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NEWS

What we can learn from the latest German e-commerce numbers

E-commerce was smooth sailing in 2020, with a friendly little nudge provided by the lockdown. Recently, my colleague Radboud wrote about some research by Google that shows how the corona crisis has permanently altered consumer behaviour in Germany. He also shed some light on what that means for growth opportunities in Germany.

Another interesting research paper is provided by BEVH, a German interest group on e-commerce. The most important findings and conclusions from that paper? Read all about it in this blog.

Growth numbers e-commerce Germany in 2020

In 2020, the German e-commerce space saw a rise in turnover of a whopping 92.5 billion Euros. The online sale of physical products rose by 15%. The largest increase at +41% came from the ‘daily essentials’ category, including foodstuffs and medicinal drugs. E-commerce now represents almost 20% of the total retail turnover.

Market places are dominating

For years we’ve seen marketplaces dominate German e-commerce. Almost half (49%) of all German e-commerce takes place on a site or app with a marketplace model. A mere 2.2% of sales is directly from brand or manufacturer to the consumer.

On top of that, in 2020 marketplaces saw the highest rise in turnover. Growth of market places was over 20% higher than the average increase in turnover. In Germany, Amazon is the undisputed market leader. The Seattle-based giant towers over the competition at three times the size of the number two on the list.

The e-commerce tipping point has arrived: online purchases become the norm

According to the research, e-commerce has reached a major tipping point. Three out of four consumers indicate that they will continue or even increase their online purchasing in the future. This means that even after the corona crisis is over and we return to normal life, consumers will to a large degree be spending their money online.

An interesting bit of information is that 25% of consumers consciously choose online shops that strive for sustainability.

2021 e-commerce expectations

The expectation is that 2021 will see an increase of sales of goods through e-commerce of 12.5%. For the first time in history, total e-commerce turnover will cross the magic threshold of 100 billion Euros.

Impressive numbers, but what does this say about e-commerce opportunities in Germany?

These growth numbers indicate great e-commerce opportunities for Dutch brands in Germany. And that is in fact the case. Germany is a giant market and that fact alone makes it a very interesting one.

However, you can’t just copy-paste what you’re doing in The Netherlands. German consumers have different wants and needs, and a different set of expectations. Failing to take that into account will make it a tough market to tackle. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Localisation is the key to success

For one, Germans are much more sensitive to sustainability claims. They’re more critical and focus strongly on certifications and quality labels. Another important factor is that of trust. If you have no brand awareness in Germany it will prove difficult to convince consumers, even if you can compete on price. The Dutch consumer is more easily tempted with deals than the Germans. They look beyond price and conduct more research before making a purchase.

Therefore, localisation of your brand is the key to success. Ensure a good German customer service experience and create a brand experience that fits the German culture and audience. Only then will you win the trust of the German consumer.

Would you like to benefit from the e-commerce opportunities in Germany? Then get a German perspective on your marketing. If you’d like, we can provide you with that perspective. Feel free to reach out to us.

FSG announces new partnership with Oopsie Heroes

FSG is excited to announce its next partnership with Oopsie Heroes, part of the Lifesense Group from the Netherlands. Oopsie Heroes is an innovative medical-technology application that helps thousands of kids with gaining confidence in staying dry at night.

FSG and Oopsie Heroes have big plans for Oopsie Heroes on the German online market. The main goal is for Oopsie Heroes to gain brand awareness online in Germany. ‘We have the feeling that this is the moment for Oopsie Heroes to gain traction in Germany and Austria’, says Paul Swinckels, CCO of Lifesense Group.

The Oopsie Heroes is a medical application that children with bed wedding issues can wear at night. The application is connected to a mobile phone that will warn the sleeping child when it’s time to get out of bed and visit the restroom, and uses ‘gamification’ to activate the child to use the app.

