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Touchpoints – digital ways to the customer


The dynamic in German retail has been accelerated by Covid-19 as market observations show. Many brick-and-mortar stores had to re-organize their business. Digital touchpoints are becoming more and more the first contact point with the customer. "In retail many things are possible now that seemed difficult earlier. Availability checks, online-reservation, drive-in – these are services, which are used by customers nowadays. More than 30 % of the retailers are offering new services" ,  Lars Hofacker, e-commerce-expert at EHI, Germany, explains the results of the survey "Connected Retail" 2020.


Platforms and PWA
Besides the onlineshop, platforms like amazon and ebay as well as price comparison sites like idealo are the most favourite channels of distribution, followed by mobile channels. About 66 % of the retailer use amazon.de or ebay.de and 71 % trust in idealo.de. 53 % use their own app. But to develop an app is pricy and often only apps from very well-known retail brands make it onto the customer’s smartphone. That is why for many retailer progressive web apps (pwa) are a smart alternative. Pwa combine the advantages of responsive websites with app-functions, i.e. offline-functions such as receiving push-news even when the app is closed or an add-to-home-screen-button. Above all pwa have a positive influence on search results.


29 % of the retailers plan to use an app, a platform or develop their own platform. All of them believe that retail in the cities have to offer more than mere sale-spots. Logistic-hubs or pop-up-stores for example will become more relevant.


Also personalization and individualization is becoming more important. Nowadays around 8 % consider those services as necessary, where as 42 % estimate such features as highly relevant in the future.


Customers’ needs will be even more in focus. Nevertheless, customer centricity business figures are still the most important factors– and not customer satisfaction.


Interviews with 38 retailers (with at least one distribution channel) from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Together they run 18 600 outlets and generate a turnover 66,86 Billion Euro, including 8,09 Billion Euro in E-Commerce.

Ute Holtmann, EHI, Director Public Relations, +49 221 57993-42, holtmann@ehi.org

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