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Fingerspitzengefühl

How your localized content could stand out during the Coronavirus crisis

Berlin – With almost two months of ‘the new normal’ behind us, FSG shares with you what has changed in ways of communicating with online German consumers since the Coronavirus crisis.

Many brands in Germany have a lot of different challenges on their plate, now that social distancing is becoming the ‘new normal’. Shops in Germany have opened up again since last week, however, people are spending more and more time buying their stuff online. With less support from retail, good product USP’s are not enough to stand out anymore.

For brands, there is an opportunity here to invest in organic traffic and interaction with (new) customers. In Germany, this means localized branding is the way to go. A brand selling online in Germany, needs to communicate ‘the German way’. In German.  Here’s what we did and learned.

Inform and entertain your customers
According to FSG’s Head of Brand, Denny Hartmann, German consumers want to be informed but also entertained. ‘In these trying times, we want to offer followers a good mix of infotainment and facts. With the only goal being increasing customer engagement, we worked on the following ‘on-top’ measures for one of our clients called Paula´s Choice that sells skincare products:

  1. We created ‘infotainment´ packages on how to take care of your skin for our community members (loyal customers). These prefab contents were easy to share with their own followers;
  2. We interviewed several loyal customers so that they can tell their personal story and skincare routine via our – and their own – social media;
  3. We intensified our current program for all influencers that we work with, with the aim to reward and educate them. For this we worked on so-called knowledge boosts for specific products, a reward program for successful posts and fixed content packages that are easy to integrate in their postings;
  4. We are preparing an online Q&A event with founder Paula Begoun for German press, influencers and customers.

Prepare for more in-depth questions
We see that German consumers spend more time online in general. We also see that they have more in-depth questions, and follow up questions. More than normal, according to both Denny and Afrula Repas, who is one of FSG’s Senior Customer Service Representatives. The amount of comments on Instagram increased.

In these trying times, German consumers want to be heard. Not only during working hours. Also on weekends and at night. ‘We see that people are more active late at night compared to before-corona. I think since many Germans are working from home, at it seems that they sleep in later and therefore go to bed later’, says Afrula.

‘Also threads with customers who contact our customer service department are longer and more in-depth’, says Afrula. We also see this on social media, where the amount of comments compared to before-Corona increased for some of the brands by 20 per cent. ‘All of this made us decide to expand the Customer Service team especially during the Covid-19 crisis, since the last thing you want now is unanswered calls and questions’, says Managing Director Radboud Langenhorst. 

Good Customer Service becomes crucial
Because of the above, we have decided to have the live chat function working non-stop now, because we see this is a crucial channel in generating sales. In most of the cases a good and obviously real-time chat can be the last push to make a customers find their product and buy it. People have, and therefore take, more time to consciously buy a product so we made sure to be there to consult and to answer questions about shipping times and return policies. Now more than ever good customer service becomes a crucial Online USP. ‘We are even going to test video chat soon’, says Afrula. 

Keep the frequency, make it (more) relevant.
Here’s an important thing to keep in mind. Suddenly increasing the amount of newsletters because people are spending more time at home, or the amount of posts on Facebook, is going to turn off German customers. ‘They are used to a certain routine. So there’s no need to bother them with more, just because the world has changed’, says Denny. ‘However, try to make your content more relevant.’

This is the time to see if adjusting your content can get your customers to order a second time. Introduce other products to them, items that could be of interest to them. We did this for Kaufnekuh, the website where customers can buy a share of meat. We started spreading the word about packages that also contained chicken and pork from local farms and started with more content on topics like recipes, the life of a local farmer and their livestock and cooperations with other relevant brands. This led to an increase in orders on Kaufeinhuhn und Kaufeinschwein, but also a significant increase of the open- and clickthrough rates. 

Be patient
Due to Covid-19 many of our clients had both an increase in demand and challenges with cross-border shipping. This led to an increased amount of questions about packages being delivered with a delay. As a customer service representative, now even more than before, it’s the time to be patient’, says Afrula. FSG has generated automated newsletters to customers to spread the word about small delays in orders and returns.