‘Over the last few months, we have been focussing on making sure the Oopsie Heroes will be deductible for German citizens through their health care insurance. This is already the case in the Netherlands, Australia and Belgium. Oopsie Heroes is looking forward to working with FSG’s team on making Oopsie Heroes a success in Germany’, says Swinckels.

Radboud Langenhorst, FSG’s CEO: ‘Stepping into med-tech as a new vertical is of course an extremely exciting opportunity for FSG. In our talks with the management team of Lifesense Group, it became clear that Oopsie Heroes is a truly groundbreaking application. I am very much looking forward to this partnership and to growing Oopsie Heroes on the German market.’ 


(Kickoff Team FSG)

Growth opportunities in Germany: how corona is putting everything into overdrive

Corona’s impact on brands and e-commerce in Germany is unprecedented. The pandemic has caused the shift from offline to online shopping to gain enormous momentum. Achim Berg, partner at McKinsey: “We’ve seen a transition that would have normally taken six years in only eight months.”

What does this rapid change mean for your brand when operating in Germany? How can these growth opportunities benefit you? And which strategy ultimately yields the best results? In this article, I will share our findings and learnings with you.

How consumer behavior has changed in Germany

Firstly, let’s zoom in on the change in consumer behavior. What changes are most noticeable? Research by Google uncovers three major changes in the German market. The results may not surprise you, but it’s important to take a closer look at them.

  1. Online shopping has become the new norm.
  2. German consumers do more online research. People have more free time and use it for digital window shopping.
  3. Consumers have become more conscious about their shopping. Sustainability and buying local have become important aspects.

The same research by Google offers us another important insight: more than ever, media consumption is centered around mobile, social and video. This is nothing new of course, yet the growth of online media consumption is impressive:

  • 29% watch more streaming media; impactful from an advertiser’s perspective since these are channels that don’t offer advertising opportunities.
  • 49% spend more time on mobile devices.
  • 25% watch more online videos, for example on YouTube.

The most important finding however is this:

German consumers have thoroughly embraced online shopping 

  • 87% of Germans are happy about the transition to online shopping.
  • 62% of Germans will continue to shop online, even after the corona crisis ends.
  • 24% of Germans buy online as much as possible, even products they previously bought offline.

Macro developments

Zooming out, we notice four major developments.

  1. People spend more time online (more frequent and longer).
  2. More people have started to buy online. Even the late majority and laggards are now following suit.
  3. People buy more of the same products online.
  4. People increasingly buy different, new products online. A good example is Auping, for whom we now sell beds online in Germany.

The online piece of the pie has clearly become much bigger and more attractive. At the same time, online marketing has grown increasingly complex as everyone tries to get in on the action. It’s against this backdrop that we as FSG say that now is the time to invest more in online marketing.

Rapid investment

We notice that e-commerce organizations are speeding up investment in their (mobile first!) platform, CRM, fulfillment and value added services. Personalization, marketing and automation are also part of that effort. As a result, these things will become hygiene factors rather than distinguishing features within a few short years. Since standing out from the crowd is vital for growing your brand, we pose the following question:

How do you distinguish yourself?

What strategy makes your brand excel and yields the best results? At FSG, we advise brands in the German market place the following:

  1. Invest in digital brand awareness, now

Firstly, investing in digital brand awareness now will lower your cost per acquisition down the line. By down the line we mean the moment your campaign needs to generate a spike in sales, for example surrounding a product launch or during an event such as Black Friday.

  1. Create an overarching 360 degree campaign

Real online sale success doesn’t come from a singular focus on product campaigns. You need to invest in overarching 360 degree campaigns with a relevant theme.

  1. Extend the customer journey

This might seem counterintuitive, since most companies strive to spend their media budget as efficiently as possible. However, this is a smart investment. The more online moments of contact a consumer has with your brand, the more top of mind your brand will be, increasing the willingness to buy. We can clearly see this in the data of our clients. Check out the example further on.

  1. Content, content, content!

This shouldn’t need explaining. Content is king in the online world, so invest in good quality, localized content.

