According to a study by the KfW, e-commerce is reaching medium-sized companies only gradually. At the moment, small and medium-sized companies in Germany are only making four percent of their total sales via digital pathways. Here, only sixteen percent of medium-sized companies are taking advantage of the possibility to offer their products or services to customers online. This means that eight of ten medium-sized companies are not yet making any sales via the digital sales path.
The KfW analysis also shows that the digital revolution is reaching medium-sized companies slowly but surely: the newer a company is on the market and the younger the owner, the greater the significance of e-commerce for sales.
Here, there is a clear difference in performance depending on whether a company relies on it or not: as the KfW analysis shows, small and medium-sized companies with pronounced e-commerce activities are looking at the future with greater optimism and also have higher sales growth
Dr. Jörg Zeuner, Chief Economist of the KfW, is of the opinion that so far, small and medium-sized companies have not taken enough advantage of the opportunities that e-commerce offers businesses. Even if not every industry is equally suitable for e-commerce, companies are confronted on a broad front with changing customer requirements. "Constant availability, quick delivery times, real-time advising, individual offers, user-friendliness, and mobile capability are increasingly in demand – both from end users as well as corporate customers. Digital sales channels could provide the answers for many medium-sized companies," according to Zeuner. In addition, online sales could be generated, sales that would not have been made via the classic sales path – for example, due to the exploitation of new, digitally-attuned customer groups or a regional expansion of the sales territory.
For Tobias Kollmann and Holger Schmidt, the authors of the book "Deutschland 4.0 - Wie die Digitale Transformation gelingt" ["Germany 4.0 - How the Digital Transformation Will Succeed"], the digitalization of industry and medium-sized companies is unavoidable. They name three reasons for this:
The authors advise starting digitalization "at the other end" of the production chain: namely, asking themselves first "what digital customers want, what the appropriate product might look like, and only once these things have been determined, orienting production accordingly."
Online ordering: a valuable service for your customers!
Have you already thought about offering your products via a state-of-the-art Webshop? How can you implement this in the glass and window industry?
Read in our article 5 Tipps zur erfolgreichen Einführung eines Online-Konfigurators für Haustüren oder Gläser some interesting tips to make setting up a Webshop with online configurator easier!