All in all, according to FSG, this is not the time for brands to cut up the marketing budget or the efforts on brand activities and  customer engagement. Denny states: ‘There’s lots of opportunities to increase your traffic and awareness on social organic platforms.

Now that German consumers are spending more time writing comments and also replying to your comments, brands can profit from that and can more easily create a connection between the customer and the brand. Let’s take advantage of that.’ 

The online cards are being reshuffled. With less and less support from retail, good product usp’s will not be enough to stand out.

Do you want to talk to us about localized German branding, or do you have questions about this subject? Drop us a line here, or contact us via info@fs-gefuehl.com.

What the Coronavirus means for German e-commerce

Berlin – With the Coronacrisis all around us, we, too, see that limited social interaction changes our lives significantly. Many entrepreneurs are affected, the economic impact in the world gets bigger every day this crisis lasts. Many people ask us ‘what’s next?’ for e-commerce businesses like our clients have. To answer that question, our Managing Director Radboud Langenhorst shares our insights here.

By Radboud Langenhorst

This article shares some light on what developments we see in the German ecom market that we believe are important enough to explain since the first small business opportunities are arising. 

For this article, we have looked at cosmetics, food, fashion, apparel, home-decoration and lifestyle products as being the main sub-industries in which FSG is active. 

 Overall we see the following impact: 

  • All industries took huge turnover hits in the first  two weeks (w11 + w12) of nationwide Corona measures in Germany, except for food, which showed an immediate increase
  • In the last two weeks all of the above mentioned sub-industries are picking up (slightly) again, whereas food  and home-decoration are doing better than before Covid-19
  • For food this is mainly due to the amount of transactions, which in the first weeks had a higher share of existing customers ordering more, and in the last weeks a higher share of new customers 
  • For home-deco this is mainly driven by higher order values next to a higher share of new customers

To start top-down, we believe that the following macro-developments are the main drivers for the above mentioned: 

  • The share of people that buy online is increasing. This is a change of behavior of a smaller part of the population but still has a significant and long-term impact
  • People will buy more of the same type of products online. This is more of the same behavior of a big part of the population and has also a significant but a more temporary impact
  • People will buy different type of products online. This is also a change of behavior of a big part of the population and will have a significant and long-term impact

Let’s look at some e-commerce drivers that explain current performance further:

Overall, we see that the main reason for the turnover hits in the first weeks is less traffic to the different websites. This is understandable of course due to all major concerns and insecurities. At the same time, it is also due to some serious media budget cuts, which leads to double dipping and missing out on opportunities at hand. 

Next to that, the conversion rates for all industries stabilized or even improved a bit in the last two weeks. This is in general due to a higher online buying intention (see the above mentioned macro developments), but also due to less media spend invested in more expensive channels that are aiming more for brand awareness instead of sales like e.g. Youtube. In other words if you invest less in new traffic, your conversion rate goes up by definition, because you are left with the ones who know your brand and have shown interest before. 

Are there other metrics that back up the higher interest and online buying intention? Yes! Overall interest is increasing and can be concluded based on more time spend on all websites (except food, where it´s just about e.g. buying products NOW! ;)) and more pages viewed.

 

The only thing is that people have in fact more time and especially in Germany, this leads to more research and questions on-site, for customer service (our CS team has never been more busy!) and on social media. In addition, more competitors are being taken into consideration in the interest phase. This leads to longer customer journeys (+15%) and more touchpoints / channels in a single customer journey (+20%) throughout all sub-industries.

The fact that people have more time, is also visible when looking at some content consumption metrics. Social engagement KPI’s like shares, likes and clicks are going up significantly and also the amount of video consumption went up with almost 25 per cent! Looking at Newsletters, we see an open-rate increase of almost 20 per cent  in combination with a 15 per cent click-through-rate. So yes people consume more (non-commercial-) content and it makes a lot of sense to focus on this, especially now. 

