Whether Stuttgart or Shanghai: WMF Group delivers purchases directly from individual retail outlets all the way to China27/10/2016
- New app enables customers to test products in stores and then arrange for them to be delivered to their home – regardless of whether they live in Germany or in China
- Pilot phase in Munich branch off to a successful start
- Special Asian payment options and customs fees incorporated into process
- Chinese-speaking personnel at local WMF branches
Geislingen/Steige – In future the WMF Group will link its online shop even more closely than before with the first of its 170 or so stores across Germany. As part of the new multi-channel strategy, the customer will enjoy an even simpler and more exciting shopping experience. From now on it will be possible to access the entire WMF Group product portfolio in selected stores. It does not matter whether or not the product is in stock, if the customer would like a different version to the one displayed in-store, or whether it is simply more convenient for the pot set to be delivered to the customer's home. The customer's home address or preferred delivery address is also irrelevant, as goods can be delivered from Stuttgart to Shanghai, from Hamburg to Hong Kong and from Passau to Peking, which makes shopping in WMF stores extremely attractive for Asian customers in particular. This is a service that has been at the top of their wish list for some time now.
A stroll through the store with the tablet
Equipped with a tablet, the sales representatives in selected WMF stores will offer customers an additional service from now on: WMF Group products can be ordered in-store, paid for and arranged to be delivered to customers' homes directly via a tablet – no matter whether they live in Germany or Asia.
The integration between online and offline means that the benefits of retail outlets can be combined with the benefits of digital technology. In the stores, customers can physically pick up the WMF Group products and get a feel for them, obtain detailed advice and try the products out for themselves. If a product is out of stock or is only available in another version, or if the purchase is simply too heavy to take home, this is where the tablet comes in handy. In order to place an item in the virtual shopping basket, the product's EAN code is scanned directly over the tablet. By linking with the online shop, a check is carried in out in real time to see whether the item is available at one of the WMF Group warehouses. "Customers no longer need to search themselves in the online shop, instead they can complete their purchase directly in the store," says Hendrik Koepff, Head of Digital Business Development and Portal Management. It is not only German customers who benefit from this service: The goods can be delivered all the way to China using the new system. This will make shopping far more attractive, in particular for Chinese customers who are on holiday or on a business trip, and who account for a considerable percentage of all customers who visit WMF stores in Germany.
Asian payment models and customs fees also incorporated into process
Just as with the delivery, the payment process has also been tailored to meet the needs of Asian customers. Besides the usual payment transactions via credit card or bank card, the new software solution in the WMF stores also offers payment options via UnionPay or AliPay, which are widespread in China in particular, and with nearly 80 per cent of market share is the leading mobile payment system for Chinese consumers. "The WMF Group is one of the pioneers in the German retail sector in integrating these payment methods," explains Koepff. Data for the payment transaction no longer has to be entered manually: Means of payment such as credit cards are read via a mobile point-of-sale terminal and imported into the system directly via Bluetooth. Once the payment has been made successfully, the selected goods are automatically sent to the customer's address. Besides the direct transport, the software also enables customs fees to be processed easily and it also checks automatically whether there is an embargo against the recipient or the respective state. The software is currently only deployed at one of the Munich stores, which also receives a high number of customers from Asia. The next phase will involve rolling it out to the shops in Hamburg, Cologne and Frankfurt am Main, in order to be able to implement the system in all stores as soon as possible.
Chinese-speaking staff in many branches
Advising international customers and sending goods outside of Europe is much easier for the store employees thanks to the new software. "As well as having Chinese-speaking staff at many of our stores, including Munich, Frankfurt and Stuttgart, this system takes us a huge step forward towards international customer orientation," continues Koepff. Besides deliveries to Germany and China, there are also plans to set up a direct delivery service from in-store to many other European countries.
About the WMF Group
For more than 160 years, the brands that make up the WMF Group have stood for the best in cooking, drinking and dining. Every day, more than 100 million people around the world use products from WMF, Silit and Kaiser to prepare, cook, bake, eat and drink in their homes. And when they are not doing that, they are enjoying coffee specialities and foods prepared by the hotel and catering industry using WMF, Schaerer or Hepp products. Our employees are passionate about bringing people together, whether at home, on the move or at fine-dining establishments, in order to give them shared moments that are both precious and delicious. All this with products which have outstanding design, perfect functionality and excellent quality to make every culinary experience a real joy. Our traditional company was founded in 1853 in Geislingen an der Steige. Nearly 6,000 employees provide culinary pleasure at over 40 locations worldwide.