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3 questions to Adrian Hotz (Hotz E-Commerce Consulting)

Adrian Hotz – Photo: adrianhotz.de

Adrian Hotz (business graduate) is a speaker, consultant, lecturer and author. He supports companies in developing strategies and building up E-Commerce departments and in the operative implementation thereof. He advises manufacturers and brands in the development of marketplace strategies, particularly with regards to Amazon. Hotz is the founder and CEO of www.connect-ecommerce.de, a partner of eTribes, a lecturer on E-Commerce at the Fresenius University, host of the event www.be.insideecommerce.de and as a founder member also on the Supervisory Board of factor-a (www.factor-a.de), a marketplace agency that specialises on Amazon.

 

Mr Hotz, Amazon currently accounts for around 40 percent of the online trade turnover in Germany. Is it possible at all for a dealer or manufacturer to overtake this market leader?

Hotz: It is quite clear if companies want to exploit the full potential of E-Commerce, they have to make sure they are present where the customers are. And these are already frequently using Amazon as a starting point for purchasing decisions. We are actually familiar with this from our own buying behaviour. How many of your purchases do you make via other online dealers? How many of your purchases start directly on Amazon?

In my opinion, Amazon is not the enemy of the dealers and manufacturers. Amazon provides the infrastructure that is necessary for successful online trading. Customer acquisition, logistics, service, absolute reliability – Amazon is in a sense the motorway, those who use the infrastructure correctly, definitely benefit from E-Commerce to an above average level and that in turn is due to the fast growth of Amazon. Other online shops or own manufacturer shops cannot and won’t experience comparable growth here. The concentration on one supplier is naturally from a manufacturer’s point of view not easy to deal with, but also not unfamiliar. This is why I advise the managing directors and owners of companies, to address the theme of Amazon personally and develop an Amazon strategy that suits their own company. Amazon is a threat for all those, who do nothing. But Amazon is an opportunity for all those, who know how to use Amazon to their own benefit.

 

What do you recommend to companies that feel like they are being overrun by the current rapid development of E-Commerce?

Hotz: To take time. To occupy themselves personally with the theme. And not to develop an E-Commerce strategy for the company until they have done so. In E-Commerce, it is important for companies to act, not just react. I really haven’t encountered any company that has achieved sustainable success in the E-Commerce segment without following a predevised plan. In concrete terms regarding the theme of Amazon: Many companies simply react to Amazon’s request to list products and handle it just like any other dealer enquiry. This leads to many misunderstandings on both sides and this prevents the company from really winning over market shares vis-à-vis their competitors. It would be better if they were to take the reins in their own hands at an early stage and define the right prerequisites for a successful collaboration in advance. In other words, in E-Commerce thinking ahead is definitely demanded instead of thinking things through afterwards.

 

More and more manufacturers are working together with bloggers for the online marketing of clothes and cosmetics. Could this also be an opportunity for the green industries?

Hotz: Of course, everything is conceivable. I would certainly try it out in any case. The risk-reward ratio is calculable here. I encourage companies to really try out a lot in the digital channels. The good thing is that everything is really measurable. Hence, the credo “measure and improve” always applies for online marketing and the collaboration with bloggers.

 

For further information: adrianhotz.de

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