Taking these four points of advice to heart will likely cause a short-term dip in your ROI. Not surprising, since you’ll need to invest. In the long run however, your yields will go up. As your piece of the online pie gets bigger, the same will happen to your gross profit margins.

Allow me to demonstrate this with a campaign we did for Paula’s Choice in Germany.

Campaign example: Paula’s Choice

To maximize the ‘corona’ growth opportunities during the Glamour Shopping Week (a large online event in Germany) we developed a 360 degree campaign for the cosmetics brand Paula’s Choice. This campaign started eight weeks before the event with an overarching theme, anti-aging in this case, which we tied to the launch of a new product.

During the first stage of the campaign, we used expensive acquisition channels including top influencers and communities, YouTube and TikTok. Additionally, we set up collaborations with key online players like Niche-Beauty and Breuninger.

Through these channels, we started to fill the funnel way before the peak of the campaign.

Results

The campaign almost doubled the revenue compared to last year’s campaign. But the most striking result? The large majority of revenue growth and new customers came from prospects who had touch points to the campaign through five or more channels.

This is why we recommend to extend the customer journey. You create more touch points with your brand and this will pay off during the peak of the campaign.

Doubling the revenue required raising the media budget by over 200%. Now you might wonder: why do you consider that a success? Well, it is. And as strange as it may sound, we have corona to thank for it. Because the lockdown has drastically increased the online pie over the last year. This allowed us to realize a 75% increase of the gross profit margin for Paula’s Choice. And in the end, that’s what it’s all about.

Benefit from growth opportunities in Germany?

Is your brand operating on the German market? And would you like to benefit from the growth potential the corona crisis offers? Reach out to Radboud Langenhorst and discover a world of opportunities.

Email: radboud@fsgberlin.com

Telephone: +49159045228055

Brand localization in Germany: why community management is vital

If you really want to grow as an e-commerce performer in Germany, you need to gain brand recognition. Significant sales are simply not possible without branding. However, launching brand campaigns in Germany can be extremely expensive. At FSG we therefore prefer to opt for a brand localization strategy with community management as the main boost. This way you kill two birds with one stone: you generate reach and user generated content.

Community management as a driving force of brand localization

We will discuss how we FSG uses community management for brand localization in a moment. First, a word about brand localization itself, also known as localization or localized branding. We see that newcomers to the German market sometimes think too casually about this. When in fact the secret of successful cross-border e-commerce lies precisely in brand localization. It lies in branding that is tailored to the local market and local consumers.

It takes more than just translating your brand message into German to do that. Brand localization is all about creating a brand experience that resonates with the local culture and lifestyle of the target audience. But also about finding your own unique place among all those, who have already established their brands.

In this regard, authenticity, credibility and relevance are extremely important. This calls for good local content. And that’s often where the crucial point lies. After all, how do you get good local content, which contributes to your branding, if Germany is not your home market? This is where community management comes in.

The insider community: the secret weapon

In order to satisfy the demand for good local content, we like to work with so-called insider communities. An insider community is an exclusive group of influencers and enthusiasts who are committed to the brand.

Here at FSG, we make contractual agreements with every member of the insider community. This includes not only the influencers, but also the fans, who are in fact just consumers. We want to be able to make use of the content they produce. This is the main reason why we are starting such a community in the first place.

An example: Paula’s Choice

One of the brands where we work like this is the skincare brand Paula’s Choice. An excellent example of a brand that creates brand ambassadors. In May 2018, together with community marketing agency Protein, we started building an insider community for Paula’s Choice. We have made some wonderful achievements as a result of it.

The Paula’s Choice insider community provides the brand with a lot of great “German” user generated content, in addition to reach and valuable customer insights. This includes photos and videos that we can use for other channels, such as the webshop, newsletters and social media.

The Insider Community Pyramid

So how do you create an insider community and how does it look like exactly? Let’s dive into it a little deeper. The insider community is built just like a pyramid and consists of 3 levels: high-level, mid-level and entry-level brand ambassadors.

