Omnichannel marketers, he Connect+ Group, were back at IFA this year, with their ten-strong product management team, claiming 2017 was for them “a grand cru” year. We asked group CEO Olivier Lanckriet why.
We are acting in a very interesting market where customer needs are changing radically, in the way the customer is buying our products. In this omnichannel market, we, as a large network of over 1,000 specialists in Electro, IT and mobile, have been able to gain market share by growing each year more than 10%. We did this by focusing very hard on investing in omnichannel and the quality of our network of specialists. Important examples are the fact that we invested in our central warehouse, open for our “Expert and Excellent” members, by giving them the possibility to serve their customers 24/7. “Order your product before 10.30 pm and be delivered the next day in the shop or at home” is the new standard.
Every Expert and Excellent specialist invested in a very large interactive screen in the shop where they can choose, together with the customer, from a very large range of products. We invested of course in shops and webstores and in major digital campaigns. We are especially focusing on the relationship with the over one-million customers we know. For our specialists, we see innovative products as being our sweet spots. We particularly support the suppliers who give us products that help us serve the needs of the most demanding customers. 10 to 20% of customers really want to be helped in choosing the best product. They want new and innovative products with “white glove service”.
Examples at IFA are the new oven concept by Miele and the new washing concept by Samsung. These products will need a lot of explanation and are made for our target group. That is one of our main reasons we visit IFA every year: we are inspired by the innovations and we find products and concepts where our added value as a service oriented retailer, is appreciated.
Our big challenge for the future is to communicate with our community of customers during the complete life cycle of the product. Therefore, we focused this year on the IoT Home networks. We are impressed by the job BSH is doing on this and are looking forward to seeing how they will work together with specialists. We see ourselves as the future integrators of the home network.
Photo: Olivier Lanckriet – CEO, Connect+ Group