So what to do with all this info? We have drawn the following conclusions and focus areas: 

  1. Avoid a vicious circle by cutting too much media budget, which will lead to an even higher loss of traffic. Just agree on/ and clearly communicate return-on-ad-spends that work for your business. Being present now, also through more pricey awareness channels like Social Paid or Youtube can pay off and will drive traffic, provided that you have enough relevant content of course
  2. And thus create lots of localized content for all relevant channels. Especially more general interest topics around production, fun-facts,  how-to´s, or tapping into moments like mother´s day will drive interest, engagement and over time sales. This does not have to be overproduced/ pricy, as long as it’s authentic and real. 
  3. Increase available resources for customer engagement and questions through all relevant channels. Having live-chat on the webshop of one of our clients is one of our biggest sales drivers at this moment.

As for all brands that are struggling in their home-market and are not yet live in Germany: the cards are being reshuffled now. Meaning some competitors are seriously cutting down, some are going all-in with endless promotions and some will leave the market. In our opinion we see opportunities to move in now, since all competitors will start investing again after Corona (high CPA’s!), consumers will invest more at first in things they could not do like travel and going out and retail-presence is no longer a competitive advantage, meaning if your product, webshop and shipping policies are good; you are as good or better as anyone else!

Curious on how we do this at FSG? Please reach out so that we can organize a nice chat via zoom, or hangouts, or skype, or teams. 

Bleib gesund!

We are hiring!

We are hiring! FSG is growing and we encourage you to do the same. Read here about the positions we have available in our Berlin office, and click on a job title to read the detailed description of every posting.
We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

Junior Social Media Manager
Do you know how to lift a social media account to the next level? Are you comfortable with actively engaging with social network communities? Are you willing to speak up about potential social media strategies and do you like working in a young, dynamic team? 

Junior Performance Marketing Manager
Do you like to be creatively and systematically involved in online strategies? Are you experienced in SEA, Shopping, Display and/or Video Marketing? Are you willing to speak up about potential social media campaigns and are you willing to take responsibility for your own campaigns while working in a young, dynamic team? 

Werkstudent for Brand and Social Media
Are you a student looking for a paid internship? Our dynamic team with flat hierarchy allows you to actively engage in building Social Media Strategies for our clients.

Brand Ambassador and Skin Care Expert
For one of our clients, we are looking for a colleague who is excited about being a brand’s ambassador on the German market.

Junior Key Account Manager
As Account Manager, you will take on one of our partner’s business cases on the German market.

Customer Service Professional
Do you love talking to curious (potential) customers and does it give you joy to come up with solutions for their questions or concerns? This job is made for you.

Junior Recruiter
As you can see, our business is rapidly growing and we’re always on the lookout for new hires. Would you be interested in helping us with this?

Are you interested in talking to us about one of these positions? Please contact hr@fs-gefuehl.com to learn more.

PS. FSG’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak means most of us are working from home at this point. We will continue to interview candidates remotely via video call. If we are ready to move to the offer stage, we will always make an effort to try to meet a candidate in person.

Auping and FSG continue their collaboration

Berlin – FSG is happy to announce that we have renewed our contract with our partner Auping. Auping and FSG started working together halfway 2018. In the future, we will together work on growing the Auping-brand and  increasing awareness for Auping in Germany.

Auping has been available in Germany for more than 8 yers now. “Auping and FSG started working together a little less than two years ago to focus more on the competitive, online German world. At the time we did not have an Auping webshop. The Auping website was there to help potential new customers in their research in finding the right bed and a way to better sleep”, says Jörg Cieslak, Managing Director Auping Germany.

FSG and Auping together created a strategy for Auping to become more than just that. “What we did together over the last two years is pretty impressive”, says Radboud Langenhorst, managing director of FSG. “We created an online omni channel strategy in order to increase turnover in local stores. Auping is world famous in the Netherlands. However, not many people in Germany knew them when we started. We focused on creating online content specifically for the German market. And we measured the results of the amount of visitors in stores.”