High-level brand ambassadors

The top of the pyramid consists of 1-2 major influencers, with whom the brand enters into a long-term, commercial partnership. In case of Paula’s Choice, these are influencers with more than 6 million followers.

Mid-level brand ambassadors

Beneath the tip is a layer with 20-30 micro influencers. They have anywhere from 5,000 to 50,000 followers, are a good fit for the brand and like to identify with the bigger influencers. Micro-influencers receive free products and sometimes financial compensation.

Entry-level brand ambassadors

The bottom layer consists of 50-100 die hard fans. They are customers, consumers who are passionate about the brand and like to be part of the community. In other words, they are real brand ambassadors. These fans do not receive free products or compensation, but an occasional discount. For these fans, being involved with the brand is the biggest reward.

Insider community versus social media fanbase

The insider community is unrelated to the number of followers on social media. Unlike the fan base on social media channels, we deliberately keep the insider community small. There are several reasons for this.

First of all we keep it small, for authenticity and credibility reasons. If you start admitting just anyone, it quickly leads to a situation where there is no longer an insider community. This is particularly important for the approved fans in the bottom layer of the pyramid. At Paula’s Choice, we started with 100 entry-level fans in 2018 and now we have about 150, so definitely no thousands.

Another reason for keeping the community exclusive has a practical aspect. Very quickly, a lot of contracts are involved. In addition to this, managing a community is extremely time-consuming because of the large amount of personal contact involved. To give you a better impression: Just for Paula’s Choice we have an influencer marketer and a community manager working full-time on the community in our office.

Community management in action

The main goal of an insider community is to increase the brand awareness. Therefore, we focus the community strongly on creating content in which the values and proposition of the brand are visible. We also sometimes create this content ourselves, in collaboration with the community.

What does that look like in reality?

We organize all kinds of events that involve the entire community as much as possible. For Paula’s Choice, for example, we held special workshops and an interview session with the founder, Paula Begoun. We also do exclusive product launches, surveys, small “Tupperware”-type events at the homes of fans and activities around Glamour Shopping Week, one of the biggest shopping events in Germany.

We are constantly trying to find a topic that will allow us to involve the entire community in our campaigns.

Content production involving the community

A great example is the “Beauty begins with truth” campaign, which by the way was shot with a professional production team. For this production, we had fans tell us all about their skin problems and the role Paula’s Choice played in overcoming those problems. This generated wonderful authentic content, which we then used in our blog and our PR channels.

 

Great results

Ultimately, e-commerce is about sales. Even for us. Here at FSG, we work on a commission basis, so we’re committed to making branding and community management contribute to revenue growth to the maximum degree.

Speaking of sales growth. You might be curious as to what our approach has brought Paula’s Choice. Of course, we can’t give you all the numbers, but we see a clear correlation between sales and community. Since we started the community for Paula’s Choice, sales have increased by 10% annually. We notice it immediately when we are a little less active in the community.

“Worth” of mouth conversions

The result of good brand localization is the sum of its parts. Insider community management, social media, PR and content marketing go hand in hand and not everything can be tracked directly. Especially if you work with fans (customers) and also use print media.

This is why we created a new KPI: “worth” of mouth conversion. This refers to the turnover generated by new customers who used a so-called branded search or direct type-in. This involves filtering for customers who have not been in contact with the brand via other channels in the 28 days preceding the purchase. In short, these are customers who hear of a brand through impressions, recommendations, reading an article or blog post, etc. and decide to make a purchase. So a direct result of an increased positive brand awareness.

In the end, this is the ultimate proof that localized branding and community management are crucial for successful e-commerce.

Want to learn more about community management, insider communities or brand localization?

Want to know more about community management, insider communities or brand localization? Please reach out to Radboud Langenhorst.

