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Die digitale Disruption [Infografik]

Das Beratungsunternehmen Deloitte hat eine Infografik veröffentlicht, die zeigt wie digitale Innovationen den Alltag verändern. Auch für den Handel bringt dieser Lebenswandel eine Reihe von Veränderungen mit sich. Die Bedeutung von Social Media Kanälen nimmt erheblich zu, Stichwort Shit Storm. Die Verbreitung von mobilen Endgeräten wie Smartphones und Tablets bringt eine ganz neue Dynamik in den Kaufprozess, der sich vom linearen Pfad zu einer verteilten und vernetzten Customer Journey mit enorm vielen Berührungspunkten (Touchpoints) zwischen Handel und Konsumenten entwickelt.

Digital Disruption

1 of 3 Germans uses the smartphone for shopping

10 Essentials for Mobile Commerce – Part 2

Welcome to the second part of our blog series about Mobile Commerce Essentials. In this part you’ll learn how important it is to use the particular advantages of a smartphone, which role the promotion plays for the app itself and why the mobile checkout is the backbone of mobile commerce.

Enjoy the read and let me know your thoughts in the comments.

4. Use the advantages of a smartphone1 of 3 Germans uses the smartphone for shopping

The second important variable in creating a value added is to make use of the specific advantages of a smartphone. You can implement a location based service, which recognizes when a customer is approaching your local store and send this specific customer a push notification with a special, time limited deal in the store. You can just implement a store finder which make use of the geolocation features of the smartphone. You can even connect both of the two by sending a push notification with a special deal and navigate the customer to the next local store. You could make use of the camera of a smartphone to make barcode and QR Code scanning possible. Integrate QR Codes into your print ads at high volume traffic places like central stations and let customer scan the code to head directly to the product. Offer special mobile coupons which a customer can redeem by visiting your brick and mortar store. Another possibility for the use of the advantages of a smartphone is the use of augmented reality. Schössmetall, an OXID customer, provides in its mobile app a feature, which lets the customer take a picture of a door and then mount virtual a new door handle from the product range of Schössmetall (you can test this feature by visiting the App Store and download the app here). There are many ways to explore the advantages of smartphones, an by using them you create instantly value added to your customer.

5. Bring your mobile activities to light

Okay, the App Store and the Play Store are great distribution channels for your apps. You can reach millions of users through it. Big brands like adidas, Nike or Hugo Boss would have no problem to spread the app on a huge amount of devices. But most of the retailers haven’t got such a strong brand. They need to make the mobile app known by advertising at other touchpoints such as the online shop and their retail stores. There are so many ideas how to reach a substantial amount of downloads: give hints on your cash slips, your invoices, your print ads, your flyers, your business cards, virtually everywhere you get in contact with potential customers, integrate a prominent link directly to the App Store in your online shop and so on and so forth. Let your customer know about your amazing applications in the different marketplaces.

6. Checkout is the mobile backbone

The checkout is known as a substantial and critical part in every online shop. There are complete research studies just about this one topic, recently the Smashing Magazine published the findings of its own research in their blog. This fact is also valid for your mobile app. It’s even more substantial and more critical. Why? Because of the smaller screen size. The established 5-step-checkout-process from online shops should better be a 3-step-process in your mobile app. Make it as easy as you can imagine for your customer to buy your products at the mobile touchpoint. Make the whole process transparent and let customers switch back and forth in the different steps. Implement little helpers such as an address autocomplete service. Remember, the checkout is the mobile backbone!

Stay tuned for the next part of the series.

