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15.03.2016 14:25

CEO Jan Griesel kicked off the congress with his annual keynote speech. Directly following his address, the trade fair got under way with over 60 exhibitors. The simultaneous lecture series with nearly 40 presentations from industry experts, agencies and successful online sellers provided visitors with a wealth of information. This article summarises the presentations given by our top speakers and provides you with an overview of the discussions.

Shopping without borders and the mega trend mobile commerce

Markus Fuchs, Head of Strategic Sales at PayPal explained how cross-border purchases are becoming a global trend. He identified several hurdles that stand in the way of international sellers, such as customs duties or a lower quality of services and products. Some interesting statistics from his lecture: The global trading volume in e-commerce is 1.5 billion dollars. Furthermore, Germany takes fourth place in global online sales following the USA, China and Great Britain.

Prof. Dr. Gerrit Heinemann from the University of Applied Sciences in Niederrhein emphasised the increasing importance of mobile commerce. He encouraged sellers to look beyond actual purchases and to also consider the process that customers go through when preparing to buy an item. Customers frequently use their smartphones when looking for relevant product information. However, Heinemann noted that many online sellers still do not pay enough attention to mobile trends.

Markus Fuchs of PayPal at the plentymarkets Online Sellers Congress

Markus Fuchs' expertise on the main stage during the plentymarkets Online Sellers Congress

Innovation and mystery

Positioning expert Peter Sawtschenko used practical examples from his own business to encourage online sellers to abandon old ways of thinking. He advised sellers to view unsolved problems as sources for need-based innovation. He used practical examples from his own business to explain why it is important to find and occupy a successful market niche. He used the motto "positioning isn't rocket science" to remind sellers that they do not need to reinvent the niche.

Dr. Georg Wittmann of ibi research at the University of Regensburg presented the results of the ibi mystery shopping study and gave sellers many insightful tips for their businesses. Only 4 of 10 online stores granted customers guest access for purchasing items. Such a glaring omission is like throwing money down the drain. Many stores were also missing several crucial elements in the shopping cart. For example, there was often no way for customers to continue shopping after placing an item in the basket.

Peter Sawtschenko at the plentymarkets Online Sellers Congress

Peter Sawtschenko during his lecture about positioning

E-commerce giants and sellers as brand-names

Mark Steier of had comforting news for his audience: eBay is not planning to release any major new features in 2016. He took a critical look at Amazon's FBA program, which the e-commerce giant uses to help many online sellers down the path to self-employment. The resulting mass of online sellers with a lack of experience can be detrimental to the industry. Furthermore, he emphasised the importance of the Chinese market and called on e-commerce service providers to support online sellers who begin selling on this market.

Top consultant Adrian Hotz used the "5 Ps" to illustrate a recipe for success on Amazon: price, process, personnel, promotion and product. He explained how Amazon works and gave online sellers valuable tips for working with the e-commerce giant. During the question and answer session, sellers had the chance to describe their own personal situations and explore the topic in depth. The consultant's message was that "life is dangerous with Amazon, but meaningless without Amazon".

Adrian Hotz at the plentymarkets Online Sellers Congress

Adrian Hotz during his lecture about working with Amazon

Johannes Altmann of Shoplupe used his lecture to paint a clear picture of modern-day consumers. He described the increasingly popular trends toward minimalism and individualism. He used the phrase "you are where you shop" to emphasise the importance of a seller's own personality as a factor for success.

Over 30 other presentations were also held on six additional stages. The wide range of topics provided something for everyone: from newcomers to the most experienced sellers. We want to thank everyone for the fascinating e-commerce highlights and the thought-provoking discussions!

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