K5: Day 1
7th October 3 Comments
As we are back in the hotel and have had some time to reflect on the past day, it slowly dawns on us that we have witnessed quite a remarkable conference today. Having a room – a hall rather – full of interesting and relevant online merchants made it super-easy to have great talks about what moves and shakes the ecommerce scene right now
Despite the fact that the real value of those conferences lies in the networking that takes place in between the sessions and before and after the actual programme, those sessions were also very instructive and provided some genuine insights.
Karl-Erivan Haub from Tengelmann Group delivered a presentation in which he drew a vivid picture of how a family-owned business, that is now being held in the 6th generation, operates and makes decisions when it comes to new business opportunities provided by the digital age. According to him, technology drives innovation and does it at an increasingly higher pace. He reflected on the obstacles of multi-channel commerce, stressed the fact that despite all technological innovation people need human interaction and warned all young entrepreneurs not to forget the old values of business – orderly book-keeping for example.
Next up was a presentation by Body Kipper, Head of Merchant Services by Amazon. Suffice it to say that while it was good to have a retailer of that caliber on the list of speakers, the fact that he delivered a sophisticated pitch was not. Noticeably, the audience was not amused.
Fortunately, Lars Jankowsky from Swoodoo presented something completely different, namely a fresh and insightful presentation on the effects that TV commercials can have. He managed to be quite successful with a TV clip that only cost EUR 2,500 and told the audience that even if TV ads are quite expensive, it’s possible to get discounts up to 80% from TV companies. Most importantly, tight metrics are required to be able to measure success and a well set-up hosting solution should be in place before a TV ad runs and creates critical performance peaks.
After a short break, the ensuing sessions mainly dealt with the concept of growth and the respective strategies. To get a glimpse of how an ecommerce company works behind the scenes and fosters its growth, Jochen Krisch welcomed Sven Rittau (Shirtinator), René Marius Köhler (Internetstores AG) and Stefan Puriss (Frontlineshop) to the stage. Quite vividly, the three of them talked about the way in which they developed their businesses and their individual strategies for sustainable growth.
To wrap up the first day of the K5 conference, the representatives of three VC firms – Christoph Braun from Acton Capital, Alexander Grünwald from Altium Capital and a representative from Accel Partners (who filled in for Sonali De Rycker) shared their take on supporting growth with respective strategic investments. Their wish for the future: that companies stay hungry and innovative and that retailers that haven’t made the ecommerce step yet should do so in the near future. A notable wish by Christoph Braun: since there was so much venture capital out there, why not take 10 billion and build a better Amazon?
Throughout the day, we’ve managed to get a lot of interesting people in front of our camera, who in a very short and sweet way (the videos average 1 min) explained why they are innovative or even disruptive. Watch this space for more!