The 22nd ECC-Forum in Cologne


Some time ago (September 20th, to be precise) I attended the ECC-Forum. Frankly, you really can’t say in advance what to expect from such an event, apart from the free drinks and snacks. At this point, my wife usually reminds me, that the drinks aren’t exactly free, but  being payed for in advance – and she’s right – as we know, there’s no such thing as free lunch. The question remains, however, if the day-trip to Cologne was worth it – and I answer with a definite ‚yes‘. Here’s my account of the visit:

The first thing to strike me was the professional manner in which the event was organized. Let me illustrate: it’s often taken for granted, that multiple wireless microphones do a flawless job and yet, how often have we heard the „oh-sorry-we-have-to-call-Tom-from-tech-support-as-the-PA-just-stopped-working“ apologies? This time: no such thing. In addition to that, Aline Eckstein of ECC-Handel (an IFH subdivision) emceed us through the day more eloquently than if Jay Leno had sent his own daughter. Besides, I don’t know if Jay Leno even has a daughter, to begin with.

Oh, and yes, the drinks & food were excellent with nothing left to desire.

As we’ve settled the important bits it’s time to talk business for a while. The apparent reasons to attend an event like this are to learn, to meet, to see and be seen. So let’s check the score:

  • Learning: check! Most of the seminars were well-researched and as such met the expectations. Some were even entertaining. In very few cases the speakers gave in to the temptation and abused their slot for some sweet advertising. No one is to blame except the speakers themselves; Aline, who was hugely involved in the entire organisation, assured me, said speakers would be spoken to. It is the expressed wish of the ECC Handel, that those who attend the seminars would get value for money (advertising is for free gigs like watching the latest installment of ‚Mad Men‘ for free on Youtube).
  • Meeting: check! Judging by the business cards I found in my pockets upon returning home I must have met almost as many people as on a typical trade show day, plus I noticed a nice surge in the number of Xing contacts. Some of those new contacts – almost all of them – had some business value, two of them I would label downright lucrative business leads. And a charming young lady was amongst them, too.
  • Seeing: to expect a who-is-who of eCommerce to attend a Forum like this might be a bit far-fetched, and yet, one or two of the real movers and shakers would have done nicely. There being none at all left a somewhat stale taste on my palates.
  • Being seen: this is a tad tricky to judge. Unless you’re on the speakers‘ list it is left up to yourself to make sure, someone notices you. Consequently, I got myself enlistet, so next time the topic B2B is up again, I’ll be asked to fill one of those slots (hopefully).

All in all, I came back amused, enriched, enlightened and a bit wiser. So, provided the topic matches my business, the ECC-Forum will see me again in the future.

For future reference, here is a list of the seminars held:

  • B2B and B2C – two totally different entities?
    Dr. Kai Hudetz, IFH Cologne
  • How is communication with the customer different when talking B2C vs. B2B? Example given: Easy Auto Service
    Philipp Hess,  Easy Auto Service GmbH
  • Is B2B e-Commerce to be feared? Transparency and comparability
    Stefan Grimm,
  • Legal aspects of B2B – things to be careful about
    Counceller Rolf Becker, Kanzlei Wienke & Becker
  • No time to play! Social Media and B2B
    André Brockschmidt,
  • About the efficient use of mobile business apps – a real-life success story as an example
    Roland Leiße, Nionex GmbH (a Bertelsmann AG enterprise)
  • Online-shop with a connector for speciality retailers – opportunities and challenges in the example of MHK Group
    Frank Bermbach, MHK Group
  • How to sell online in business areas requiring extensive customer counselling
    Martin Schulte, Experteaz
  • Tools to aid in the implementation of complex B2B business projects: Desired Outcomes, Problem Solving, RACI, Visual Management and others.
    Timm Kaminski, Hach Lange GmbH

This is Volker Boelsch, working and writing for
OXID eSales AG, Freiburg / Breisgau, Germany

10 Essentials for Mobile Commerce

2012 is the year of mobile commerce, figures of PayPal and Google prove, that you as a retailer, will lose customers to your competitors if you’ll not provide your online shop on smartphones.

In the next weeks I will publish a series of essential facts and hints that you’ll have to take in account for your mobile commerce strategy.

Today we start with points 1, 2 and 3.