E-mail: radboud@fsgberlin.com

Telefoon: +49159045228055

FSG and POM Amsterdam will introduce colorful Dutch fashion brand POM in Germany

Berlin – FSG is proud to announce its next partnership with the Dutch fashion brand POM Amsterdam. FSG and POM Amsterdam have big plans to grow POM’s online business in Germany. 

POM Amsterdam was founded by Liesbeth Lotgering and Violet Lotgering, two sisters from the Netherlands who started designing colorful scarves in 2011. Since then, they have added fashionable, colorful dresses, blouses, skirts and suits to their collection, always with contrasting colors and powerful prints.

‘Germany is very similar to the Netherlands in terms of culture and values. We are looking forward to introducing our colorful clothes to German consumers’, says POM’s Managing Director Matthijs Bijl. ‘We are very curious to see which items of our colorful collection will suit German women and are hoping to perhaps add items to the collection that are made specifically with German women in mind.

FSG’s Aydan Bahadir (left) and Radboud Langenhorst talking to the POM Amsterdam team.

´I think we can all agree that Germany is always in need of more colorful and eye-catching fashion (;-)), so welcome a board POM Amsterdam! I am really looking forward to our partnership and successfully growing this original brand in the German market,´ says Radboud Langenhorst, FSG’s CEO.

How personalized data can help you invest in the right channels

Let’s talk some harcore nerdy stuff for the readers that like new types of information by reading more than 3 minutes instead of  looking at funny GIFs 🙂

Together with our super cool data analytics partner Haensel AMS we took the last two years to set up our own data and dashboard system for our clients. For this, we use a dashboard tool that includes all online data sources and is based on a tailored attribution model, that Haensel AMS has developed.

Let’s begin with writing down what Google says actually is an attribution model:

An attribution model is the rule, or set of rules, that determines how credit for online sales and conversions is assigned to touchpoints in conversion paths. For example, the Last Interaction model in Google Analytics assigns 100% credit to the final touchpoints (last-click) that immediately precede sales or conversions. 

And to add to this,  these sets of rules are predefined and standardized to ensure that it’s one-size-fits-all. Let’s be honest; for most brands this appears to work pretty well, right? 

However we agree to disagree here. Why? 

Well, because of:

  • Most european brands we work with are very well known in their home country, but not (yet) in the German market. The German market is fiercely competitive. Brands  tend to spend a lot more media budget than in most other EU countries. This means you can easily burn most of your precious budget without having had any impact on your sales;
  • Nowadays most Ecommerce managers have to make spaghetti out of too many channels, data sources and even different attribution models which can become somewhat complicated to manage and react in a fast way;
  • And this is especially the case because Google and Facebook, being the biggest players, use different attribution models to make it extra difficult to compare data or results;
  • Last but not least we had the hypothesis that there is no standardized way of allocating a sale or conversion for the simple reason that when you buy, for example,  a bag of dog food (and we happen to sell dog food) the customer journey is different versus when you want to buy a €500,- mattress (and we happen to sell mattresses).

So what did we do?

For each of the brands we are working for, we started with collecting lots and lots of (GDPR-proof!) website event data. Here are the most important variables we track, weigh and value:

  1. the time between customer touchpoints, e.g. a visitor clicking on a Google Search ad which leads to a webshop visit. Two days later the same person is visiting the same webshop through an email campaign.
  2. the type and amount of actions on the specific webshop during a visit. Here you can think of the amount of pages viewed, whether the potential customer subscribed to a newsletter, whether he/she clicked on a product, and went to the check-out page, etc. 

On top we further enriched the website traffic data with information from platforms such as Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook, ERP´s,  etc. These third party data sources are integrated with API connections and automatics daily/hourly downloads.

We don’t want to give away the secret Coca Cola recipe to our model, however what we can say is this results in finally seeing fact-based which channels really matter in the three interaction phases (Initializer, Holder, Closer) for your brand and at what point in the customer journey they do (We keep in mind that most brands have different seasonalities, product launches, shopping events, etc).

