Digitalization and e-commerce play a key role across sectors

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If you want to know how well the digital transformation in Germany is progressing, you’re unlikely to find a general answer because each sector is different and has its own challenges when it comes to developing and implementing the right digital strategy. The greatest drivers of digitalization and e-commerce for retail and wholesale businesses are obviously the big online marketplace players, the widespread digitalization of the customer journey and pricing transparency in B2C and B2B.

The IHK-ibi study on digitalization in retail shows that 51% of retail companies are now using digital sales channels. Companies assume that their revenue will continue to shift to online sales, but that integrating shopping options needs to be made more of a priority if they want to create a shopping experience across sales channels. Buy online, pick-up offline, or order digitally in-store and have it delivered – these options aren’t actually anything special; they should be standard, but in fact we still have a long way to go. In-store order, click & collect and exchanging goods that were ordered online – all these are services that customers are demanding.

And industry is under just as much pressure to go digital. There are early-adopter companies that were pioneers in their sector with strategy and implementation. Others have already recognized the importance of e-commerce and digitalization, yet fail to achieve a complete transformation because they are missing a clear strategy and subsequent systematic implementation. Digitalizing services often opens the door to a comprehensive digitalization process. The value proposition for the customer is still mainly analogue and needs to be reworked into a digital one. Instead of simple product sales, customers now expect innovative and benefits-related services.