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17.06.2014

Get together under the banner of multi-channel: invitation to Hamburg from expert International

Zug/Switzerland, 17th of June, 2014

Two times a year, expert International invites the CEOs and presidents of all European member countries to the General Meeting. The first of these for this year took place in Hamburg and addressed the central topic of “e-commerce”.

A glance at the European market shows that sales over the internet are an increasingly significant proportion of total revenue in the field of technical consumer goods. According to the consumer research organisation GfK (Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung), the proportion of e-commerce sales has risen continually over the past four years from around 7% to the current 19.4%. However, the differences between the individual countries are also very pronounced: while the Czech Republic takes the lead with an online revenue proportion of 39.9%, in Portugal only 3.1% of revenue is generated from e-commerce activities.

“The exchange of experience and flow of information between our member countries is all the more important,” observes Managing Director Dieter Mathys, “because it’s clear to all countries that engaging with the topics of e-commerce, multi-channel and omni-channel is essential and offers enormous opportunities, and that it is worth utilising these as early as possible and to their full advantage.”

Best practice examples were thus presented at the General Meeting that show how support from e-commerce paid off for traders through the corresponding centre on-site. A very successful example is Belgium, where expert traders receive individual websites with an integrated online shop that can also be accessed as a mobile version via smartphone and tablet. End customers have access to a range of 15,000 items that they can have directly delivered from the central warehouse to their home or to an expert specialist store to be picked up.

Furthermore, all expert specialist stores in Belgium are equipped with an interactive panel via which the customer can see the whole range and order directly. This allows the specialist dealers to virtually expand their stationary product range and offers customers an even larger selection.

Since the start of the comprehensive online strategy in Belgium expert has recorded massively increasing hits on the trader websites as well as growing sales figures. The interlocking of online and offline measures in particular works very well: 11% of all visits to stationary expert specialist markets can be traced back to an online visit.

“The successful example from Belgium shows us that we shouldn’t view the internet as an enemy of stationary trade. The aim has to be to make contact with customers on all channels, recognise needs and thus offer an outstanding service both on- and offline,” believes Dieter Mathys.

The next International General Meeting will take place in Budapest at the end of October.