On November 17, 2022, the time had come: After an interruption of two years, the novoinsight customer and partner event took place live again. The anticipation was correspondingly great, and could be felt from the moment you entered the Radisson Blu in Hamburg. Finally, people were able to meet again: Over 400 customers and partners came to gather the new insights from novomind.
Immediately after the welcome, the mark was set: novomind is showing steady growth, both in terms of turnover and the number of employees. This gives a good feeling and confirmation that we are with the right provider.
An important argument for using the novomind product range is the focus on customized customer solutions. Whether it's onboarding supplier data and managing it in iPIM, playing out data in iShop and iMarket, or optimizing customer service with iAgent. The iProducts mesh seamlessly.
The buzzwords of the day ran through the entire event: #sustainability, #innovation, #organizationalChange, #customerExperience and #operationalexcellence. Novomind managed to motivate a diverse bunch of speakers. Rhetorically, the people from Hamburg rock - I have to grant them that without envy. Nevertheless, it was outstanding how differently the presentations were prepared. From exciting content with rigid screenshots to "no real news" to rousing interactive presentations - even formally, everything was there.
What does the future look like with AI?
Science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar presented a talk entitled «Emil's World». The question was: How will Ranga's grandson Emil live? Will much be AI-driven? Interesting approaches include:
Using AI to detect Parkinson's by having the accelerometer in a smartphone sense irregularities in a person's gait.
Prediction of protein structures by AI – this was already successfully used last year to develop new gentech drugs.
Centralized collection of live streams, providing information on available hospital beds, power outages and traffic levels – already implemented in a Chinese city today.
AI-driven evaluations of construction activities for building authorities to monitor illegal activity, among other things.
Mathematicians are already enjoying ways to calculate health insurance premiums based on tracked customer activity. For medical professionals, there are AI-powered diagnostics to detect tuberculosis or even predict age based on various medical parameters.
The question is, however, who will determine the direction of research in the future, with the origin of scientists playing a central role in the coming years. The OECD has already ventured a prediction for the year 2030: Worldwide, about 75 % of scientists will come from China and India – and they will not leave their culture at home.
In between, there were always short interactive surveys with the «mentimeter» – an extremely entertaining and interesting lecture!
In general, the opportunities and risks associated with AI, as well as the innovative implementations in the existing system landscape, were an omnipresent topic throughout the day.
The use of AI is increasing – slowly, but steadily and in many areas. When the customer needs help in the store, good self-service is the first choice. Chat bots without human interaction are increasingly relieving the burden of personal support. The presentation from novomind's AI development department on the internal thrust was very enlightening. It all revolved around the question, «How do we teach our applications to learn?» Approaches include automated onboarding of product data, evaluation of approval processes and image recognition as well as «augmented reality».
Trends in digital commerce
After lunch from the rich buffet, we had to choose between the two tracks «Digital Commerce» and «Customer Service».
For us, Digital Commerce was the more interesting topic.
First it was about highlights & trends in iProducts and sustainability. An important point here, both from an economic and an ecological point of view, is the avoidance of returns. A few simple but important measures can be implemented by every store manager:
A detailed product description in the online store prevents incorrect purchases.
In the case of complaints/returns, the reasons should be investigated
Create contact opportunities for personal advice – this gives security in the purchase decision
For new customers, an address check should be carried out and a confirmation e-mail sent, freely according to the motto «Trust is good, control is better».
A customer review after the purchase helps the next customer to choose the right product.
Highlights of the practical customer use cases
Creativestyle – a long-standing partner of novomind in the field of customer experience in online retailing – operates according to the guiding principle «The purpose of a business is to create a customer who creates customers». Available information that is decisive for a purchase must be presented clearly. Purchase advice can also be offered as an aid. Ideally, all relevant channels should be taken into account. User-generated content from the social media channels is often lost in the process. It is shocking to learn that the average international bounce rate for checkouts is 70%. There really is room for improvement.
The online DIY store Hagebau relies strategically on novomind and operates several connected iProducts: iShop, iPIM and iAgent work together in a deeply integrated way. In this way, synergies come to fruition and the end product is more than the sum of its individual components. This is also an excellent example of novomind's propagated statement: «Customized solutions for digital commerce and customer service».
Leading multi-channel premium wine retailer Hawesko is going its own way. First, the customer has to find out which wine he likes. The answers to a few questions about their preferred taste are stored in the customer profile as a «Hawesko Wine ID». In this way, customers can always be offered new wines via iShop that they have not yet purchased. A new approach is also the reason why novomind was chosen as the software partner. The arguments can be reduced to a simple formula:
Otto Group Solution Provider (OSP)
The last presentation was about live shopping. We have seen this in web stores with 1:1 video chat consulting. A similar tech trend is coming from China, only one dimension bigger. Online teleshopping for 10,000s of users is going on there. Whether this sales channel will establish itself here in the future remains to be seen. The advantage is clearly the interaction. For comparison with China with 1.4 billion inhabitants, where the target group is younger and more Internet-savvy, 260 million views per day on 50,000 different streams in 2020 generated sales of $158 billion. Broken down to Germany with 83 million inhabitants, that would be 14.8 million views on 2,800 streams and annual sales of $9 billion – about a tenth of that in Switzerland.
From a marketing perspective, the 15x higher conversion rate, 30% more customer involvement through appreciation and interaction, and over 40% fewer returns compared to traditional online shopping are interesting.
Indeed – it was a fireworks display of novoinsights. As Kermit used to shout into the audience: Applause, applause!
Hardly breathed, it went with the shuttle bus to the Reeperbahn in the GAGA club, probably the best location in Hamburg. Vegetarian snacks were served with a beer or a glass of wine. This was followed by novomind burgers and dessert. The DJ also wanted to be heard and the conversations were transformed into rhythmic movements the longer they went on.
A big thank you to novomind for the successful event!
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