a far-sighted vision for a future society – and the hot spot on the agenda for many at C-level and those responsible for marketing and sales. This futuristic view might be relevant, but in reality it has been around for a while. It already delivers tangible results for many businesses, although slightly smaller in concept and by a different name of e-commerce.

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Is channel conflict & IT complexity hindering your digitalization agenda?

Is channel conflict & IT complexity hindering your digitalization agenda?

by Toralf Lahs
If concerns around your distribution model, business and/or IT complexity are hindering your organization’s digitalization process, then it’s time to think again. That was the main message to the businesses I met during the Internet Retailing B2B Summit last month.

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Orchestrating complex B2B order cycles

Orchestrating complex B2B order cycles

by Matthias Müller

Today’s B2B environments are getting more and more complex. The management of the increasing number of digital interaction channels like e-commerce, EDI or B2B networks in combination with a harmonized view on all inventories and orders across all channels in different functional and technical silos - all this requires considerable effort, but is crucial for realizing an omni-channel customer experience.

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Digitalization success factors

Digitalization success factors

by Jochen Wiechen

B2B organizations know what they want from their platforms and IT systems, according to the Intershop E-Commerce Report “Taking the Fast Track into the Digital Future of B2B Commerce”. And, they say that solutions like order management systems (OMS) are already proving invaluable at facilitating a truly seamless experience for buyers.

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Customer experience – the Holy Grail of commercial success?

Customer experience – the Holy Grail of commercial success?

by Jerry van Leeuwen

The belief that customer experience underpins your online success is widely accepted. Excellent customer experience is the result of continuous website optimization. This is a never-ending struggle between the use of resources and the presence of statistical substantiation, with the underlying causes being incomprehensible data, the inability to uncover the core issues and the failure to convert data into action. This article takes a look at how one can start to introduce cohesion to the process.

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Who’s driving the digital agenda?

Who’s driving the digital agenda?

by Toralf Lahs
I’ve been writing many blogs recently about B2B digitalization – examining the impact of e-commerce, system integration and what this all means for the business and competitor landscape. But who is driving the digital agenda?

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Risk and reward - an increasingly competitive digital B2B landscape

Risk and reward - an increasingly competitive digital B2B landscape

by Gerrit Enthoven
There is a flipside to being part of an increasingly digital B2B ecosystem, according to our 2016 e-commerce research report “Taking the Fast Track into the Digital Future of B2B Commerce”. In the survey of B2B decision-makers conducted this August, the vast majority of the 400 respondents (99%) observed marketplace disruption as a result of digital technologies changing the rules of engagement.

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What were the three big topics at 'B2B Online' in Amsterdam last week?

What were the three big topics at 'B2B Online' in Amsterdam last week?

by Toralf Lahs
Leadership support, digitalization affecting the whole business and e-commerce platforms that accommodate differing regional business practices. These were the three big topics at B2B Online in Amsterdam last week.

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The 5 most important B2B commerce trends for 2017

The 5 most important B2B commerce trends for 2017

by Toralf Lahs
Wow, is it that time of year again already? That time when we reflect upon another busy business year and wonder what the next one holds? It is something I get asked quite a lot. So, here are my five most important predictions for 2017:

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The impact of digital on B2B business models

The impact of digital on B2B business models

by Axel Köhler

The far-reaching influence of digital sales channels has had a profound business impact, according to our 2016 B2B e-commerce research report “Taking the Fast Track into the Digital Future of B2B Commerce”. In fact, four in ten (40%) respondents surveyed confirm the pursuit of digital transformation has resulted in a complete change of their organization’s business model.

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B2B e-commerce comes of age

B2B e-commerce comes of age

by Toralf Lahs
Digital sales channels are no longer a sideshow, according to the 2016 Intershop E-Commerce Report “Taking the fast track into the digital future of B2B commerce”. More than three-quarters (76%) of the organizations surveyed have implemented a dedicated B2B e-commerce site, with an impressive 39% confirming that their e-commerce store/online self-service tool is the only sales channel on offer.

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Key factors when choosing a new e-commerce environment

Key factors when choosing a new e-commerce environment

By Roelof Swiers

What does it take to enable sustainable growth in today’s omni-channel landscape? Do you go cross-border, multi-brand, or embrace different business models? Should you stick to the existing solution or choose a different platform? What factors are important here?

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Intershop E-Commerce Report 2016

Intershop E-Commerce Report 2016The Digitalization of B2B

by Jochen Wiechen
With online and mobile sales channels growing rapidly, B2B organizations are now on a mission to embed end-to-end digitalization across the enterprise. In our new research report “Taking the Fast Track into the Digital Future of B2B” launched recently, we capture their progress - from vision to reality.

