Here at Forrester we’ve spend a lot of time this year evangelizing a new approach to multichannel commerce – one that we call agile commerce. The fundamentals are outlined here in Brian Walker’s excellent doc, “Welcome to the Era of Agile Commerce.” But in short, and to quote Brian . . .
“Traditional ways of describing multichannel commerce no longer work because customers don't interact with companies from a 'channel' perspective. Customers now use a rapidly evolving set of devices as a means of engaging across touchpoints, which they don't distinguish from the brand or business.”
What this means to most eBusiness execs across Europe is an explosion in the number of touchpoints they now have to consider in their customer interactions. It’s no longer just about managing a store chain and a website as two separate entities. Increasingly shoppers are turning to social networks, mobile price comparison applications, tablets, and more and they are demanding an increasing level of cross touchpoint flexibility as they browse, choose, shop, and even return products.
Alongside our latest eBusiness Maturity Model, I’ve been speaking to eBusiness executives across Europe to gauge where their organizations are in the evolution toward agile commerce.
Following on from my European eCommerce overview a couple of months ago, I’m continuing to build a deeper view of how the online retail markets are evolving in the major European markets.
This month I turn to Germany, the second-largest online retail market in Europe, and one with a number of interesting characteristics. When we compare Germany to other European markets we see that:
· eBay and Amazon.de are hugely influential. While eBay and Amazon see strong sales in Germany, their influence extends beyond their direct sales as many German web shoppers turn to these sites ahead of search engines to research products. Major retailers such as Conrad are trying to leverage this consumer behavior.