On top of that we managed to pinpoint visitors that use both their mobile and other devices in the same customer journey, which means we have pretty accurate data that we can really rely on.

Why is all this pretty amazing? 

We e.g. see in our portfolio that for an average customer  it takes up to 28 days to buy a product. In this time frame, they visit the website up to 10 times and show different kinds of behavior every visit. And you can do A LOT with this info! 

This is what our Head of Ops and BI Juan says, we can do with this kind of information: 

  • We can decide to invest the lionshare of our precious media budget sometimes up to three weeks before a big moment coming up for the brand, for example the launch of a new collection or a big sales campaign. We can allocate a big share of media budget in channels that are normally undermined by default attribution. Yes that feels like risky business, however the numbers tell the tale. The much needed proof for “AIDA” or “Touch-Tell-Sell” approaches than can easily feel like burning money at the wrong moment
  • We can reliably predict behavior and build so-called bottom up forecasts (starting at channel level) which means we can place safer bets with mostly higher media budgets over time
  • We have insights on difficult-to-measure channels like influencer marketing, brand collaborations or even PR. 
  • We can collect all this input of  different data sources (our own website tracking, GA, Facebook, Influencers, Affiliates, Content partners, etc.) and visualize them in one dashboard tool (right now we are using PowerBI and Tableau for different clients). This means that every stakeholder -from the CEO up until a specific marketing specialist can use the same dashboard, look at the same data and compare apples with apples. 

What´s next? According to our Managing Director Radboud Langenhorst it’s all about constantly improving the data quality and understanding how to best work with this data for our clients. Also with this tool we are onboarding a lot of different stakeholders into e-commerce and letting them see the true chances and opportunities through all the costs and risks. 

Curious how this works? Please feel free to contact us here. If you want to know more about us, click here for our website, or click here for Haensel AMS’s website.


Germany’s possible first winners (and some losers) from the Covid-crisis

Germany is lifting its Corona prevention restrictions. What do German companies (startups and dinosaurs) look like 100 days into the crisis? Germany’s first corporate winners and losers on how they reacted to this crisis, according to FSG’s content marketing expert Maartje. 

WINNERS

Marley Spoon/Hello Fresh, Berlin

Restaurants were closed, people were at home, Berlin based Hello Fresh took advantage of the Corona crisis. Their revenue increased by 66 per cent in the first quarter of 2020, one million more people ordered their food boxes. Berlin competitor Marley Spoon also saw its numbers rise. Revenue increased there by 46 per cent. 

Plexiglas, Weiterstadt

Plexiglass helps protect people from the very infectious Corona virus. Berliners will find plexiglass in every Späti, supermarket, hair salon or drug store here, protecting workers from customers and the other way around. The German company Plexiglas (written with one ‘s’) was founded in 1903 by a German scientist and was bought by American private equity group Advent International in 2019 for 2,5 billion euros. Since the start of the Corona crisis, production has increased ‘five to ten times’ for the company (total company revenues to the tune of  €2 billion ($2.16 billion) in 2018).

Teamviewer, Frankfurt

Frankfurt based Teamviewer, which allows companies to let their employees work remotely by sharing screens and having online meetings, is going through the roof. ‘Ein der Profiteuren der Coronakrise’, wrote Handelsblad about the company that was founded in 2005. Their revenue in the first quarter of 2020: 102,7 million euros (+19 per cent YoY).

Zalando, Berlin

The online fashion platform from Berlin is growing even though fashion in general was hit hard during the first 100 days of the Corona crisis. After announcing this month that the company is still doing well, Zalando said that they are still planning to grow around 10 to 20 percent this year. 

