Otto is reinventing itself and morphing from a traditional mail order company into a platform and “marking the greatest change in the history of Otto,” according to Marc Opelt, Director of Marketing. The company is injecting around EUR 100 million in developing the platform and digitalisation in the present business year. A partner portal called “Brand Connect” is also being developed to attract new B2B partners and labels. During the balance sheet conference in late March, the company reported an 8.5 per cent increase in sales to EUR 3 billion in the 2017/18 business year and continues on a growth course.
Brand Connect driving development
The self-service portal Brand Connect is an elementary part of the platform’s development and will pool processes and services e.g. appearance, advertising, analytics, operations and managing data for B2B partners. They can set up shops for their own labels, book advertising and examine sales figures in real time. Additionally, services ranging from financing to logistics are to be expanded for customers and partners.
Otto prioritising AR and AI
The company is also investing in innovative tools based on augmented reality, conversational commerce e.g. messaging services in ecommerce and artificial intelligence. Tests of Otto’s Augmented Reality app for planning a room virtually are now underway. Customers just point a smartphone camera at the floor, select the 3D furniture item from the app and place it in the room. Adjust the sizes, rotate – and see how it looks in the room! A tool for 360-degree panorama photos is also being developed.