“What we did together with FSG was a major step forward. The online experience of German Auping customers has now become the most important part of their journey. Buying a bed is what most people still do offline. They want to feel the mattress, experience what it feels like when you lay on it. However, we give them as much information as possible online before they come to the store. They only have to visit an Auping store or Auping dealer once”, says Jörg. “This way, we minimize their carbon footprint, which is important to us.”

Pictured here: FSG’s Managing Director Radboud Langenhorst (left) and Jörg Cieslak, Managing Director Auping Germany, sign the new contract. Picture by Lennar Schumacher.

Radboud adds: “Auping has laid the right foundation in Germany to make some huge steps in the following years and we are super excited to support them on this journey.”

“Now that the Auping webshop is live in Germany, in the next few years we can focus on growing the brand and revenue of Auping further. FSG is really proud to be working with a brand with such unique USP’s .”

Do you want to find out more about FSG? Read more about us here or contact us here.

FSG and Crowdbutching have big plans for 2020

Berlin – FSG is proud to announce its next partnership: we will be helping the Dutch company Crowdbutching with growing their online business in Germany.

Crowdbutching, founded by Dutch entrepreneur Berend te Voortwis in 2015, is on a mission to transform the meat industry. By turning the typical meat production process on its head, they are working towards their vision of a sustainable, transparent and healthy industry.

Crowdbutching now connects its customers online to local, small-scale farmers who rear high-welfare livestock with no hormones, chemicals or preventative antibiotics. Customers can buy their share of ethically reared cows. Only when all the shares of an animal are sold, the animal will be send to the slaughter house.

Picture: Berend te Voortwis (left) talking to the FSG team in Berlin, November 2019. 

Crowdbutching sells its meat in Germany mainly through Kaufnekuh.de but also via Kaufeinschwein.de, kaufnehun.de and even kaufnegans.de in the weeks before Christmas.  They are working with over 70 local farmers now in Germany. ‘We value our farmers and their kettle. We want them to make a good living and we want them to treat the animals welll.’

 

 

Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an

 

Unsere Story fing schon vor 25 Jahren auf dem Bauernhof der Familie unseres Gründers Berend te Voortwis an. Damals schon hat die Familie sich zusammen mit Freunden und Nachbarn einmal im Jahr eine Kuh geteilt. Fleisch war zu der Zeit (und ist es immer noch) außerhalb der kleinen Dorfmetzger und Bauern so gar nicht transparent und zurückverfolgbares Fleisch ein wertvolles Gut. Berend suchte also nach einer Lösung und machte es sich zur Mission, so viele Menschen wie möglich die Herkunft Ihres Steaks zu zeigen. Wir finden: das Fleisch einer Kuh bei der man genau weiss, wo sie herkam und dass es ihr gut ging, schmeckt einfach besser. Findest du auch, oder? #vorausdenken #fleischpionier #besseresfleisch #fleischteilen #crowd #crowdbutching #kaufnekuh #geburtstag #4jahre #zusammenfeiern #machstdumit

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Kauf ne Kuh (@kaufnekuh) am

Berend te Voortwis has impressive plans for Kaufnekuh in Germany.’We want to double our growth on the German market. From a substantive standpoint, it makes sense to work with FSG. FSG has the sincere wish to help their partners reach their goals. Crowdbutching values that’, says te Voortwis.

Radboud Langenhorst, Managing Director at FSG: ‘We’re super proud of adding Crowdbutching to the FSG portfolio. It’s obvious that the meat industry needs to become more sustainable as soon as possible. This can only be done by changing the entire value chain. Crowdbutching is doing exactly that. We’re looking forward to supporting Crowdbutching in making the German consumer aware of the fact that it should eat less, but more organic, meat.’

Do you want to find out more about FSG, or about what we can do for your company? Click here to read more, or contact us here.

Werkplek(ken) beschikbaar op ons kantoor in Berlijn

Berlijn – Op het kantoor van Fingerspitzengefühl aan de Mehringdamm in Berlijn komen vanaf 1 september 2019 enkele werkplekken vrij.