LOSERS

The Startups in Berlin

4 out of 10 startups currently don’t have enough money in the bank to survive for another three months, according to data from the organization Startup Genome. Since the start of the Corona crisis, investments in startups worldwide have decreased with 20 per cent. Is funding going to dry up for the Berlin startup scene? In Germany, it’s unclear yet whether and how many startups will file for bankruptcy, since the state has allowed startups to wait with filing for bankruptcy until September 30th 2020. One of Berlin’s Unicorns, Getyourguide, was hit hard, according to data from Priori. Downloads of the Getyourguide app have dropped drastically from around 7.000 daily downloads in February and March, to less than 100 in April and May of this year.

Lufthansa, Frankfurt

With a float of 760 airplanes and only 80 of them up and running at this point, German airline Lufthansa is clearly hurt. The Frankfurt based ‘Luftgesellschaft’ saw its amount of passengers decline by 99 per cent since the start of the crises. A total of 3.000 flights is cancelled – daily. However, the airline published its 2019 numbers proudly halfway May 2020, saying 2019 was a year like never before. They added that ‘they are looking forward to June, when many travelers will hit the road again’, which made them announce to add 80 more planes to the float. Lufthansa employees currently in Kurzarbeit: 80.000 from 130.000. Lufthansa’s CEO asked the German governement for financial support, however, is not interested in giving away part of its shares in return. ‘We need Germany, but Germany needs Lufthansa, too’, he said.

The car industry, all over Germany

Car sales in Germany have fallen to a historic low. German carmakers have demanded a purchase incentive from Chancellor Merkel, like the one in the crisis of 2008. Back then, Germans purchasing a car, could redeem a 2.500 euro voucher when handing in a used car in order to purchase a new one. VW, BMW, Audi and Mercedes are going through tough times. In April of this year, VW sold 45 per cent less cars compared to 2019 worldwide. 

All in all, it’s too early to draw drastic conclusions after the first 100 days. However, the fact that the world will change, is something many agree on. (Read this interesting piece in the Guardian about the potential new world order to find out why, according to the author, the EU will be the biggest Corona-loser of all). 

Are you interested in reading more on how we at FSG are dealing with the Corona Crisis for the different international brands we represent?

Read more about what our brand team has done in times of Corona. Or click here if you want to read more about what kind of customer movements we have seen online since the start of the crisis.

Click here to find more about FSG and what we do.


A Coronavirus update from Berlin

Berlin – FSG’s office is empty today, since all of us are working from home in respons to the new Coronavirus. What else is happening in Berlin?

Here’s your FSG Update from Berlin, where the streets are getting more empty by the minute, while temperatures are rising. Starting Wednesday, all Berlin stores except grocery stores, will have to close their doors.

FSG is not alone in going in to ‘home-office mode’. Berlin’s mobile bank N26 has completely closed its physical doors. According to the German news website on the start-up scene, Gründerszene, N26 is a fintech where working from home is not something the management normally encourages. More than 1.000 N26 employees are working from home.

Meanwhile, the European Commission has said it has 164 million euros available for start-ups that could come up with technologies and innovations that will help prevent the new Coronavirus from spreading. Deadline for sending in a plan for the ‘Corona accelerator’ is March 18th end-of-day.

Some German start-ups are benefiting from the new Coronavirus. 18-year old Nils Reichardt sees that downloads of his home schooling app Sharezone are getting through the roof. His app can be used by students to send in homework to teachers also working from home. Also downloads on the website Lehrermarktplatz.de have sky rocketet in Germany, with a record of over 100.000 downloads over the last weekend.

Many people here in Germany have been stocking up on toilet paper. Also the start up Happypo is benefiting. Happypo, started its business in mobile bidets in 2018 and now has a message on their website that meanwhile they have limited stock, indicating that their sales increased thanks to the virus.

Another questions being asked in Germany now that the Coronavirus is spreading, is if cash money, a payment method many Germans prefer over paying by card, can carry the virus. Read more on that here.

In German politics, Friedrich Merz, one of the possible future Chansellors from the German political party CDU, has been tested positive with the new Coronavirus, according to Spiegel.

That’s it for today. We hope you all stay safe and healthy. Take care of yourself and of each other, FSG.

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 .”

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