In 2014, Tarek Müller, Hannes Wiese and Sebastian Betz founded the About You online fashion store. Launched and owned by Otto’s start-up, Collins GmbH & Co. KG in Hamburg, the company employs some 450 staff in over 30 countries. The store now operates in six countries and has around 150,000 products. About You is forecast to earn between EUR 250 million to EUR 280 million in turnover during the 2017/2018 business year and is on a mission to turn the classic Saturday afternoon shopping spree digital. Their mobile phone app presents the latest trends and are flanked by influencers like André Schürrle or Caro Daur who reveal their favourite outfits. About You is targeting EUR 1 billion in turnover over the next four to five years. In an interview with Hamburg News, Müller points to five main trends in online trade in 2018.
1. Mobile phones
Mobile phones are the most important macro trend at present. In 2014, less than 10 per cent of shoppers used a mobile phone for online purchases. Meanwhile over half of purchases are done on a mobile phone and the trend is rising.
An online shop should cater to users’ needs like a good salesperson in a boutique who notices what potential buyers like. That person also notes the shopper’s size and makes the right recommendations at the right time without annoying the customer or making too many demands on them.
3. Advice based on content
An online trader should also encourage potential shoppers to have a good look at the contents of the web page. Simply opening up a warehouse is no longer enough. The customer should rather be inspired by the right contents and through recommendations. The added value for the customer is essential nowadays.
Deliveries must be simplified – and that will happen. In future, we will be able to offer more flexible delivery times and places. Deliveries could be made to e.g. to boot of a car or to post-boxes especially for parcels.
5. Growing product ranges
Online product ranges will grow steadily and there will be more and more own (company) brands and sophisticated products online.
Interview by Sarah Bischoff
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