1. Don’t treat the touchpoint mobile isolated

The most common mistake of many retailer is, that they treat the touchpoint mobile isolated, like a channel. You cannot decide whether or not developing a mobile commerce strategy on the fact that the mobile touchpoint itself will not generate enough turnover to get the right ROI. The touchpoint mobile is not isolated, it is the connection, the bridge between the offline world with its brick and mortar stores and the online world with the online flagship shops. There is a known recent study from search giant Google which says that 37% of customers search for information via the mobile touchpoint before they buy online. Even more customers (47%) search for information mobile before they buy in a retail store.
These numbers underscore the relevance of the mobile touchpoint even today. Nobody knows were the market will be in the nearest future, but all forecasts and projections pinpoint to a rosy future. The touchpoint mobile will play a major role in future commerce strategies of multi-touchpoint retailer.

2. Create a value added for your customer

Don’t start your mobile activities without knowing the goal of these activities. Create a strategy to integrate the mobile touchpoint in your commerce strategy. The overall goal should be to create a value added for your customer. Why should they download an app or visit your mobile optimized online shop? Now you’re probably asking yourself how to do this?! Read on and you’ll hopefully know more.

3. Connect the different touchpoints

In order to create a value added you have to connect the different touchpoints. To manifest its strength, mobile and all the other touchpoints have to be interconnected in various ways: Persistent baskets over different devices. Single-sign-on over all devices and touchpoints. Possibility for the customer to return online or mobile purchased products in a brick and mortar store. One central stock for all touchpoints. Following this, a connected POS cash register system. And so on and so on. The most difficult task in connecting the touchpoints is, to align all IT processes. All systems have to be intermeshed seamlessly and have to communicate with each other. At the same time the customer must not recognize these hilarious complex backend-processes, for them it have to be simple to do the things they want to do, no matter at which touchpoint and what time!

I hope you found it helpful for your business and I would appreciate it if you spread the word over the social media channels.

Stay tuned for the next part of the series!

OXID eShop Version 4.7.0 Beta 1 released

Yesterday we released the Beta 1 of OXID eShop CE / PE 4.7. The software is now available for Download in our OXID eXchange marketplace. Make sure to download your copy now:

OXID eShop 4.7.0 CE Beta 1

OXID eShop 4.7.0 PE Beta 1

Under „Download additional file“ you will find an SQL file for trying out the beta on a test system. Please note: The file can only be used with this beta version.

Please find an overview over new features and changes in the Preview. If you are interested in the more technical details, be sure to check out the Wiki-Page on OXIDForge.

You can take a look at the demo shops here:

Demo Shop Professional Edition

Demo Shop Community Edition

If you discover a bug during your testing, please report it to and help us straightening out the new OXID eShop for the final release.

We are very interested in your general feedback that you can share with us on the dev-general mailing list.

Quality Report for OXID eShop 4.6 has been published

We are happy to announce that Quality Report for OXID eShop 4.6 has been prepared and finalized by quality assurance team and is now published. (for download see below)

In our quality report we analyze and interprete the most important quality control measures of OXID eShop and draw comparisons between current and previous versions of the platform. OXID Quality assurance team makes big efforts to ensure that OXID eShop in every new version provides our customers with ever higher quality.

The results are reflected in the quality report: you will find some important software quality measures of OXID eShop 4.6.0. like code coverage, bug tracking /fixing process, bug status statistics, statistics about implemented improvements for performance, and also results of performance tests.

We are especially proud to announce that – despite the steady growth of the source code – we are able to keep the code coverage of our unit tests above 90%!

From now on we will continue to issue a quality report for each major and minor release. Reports appear some time after the release of the software so we can collect and evaluate more data from the final version. This way we hold ourselves accountable for the quality of the released product and provide you with the most relevant information.

On this occasion and on behalf of all QA team I’d like to say a big thank you to our active and loyal community for continuously sharing with us your experience with OXID eShop. Please continue to send feedback and help us improve the quality of our products even further!