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Making the omni-channel vision come true

Making the omni-channel vision come trueSix reasons why you need an order management system

by Matthias Müller

Buying and paying for anything, anywhere – that’s the biggest challenge that omni-channel retailers see themselves facing. There was once a time when your only concern was to ensure that there were sufficient products stored for stocking up the shops, but today completing a purchase has become the most complex aspect. There are many different channels and fulfillment scenarios to cover, and a good order management system can create that much-needed order out of the chaos.

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What I’m not going to tell you about B2B commerce

What I’m not going to tell you about B2B commerce

by Toralf Lahs
I’m going to be at B2B Online on 7th – 8th December in Amsterdam, and that is really important. Why? Because manufacturing businesses have an ever more desperate need to move into the online world, but seem to be stalling with how and where to start.

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Case study: IGO-POST

Case study: IGO-POSTWhen your gut feeling is wrong and the data demands an omni-channel approach

by Gerrit Enthoven
IGO-POST, a seventy-year-old family-run company, is guided by customer behavior and wishes, as digital program manager Dennis Verlijsdonk explains. Now that both prospective and existing customers expect a user-friendly online experience, the focus is no longer on the catalog alone. Instead an omni-channel approach is now the target. The biggest challenge involves obtaining a key customer profile.

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No e-commerce platform? No problem – the OMS is here

No e-commerce platform? No problem – the OMS is hereIntershop’s order management system has something truly unique to offer

by Toralf Lahs
According to Forrester, B2B companies can substantially decrease sales costs — up to 90 percent — by guiding customers to an online self-service ecommerce environment. In a 2013 Forrester survey, 52 percent of B2B ecommerce executives surveyed reported that migrating formerly offline-only customers to online purchasing reduced their customer support costs too.

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Ekosport chooses Intershop to power rapid expansion

Ekosport chooses Intershop to power rapid expansionChallenges of a French sports goods manufacturer jumping into the international e-commerce business

by Toufik Boudellal

In recent years, the European outdoor industry has experienced exceptional growth and retailers in this sector are fast becoming major players in the sporting goods business. Since 2011, the online sales of French sports goods manufacturer Ekosport have risen steadily, which is why they have decided to expand internationally in E-Commerce.

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Are you faxing customers away?

Are you faxing customers away?Order processing reloaded

by Toralf Lahs
If your order processing is time-consuming, error-prone, complex or expensive then your B2B business has a big problem. That’s one of the messages in our latest free e-book, “Reinvented and Digitized B2B Selling”. Are you literally ‘faxing’ your customers away?

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When omni-channel commerce goes wrong (part 2)

When omni-channel commerce goes wrong (part 2)The right combination for an impeccable customer experience

by Cornelia Seidenstricker

As I mentioned in the last article, many retailers still have not perfected their omni-channel strategy - often at the cost of customer satisfaction. The gap between what customers expect and what is provided to them, is still very wide. These differences in customer expectations and the retailer's offers can be mitigated by relatively simple measures.

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When omni-channel commerce goes wrong (part 1)

When omni-channel commerce goes wrong (part 1)Real customer experiences

by Cornelia Seidenstricker

There are many ways to perfect the omni-channel experience. Unfortunately the reality of the situation does not reflect this potential. Too often the branch stores and the online stores act like two completely divided entities that do not appear to be able to coordinate with one another or they handle various processes in a very cumbrous manner. I talked to a few of my colleagues about their personal omni-channel experiences and gathered a mixed bag of stories. Their very interesting accounts describe shortcomings in delivery details, burdensome bureaucratic processes and logistical difficulties - in virtually every industry:

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The new breed of B2B buyer

The new breed of B2B buyerAre you keeping up with the ever-changing commerce landscape?

by Toralf Lahs
B2B buyer preferences have fundamentally shifted and existing business models can’t keep pace with the ever-changing B2B commerce landscape. This reveals itself in things like delayed order processing, a lack of information transparency and inflexible customer service that are caused by unconnected systems and siloed channels. The result is all-too-often frustrated self-service oriented buyers.

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E-commerce goes omni-channel (part 3)

E-commerce goes omni-channel (part 3)The future of online technologies for the local retail store

by Jochen Wiechen
Online technologies like NFC, LFC, Beacons, WiFi-Tracking, MEMS und LEDs allow for the tracking of customers while shopping. What does that mean for the future and for the fusion of online business and the physical retail store?