Wil je – net als wij – werken op een coole plek in Berlijn, op een kantoor waar je gebruik kunt maken van vergader- en belruimten, keuken, zithoek en binnenplaats? Op ons kantoor aan de Berlijnse Mehringdamm 34 in Kreuzberg (naast Mustafa’s Gemüsekebap en Curry 36) komen per 1 augustus 2019 zes werkplekken vrij. Ideaal voor zelfstandigen of start-ups. Huurcontract ten minste 6 maanden.

Je deelt het kantoor met de werknemers van Fingerspitzengefühl.

Vergaderruimte op ons kantoor.

Mail bij interesse naar melanie@fs-gefuehl.com

Van ‘to do’ naar ‘done’: bij FSG werken we ‘agile’

Berlijn – Je vindt op het kantoor van FSG overal post-itsijn. Trieu Huynh bracht ons een bezoek – hij is degene die de collega’s bij FSG leerde hoe we meer agile kunnen werken.

Trieu kwam zes maanden geleden voor het eerst bij FSG langs. ‘Zekerheid bestaat niet’, is een van zijn mantra’s. Dus waarom zou je te ver vooruit plannen, of werken aan documenten waarin staat beschreven wat moet gebeuren in het geval iets misgaat? ‘Dat is verspilling van talent en geld’, zegt Trieu. ‘Ik ben een voorstander van niet verder dan een week vooruit kijken. En ik houd van leren door simpelweg te proberen.’

Trieu introduceerde bij FSG de wekelijkse sprint, die per team wordt voorbereid. Elke collega heeft een eigen kleur Post-it. Elk team bespreekt en evalueert wekelijks de hoeveelheid werk, taken worden verdeeld. Op iedere post-it wordt bijgehouden hoeveel uur een taak in beslag neemt.

De collega die de opdracht op de post-it gaat uitvoeren, verschuift het briefje gedurende de week van ‘moet gebeuren’ naar ‘mee bezig’ naar ‘klaar’. ‘Door taken en opdrachten klein te houden, en ze meteen uit te voeren als ze op je bord liggen, verkleinen we risico’s en verliezen we geen tijd aan het bespreken van wat mogelijk kan gebeuren.’ Want, zo zegt Trieu het regelmatig, ‘je weet niet wat gebeurt, tot je erachter komt wat gebeurt.

Trieu, fijn dat je er weer was. En we kijken er allemaal naar uit om je weer in Berlijn te zien.

Benieuwd wat Fingerspitzengefühl voor jouw bedrijf kan betekenen? Lees hier meer over ons, of neem contact met ons op.

FSG’s evenement in Berlijn: een impressie

BERLIJN – Wat een week! Wat ooit begon als een wild plan, werd deze week werkelijkheid in Berlijn: Zeventien Nederlandse executives en ondernemers kwamen op uitnodiging van Fingerspitzengefühl naar Berlijn, om twee dagen te praten over online marketing.

Onder meer Reynier van Bommel (Floris van Bommel), Jan-Joost Bosman (Auping), Angela Ursem (Tony’s Chocolonely), Noor de Bruyn (Etos) en Björn Jeurissen (AGU) gingen op onze uitnodiging in en kwamen naar Berlijn.

Het belangrijkste thema: Hoe beïnvloedt crossborder ecommerce de bedrijfsvoering en het ondernemerschap als je vanuit Nederland in Duitsland onderneemt?

Hieronder zie je een eerste impressie van hoe het er in Berlijn aan toe ging.

Meer weten? Lees hier het verhaal dat onze Managing Director Radboud Langenhorst in juni 2019 schreef voor de website van Emerce naar aanleiding van ons evenement.

Duitse consument maakt kennis met IXXI

Berlijn – Het Nederlandse bedrijf IXXI en Fingerspitzengefühl hebben de afgelopen maanden achter de schermen hard gewerkt om IXXI voor te stellen aan de Duitse consument. Vanaf deze week verzorgt Fingerspitzengefühl alle online marketing activiteiten voor IXXI op de Duitse markt.

