Hans Carpels : Euronics International’s ongoing quest to find the right balance

Hans Carpels – President – Euronics International – is one of the most respected figures in the industry when it comes to giving a “vision” for the season – or coming years. Quickly becoming a stalwart of the European TCG Summit, we asked Hans what his company’s greatest challenges are today.

We have a clear brick and mortar background, so our challenge is the perfect execution of the omni-channel model. A perfect online consumer-focused logistic experience must go hand in hand with improved performance in the stores, which we have to transform into ‘excitement centres’. This model guarantees success in the future, although we acknowledge that the total number of POS will diminish.

“For the consumer, the omnichannel model is highly interesting, although for us its implementation is not a walk in the park”

What is changing in the way services and solutions are being offered?   The internet brings total transparency on prices for hardware, so your differentiation from competition cannot be pricing, because that will be more or less equal. Back comes the value proposition. You can go for additional services, very much appreciated by the consumer, but then you should invest in solutions and get the proper marketing around it. It’s not an easy choice, because services mean costly staff, and marketing is the first budget to be axed when the going gets though. Or you can opt for a different product offering, focusing on innovative and exclusive products and solutions. Or you can opt for the price game: but then you need deep pockets, very deep pockets…

How are customers able to be better satisfied with face-to-face service and why is this important? Clearly, consumers are becoming very individual. Some are convinced they need no advice at all, because they have read reviews by other consumers. Certainly this aspect is growing. But many products we sell are not plug and play, whatever the supplier wants to tell you. So advice and proper installation are highly important. For instance, what is the purpose of buying an expensive product if you cannot enjoy its full performance? This implies training and upgrading of your staff. It is an option: do you want to invest in staff or not? Every investment has to pay off, but we are sure that it will.

What new marketing techniques are you finding to be the most interesting?    For the consumer, the omni-channel model is highly interesting, although for us its implementation is not a walk in the park. The consumer has an open choice: he or she orders when he or she wants to and decides where and when the delivery/ installation/pick-up is done. Consumers definitely have the steering wheel. Though it is startling that no environmentalist has yet objected to the model by which every single product should be supplied to every single home.

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