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E-commerce goes omni-channel (part 2)

E-commerce goes omni-channel (part 2)NFC, LFC, Beacons, WiFi tracking, MEMS and LEDs

by Jochen Wiechen
In my last post, I talked about the development of technologies that allow retailers to create an online-experience in their brick and mortar stores in order to stand up to the online competition. NFC, LFC, Beacons, WiFi tracking, MEMS and LEDs are currently named the most-up-to-date tracking technologies, and I will give you a brief description of what they do.

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E-commerce goes omni-channel (part 1)

E-commerce goes omni-channel (part 1)The development of online technologies for use in brick and mortar stores

by Jochen Wiechen
Just a few years of e-commerce development have been enough to get customers accustomed to the notion that everything is just a couple clicks away: additional information, product images, reviews, alternative suggestions and of course offers from the competition. Even in the local store, customers are already surfing the web with their smartphone. But unfortunately, usually only to compare the prices: the customer has learned to combine the advantages of being able to see the product with the advantage of the online price (which is often times much cheaper) and then uses this information to barter in the local store. In general, customers are less willing to accept the limitations between the channels, especially when it comes to the difference in price, amount of information, or service. What kind of technologies can brick and mortar retailers install in order to create a type of counter-offer – i.e. to offer the advantage of e-commerce information offline in order to create an online-experience and thus stand up to online competition?

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Mind the gap

Mind the gapReinvented and digitized B2B selling

by Toralf Lahs
Gaps, gaps, gaps. If you’re a B2B merchant, there seem to be gaps everywhere. In a new eBook “Reinvented and Digitized B2B Selling”, we summarize more than 20 years of observations, learnings and best practices gathered from working with B2B companies.

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E-Commerce in the consumer electronics well done

E-Commerce in the consumer electronics well doneHow Videocon Increased its Conversion Rate by 50%

by Ronny Höpfner

Since the early days of e-commerce, consumer electronic has been playing a major role. Customers in this market are especially technophile and willing to shop online. Videocon, a global conglomerate headquartered in India and well established in this market segment has taken a decisive step resulting in a large upswing in their e-commerce business.

When Next Retail launched a new online and TV shopping channel to serve its 300,000 customers, it turned to Intershop and its implementation partner, Eperium India, for their vision and expertise, leading-edge technology, and joint track record in successfully completing complex and large-scale projects.

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Majestic Wine gives customers a taste of what's in-store

Majestic Wine gives customers a taste of what's in-store

by Toralf Lahs

When Majestic Wine, the UK’s largest specialist wine retailer, decided to replicate its in-store values online, it turned to Intershop and Javelin Group to make its e-commerce vision a reality. Making customers aware of what’s available in their local store – and balancing supply with demand so orders can be fulfilled with ease by local stores – was just the start. Majestic Wines wanted to deliver a highly personalised and convenient customer experience that brings the in-store shopping experience to life on the web.

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Delivering the local experience online

Delivering the local experience online6 learnings from Majestic Wine

by Toralf Lahs

Together with Javelin Group we’ve just completed a project with the largest wine specialist retailer in the UK, Majestic Wine. It’s a brilliant example because the company has found a way to marry the customer convenience and expertise it prides itself on, to its online business. Majestic Wine customers can now experience an enviable, seamless localservice.

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Story of lingerie specialist Van De Velde going live on Intershop

Story of lingerie specialist Van De Velde going live on Intershop

by Gerrit Enthoven

Van de Velde NV is a leading player in the luxury and fashionable women’s lingerie sector. It owns globally-recognized lingerie brands including Marie Jo, PrimaDonna and Andres Sarda, and had an annual turnover in excess of €182 million in 2012. Belgian firm Van de Velde is convinced of the merits of a long-term strategy based on developing and expanding brands around the Lingerie Styling concept especially in Europe and North America.

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Invest right and avoid re-platforming

Invest right and avoid re-platformingHow to set up a future-proof e-commerce system

by Toralf Lahs
E-commerce has truly come of age: it has turned into a valid sales channel both for classic brick and mortar stores broadening their customer reach, and for “pure” online vendors. Online shops have grown into a must have element and become a core component of many business plans. At the same time, most companies have raised the bar for their e-commerce strategies: On one hand, an increasingly global world means both pressure from international competition and opportunities for growth. On the other, they are pushed by digitally savvy customers whose shopping behaviour is modelled on what suits their lifestyle rather than traders’ channel models. This forces vendors to continually evolve their underlying technology.

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8 clever shopping possibilities

8 clever shopping possibilitiesWhat are the technologies that allow stores to become ‘smarter’?

by Toralf Lahs
Evidence would suggest that today’s consumers are time poor yet happy to spend money in a store that makes it quick and easy to shop. It’s certainly the case that the most successful retailers are those with the customer experience at the heart of everything they do. But, how do these retail organisations successfully introduce the technology to facilitate the quick and easy buying experience?

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