IXXI werd negen jaar geleden opgericht door drie vrienden in ’s-Hertogenbosch. Het merk geeft klanten de mogelijkheid met eigen foto’s wanddecoraties te ontwerpen voor thuis aan de muur. Ook verkoopt IXXI ontwerpen met illustraties van bijvoorbeeld Disney en Vincent van Gogh.

Volgende stap: Duitsland!
Ruud van den Akker, general manager van IXXI in Nederland, vertelt waarom het een logische stap is om met IXXI uit te breiden naar Duitsland. ‘Duitsers brengen net als Nederlanders veel tijd thuis door. De Duitse economie is bovendien sterk, en Duitse consumenten zijn gewend online spullen te bestellen. Wanddecoraties van IXXI worden ‘on demand’ verstuurd. Geografisch gezien is Duitsland voor ons daarom ook een logische stap. We willen niet dat het versturen van een IXXI weken in beslag neemt. Dit zal ook niet gebeuren als we vanuit Nederland een IXXI naar Duitsland versturen.’

Je thuisvoelen
Van den Akker zegt dat hij erg uitkijkt naar de ontwerpen die Duitse consumenten zelf gaan maken op de website van IXXI. ‘Het zou geweldig zijn als de Duitse consument de potentie van onze decoraties inziet. Een gepersonaliseerde decoratie in je huis, geeft een gevoel van comfort, een gevoel van thuis-zijn. We leven in een samenleving die veel van ons vraagt. Ik vind het daarom nodig dat we een sterk thuis-gevoel hebben als we thuis zijn. IXXI helpt daaraan mee.’

Reviews
‘Duitse en Nederlandse klanten hebben veel met elkaar gemeen’, gaat Van den Akker verder. ‘Duitse klanten zijn iets minder gevoelig voor impuls-aankopen. Ze willen bovendien meer reviews lezen van andere klanten voor ze op een koop overgaan. En de Duitse consument toont meer interesse voor gedetailleerde productomschrijvingen en informatie over het bedrijf zelf.


‘Toen we een paar maanden geleden bekeken of en hoe IXXI op de Duitse markt zou passen, werden we hier op kantoor meteen  enthousiast over het merk IXXI. We geloven dat IXXI een product levert waarvan Duitse consumenten snel zullen vinden dat ze het eigenlijk altijd hebben gemist in hun huis – zonder het te weten’, zegt Aydan Bahadir, country manager IXXI bij Fingerspitzengefühl.

Kwaliteit
‘Bij Fingerspitzengefühl vinden we kwaliteit en originaliteit van een product van groot belang. IXXI voldoet aan onze eisen, het sluit bovendien goed aan op onze portfolio. Zij geloven – net als wij – dat een langdurige samenwerking noodzakelijk is. We vinden het geweldig dat we vanaf nu met IXXI samenwerken’, zegt Radboud Langenhorst, managing director van Fingerspitzengefühl.

Benieuwd naar wat Fingerspitzengefühl voor jouw onderneming kan betekenen? Lees hier meer, of neem contact met ons op

Fingerspitzengefühl zoekt jou

Berlijn – Fingerspitzengefühl groeit en is op zoek naar nieuwe collega’s voor ons kantoor in Berlijn.

We zoeken onder meer een Performance Marketing Manager en Social Media Manager.

Lees ook: ‘Op de Duitse markt kun je een heleboel bereiken’ 

Ter ondersteuning van ons team in Berlijn zoeken we per direct een Performance Marketing Manager, een Social Media Manager en een Junior Online Marketing Manager. Spreek je goed Duits en ben je geïnteresseerd om over een van deze vacatures met ons te praten? Neem dan contact op met onze Human Resource manager Franziska van der Weide via hr@fs-gefuehl.com.

Fingerspitzengefühl is gevestigd in Kreuzberg in het hart van Berlijn. Mustafa’s Gemusekebap en Curry 36 zijn onze buren aan de Mehringdamm. Momenteel bestaat FSG uit 31 collega’s.

Ben je benieuwd wat Fingerspitzengefühl voor jouw bedrijf kan betekenen? Bekijk hier wat we voor je kunnen doen of neem contact met ons op.