Founded by Georg Engelhorn and Adam Sturm in 1890 as a business selling apparel for men and boys, the fashion and sportswear and equipment store Engelhorn – located in the heart of the ‘City of Squares’ Mannheim – is one of the leading addresses within the Rhein-Neckar region today. Spread out over more than 41,000 square metres across eight neighbouring buildings, the company employs a workforce of around 1,400 employees, all offering customers a unique shopping experience. With a chocolaterie, an exquisite flower stand, Michelin-star restaurants, a wine shop, events and a Tesla motorcar showroom as the most recent highlight, the fashion store is proud to be a truly special place for its customers to spend time. Fabian Engelhorn, the fourth generation to run the operations of this family enterprise, spoke with us about how he is preparing his company for the digital future.
The Informatica World Tour Germany took place in Frankfurt on November 27, 2017. parsionate was also a part of it and reports about the impressions.
After “Big Data”, the new success factor in e-commerce that is being hyped up is “Customer Centricity”. In fact, this is not a new concept, but rather the next, logical step in e-commerce. Customer centricity is an approach to doing business that focuses on the customer’s wishes and expectations. Rather than just reacting to customers’ wishes, customer-centric businesses – retailers as well as manufacturers – rely on anticipating these needs and wants in order to be successful. Luckily, there are already enough technical solutions to enhance the buying process and to meet the expectations of digital natives; nevertheless, the implementation still represents a huge challenge for most companies. Customer centricity presupposes a suitable IT structure, high-quality master data and efficient processes in place. Therefore, customer centricity (as a general approach or a goal) is closely linked to the “digital transformation” of companies and usually entails considerable investments and extensive restructuring.
Engelhorn, a premium fashion retailer, believes in the importance of customer centricity and digital transformation. We have asked Thorsten Huth, Head of the Technical e-Commerce Department at engelhorn and data expert, what really matters.
The interactive future of digital commerce and its master data requirements
Interactive shopping – on the internet. Two things that, at first glance, are difficult to combine. E-commerce platforms and users/customers usually interact “statelessly”.
Many websites are already offering their customers ways to interact with a customer service team and ask questions through hotlines and live chats. These services are usually labour and cost-intensive. Thus, they are often limited to very expensive and complex products and services. Bots are going to change that.
The last two days showed once again, how fast E-Commerce is evolving. And that it is still far away from being grown up, as the title of the event ”Coming Of Age” already indicated. The insight reports of the speakers rather gave the impression of a young teenager trying to find himself. And this is a good thing, as only the companies who dare to try out new trends, to evolve and are also ready to fail, will be sustainably successful in E-Commerce.
In 2017, GS1 Germany will again offer an in-service training programme in six modules to become a “Certified GS1 Data Quality Manager”. Experts from the industry will provide more in-depth knowledge about selected topics. parsionate will support this excellent training programme again: Michael Weiß, Head of Business Consulting, will be one of the invited speakers from industry.
The price of a product is determined by the interaction of supply and demand in a market. This is a clear advantage for those who sell unique products. In real life, though, and in virtually every industry, online businesses have to compete in a global marketplace, where there are more and more merchants every year selling exactly the same products. Competitive pressure is steadily increasing, especially in online trading. There are hardly any article or product groups that are not on offer by at least ten other online merchants.
In this interview, Dennis Pflie, pricing expert at parsionate, explains how retailers can assert themselves in increasingly intense competition.
“The winds of digital change blow through all industries and sectors. And everything that can be digitised will be digitised.“ Kay Julius Evers, Managing Partner at Eversfrank Group, summarized the main challenges of the digital age in his opening remarks at the Port of Thoughts Retail Summit: “You have to destroy and reinvent yourself.”