Feb 28/18NEWS

Q & A with Rudi Nienaber – Smollan Ecommerce Specialist

This month we launched our ecommerce solutions, and we thought who better than our very own ecommerce specialist to explain more about our new service offering and what exactly it is you need to know.

What are your thoughts about the relationship between ecommerce and brick and mortar retail?

The two are inextricably linked. There’s a great quote from the CEO of Walmart, Doug McMillon which goes, “I want us to stop talking about digital and physical retail as if they’re two separate things. The customer doesn’t think of it that way and we can’t either”. Unless there’s a future in which people are plugged into a “Matrix” like existence there’ll be interaction with brands and products in both a physical and online environment. The experience that we have in either of these worlds influences a purchase decision, either online or off. The end goal is a truly omnichannel offering in which the lines between the two is completely blurred by a seamless, consistent experience.

What, in your opinion, are some of the benefits of ecommerce that outmatch physical retail environments?

I believe there are several benefits, depending on which side of the fence you’re on. As a shopper, the obvious ones are convenience, a greater amount of product information at the point of purchase, and access to a nearly endless range. As a brand owner, the flip side of these benefits applies which creates a great platform for unique, rich shopper engagement. I also believe that there’s the ability for brands to capture a disproportionate share of the online channel as the competitive set is in many cases less advanced than in bricks and mortar retail.  As a retailer, I believe the big benefit sits in the shopper data and highly targeted marketing potential that exists online.

Why is Smollan launching an ecommerce offering?

We see ecommerce as simply another retail channel in which to grow our clients’ brands. As spend shifts into the online space we believe it will be an increasingly important channel for our clients and for us as a retail solutions business.

What’s in the Smollan ecommerce offering?

There are three “buckets” of offering which are aimed at enhancing online availability, visibility and shopper engagement:

  • Sales into online retailers
  • Online shopper marketing and platform management
    • Traffic generation
    • Digital merchandising
    • Review management
    • Audit & reporting
    • Platform management, whether ecommerce or mobile
  • Support services
    • B2B sales
    • Warehousing & fulfilment

What are you doing to ensure that the offering is aligned with international best practice?

One of the many benefits of being part of a global organization is access to best practice from around the world. Our offering has been largely crafted around similar offerings that exist in our US partner and our European joint venture. In addition, we’re constantly scanning the market to stay up to date with latest trends.

To find out more about Smollan ecommerce solutions, please contact rudi.nienaber@smollan.com