RHIEM Group profits from online retailing. The Group achieved sales of 25 million euros in 2013. The Voerde service provider is attracting an increasing number of contracts from international brands.
Positive results for the RHIEM Group from Voerde for financial year 2013. The service provider for online retailers and brand manufacturers achieved 25 million euros in sales last year. “E-commerce is still a growth market. Following on from retailers, an increasing number of brand manufacturers are discovering online direct sales,” says company CEO Dr. Stefan Rhiem. “This has enabled us to expand our business to a huge extent and we anticipate further increases this year.”
Bundling services and interfaces
The German Trade Association (HDE) estimates receipts of over 33 billion euros from e-commerce for 2013, while the Federal Association of German Mail Order Traders (bvh) estimates sales of just under 40 billion euros in this sector. An increasing number of consumers order books, fashion items and electronic goods online. Service providers like RHIEM are profiting from this trend. The company, which was founded in 1958 as a printing firm, now also offers its customers a complete e-commerce solution using comforo. RHIEM builds online stores, handles shipping and logistics, provides telephone and email support to consumers and takes care of invoicing and taxes. RHIEM employs 350 members of staff to carry out these tasks.
The need for these services is increasing. “The e-commerce business sector has increased significantly in recent years,” says Rhiem. If this area accounted for a good twelve per cent of RHIEM’s sales in 2011, by 2013 the share had more than doubled to 27 per cent. Along with shipping and logistics, three out of four customers sign up for services like customer support or online advertising. “Brand manufacturers value comprehensive, one-stop services, hoping to reduce the number of interfaces needed,” explains Rhiem.
Brands enter the direct sales arena
Brands, in particular, are now discovering the advantages of direct sales via the Internet. Rhiem is certain that “a large proportion of e-commerce growth will be driven by brand manufacturers in the future.” His company works for well-known names like Build a Bear, L’Oréal, Speck and Verbatim, brands that are sold not only in Germany but also internationally, or vice versa, with RHIEM’s assistance. RHIEM makes 40 per cent of its sales through international e-commerce. Working with partners, the company from Voerde near Dusseldorf has created a network of 14 sites spread over every continent, to enable orders to be shipped rapidly both in Europe and worldwide. US brands, in particular, are taking increasing advantage of this facility for their expansion into Europe and Asia.
It’s not enough to simply order something online: customers want exclusivity
“Customer retention is going to be the biggest challenge for online retailing in the years to come,” observes Rhiem. Consumers have learned how to use the Internet and look for the best offers online. Also, Rhiem thinks that with e-commerce in the firing line, consumers are now looking for more than time-saving benefits and convenience: “Online retailers can stand out from the competition through individualization and offer their customers exclusive products.” RHIEM personalizes cosmetics packaging or computer mice using laser and other printing processes for clients, and packages products with an individual selection of accessories.
On February 25 and 26 online retailers and e-commerce specialists will meet in Munich at Internet World. RHIEM will also be present at the trade fair (Stand 198D). At the conference running parallel to the trade fair, Stefan Rhiem will describe how to create a profitable e-commerce business.
Business Development & Sales
Gildeweg 10 • 46562 Voerde • Germany
Phone +49 (0) 2855 9700-881
Fax +49 (0) 2855 9700-21