Download your personal copy of OXID eShop Quality Report 4.6.0 here.

Revamped Screencast: Downloadable Products in OXID eShop

A couple of weeks ago, we published a screencast with a preview on the new feature „Downloadable Products“ in OXID eShop version 4.6. An mentioned, it was taken in an early beta state and some options were added or moved to other locations in OXID eShop final version 4.6.

That’s why we decided to produce a new screencast with the voice over of my mate Stewart Tunnicliff whose help we are grateful for.

Hope you like it 🙂

Amazon Payments – the OXID new certified module

We are happy to announce a launch of a new module – amazon payments – which is now available free of charge via OXID eXchange marketplace.

Amazon payments is a payment extension, made for an international market. It enables the clients of your online shop to pay using their amazon account and its relevant information. One can make purchases without even having to leave your online shop.

Amazon as an important player in ecommerce world is trusted by millions of users all over the world. Thus amazon payments module is not just another payment method, but an opportunity to make use of the trust gained by amazon brand over the years just in few steps of the module installation.

The module was developed by our professional service team and is thus a certified extension. This extension is an important new element in the OXID platform which is already successfully used by many online shops such as , ,

OXID User Group North Rhine-Westphalia About to be Established

On Friday, June 8th, from 4 PM on, the OXID user group North Rhine-Westphalia will be established at Unperfekthaus in Essen.

Christian Lehmann and Stefan Koshold from our partner agency Unit M GmbH, who organized this first meet-up, have the following aims and topics in mind:

  • exchange on a developer level (beta versions, modules, customizing etc.)
  • exchange on a partner level (competencies, collaboration, common activities etc.)
  • organization of informational events around OXID and/or OXID projects

Also, of course, other topics and ideas can be submitted at the meet-up on Friday, June 8th. The entry fee is 6,50 EUR (incl. WiFi, room rental and beverages), registration is required.

Look forward to seeing you there!

P.S.: In Unperfekthaus, try to find room 404 😉

Recap of OXID Commons 2012 – A tremendous E-Commerce Conference

OXID Commons 2012

First of all: Thank you all! Thanks for coming to OXID Commons 2012, thanks for the wonderful speeches, for all the great conversations had everywhere, thanks for making OXID a big family. Over 600 people, plus roundabout 300 via live stream, took part in a great event empowered by over 50 exhibitors and sponsors at the fair ground in Freiburg.

Roland Fesenmayr, CEO of OXID eSales AG, opened the schedule, in his keynote he reviewed the last twelve successful months and talked about our focus during the next phase.

All in all, more than 40 lecturers presented the most recent topics about e-commerce and the OXID Ecosystem in two different tracks. The top-notch schedule offered various sessions and discussions about topics like multichannel, internationalization, news in OXID eShop version 4.6, community related projects, semantic web in e-commerce with GoodRelations, how to adjust performance in projects, and many more. Please feel free to watch the OXID Commons archived live streams of both rooms.

OXID Commons 2012

By the end of the event day, Andrea Seeger, Executive Board of OXID eSales AG, promised the award “THE GOLDEN CART” for outstanding solutions based on OXID Platform. We want to congratulate the winners in the five following categories:

The mandatory after-show party was great again with the added bonus of nice weather and supporting live band, which encouraged networking, stimulating conversations and quenching refreshments.

On the very next day, May 25th, the unconference took place. The 77 registered developers came together in a leisure barcamp style to talk about the community project Admin2.0, to discuss the new module system in OXID eShop version 4.6, the language handling (mapping) and what the community expects from OXID eSales. Also, our Chief Software Architect, Erik Kort, gave us an insight into the plans for OXID eShop version 5.

OXID Commons Unconference 2012

To give you a visual expression of OXID Commons 2012, we collected some links for you:

We also would like to draw your attention to other blog posts, mostly written by attendees:

Posted by Marco Steinhäuser and Daniela Baumgartner