E-commerce: Online sales break the 50 billion euro mark

Deals.com, the voucher and discount platform, is anticipating online sales figures of 52.8 billion euros this year for Germany. This is equivalent to an increase of 23.1% over the previous year’s figures, in which sales of 42.88 billion euros were generated on the Internet. These figures are taken from the current edition of the company’s annual international e-commerce survey.

Therefore, the share of the total trade volume attributed to online retail is expected to rise to 11.6 %. This means, in purely arithmetical terms, that every German national will account for € 654.84 in online sales. Among the eight European countries surveyed, Germany thus takes second place to Great Britain. The British are expected to spend 61.84 billion euros online this year: € 964.74 per capita. This even exceeds the figure calculated for the American population – according to the study, each American is responsible for € 806.39 in online sales. France follows closely behind Germany with a total volume of 36.53 billion euros, equivalent to € 553.23 per citizen. Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and Poland lag well behind.

Mobility: 4G Mobile technology causes a rapid increase in data traffic


The visual networking index compiled by Cisco, the network equipment provider, predicts that mobile data traffic in Germany will increase sevenfold by 2015. This means that traffic would increase three times more rapidly than the data volume flowing through the regular IP lines. Data transfer in excess of 4G (this refers primarily to LTE, the standard for wireless communication) is even expected to increase by 23 times the amount and account for 81% of the entire German mobile communication in 2019. At the end of 2014, this was only 26%.

The data volume of M2M connections (machine to machine) is also expected to increase significantly according to the study. Between 2014 and 2019 it is expected to increase by 37 times the amount, which would mean that machine communication would account for 14% of the entire mobile traffic in Germany. The increased use of cloud applications is said to be primarily responsible for this.

One factor of mobile traffic that has received little attention to date is Voice over WiFi, whereby in most cases Voice over WLAN, in short VoWLAN, is most likely meant. The study says that applications of a very high standard of quality are available today that could, for example, enable phone calls to be made by tablet. By 2019 this communication channel is even expected to overtake classic VoIP in terms of minutes of use.

Data traffic via Wearables is also expected to achieve measurable quantities by 2019. The study predicts that this traffic will account for approx. 1% of the entire mobile traffic and 2% of the data volume via smartphones in four years.

The Cisco VNI Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast is based on the assessments of analysts and Cisco itself. Hard data including readings on mobile data use and forecasts on mobile broadband speed and processing power are incorporated into the study.

Social advertising: Twitter entices SMEs as advertising clients


Short message service Twitter wants to increase its revenue from advertising in Germany. To this end, a new self-service platform is to be set up for companies: Twitter Ads for SMEs. The short message service wants to use this platform to attract small and medium-sized companies by gearing to requests posted by Twitter users; users’ behaviour on other websites (something that Facebook already converts into hard cash) is not intended to be taken into account.

“Paid tweets” can therefore be used as an advertising tool, which advertising clients can integrate in the news stream for specific user groups. If a user follows specific companies, for example, or lives in a selected region, they can be selectively targeted in this way. “The number of ad spaces auctioned off in an auction process won’t change, which means that greater interest from advertising clients should also lead to higher advertising prices,” believes Thomas de Buhr, Managing Director of Twitter Germany.

So is there is a shift in the way Germans look into Twitter. I am not so sure. First is still the limitation to 140 characters (without spending money). German has 30% more characters than English. So this would reduce short messages in English down to 98 characters.  And we tend to be precise, we try to find the right word, which sometimes are very long (one of the reasons why we are not best in Scrabble).

But let’s keep an eye on this.


Internet of Things: Germany has best Expertise


After cloud scepticism and Industry 4.0 criticism, the new question is: What do German medium-sized organisations make of the Internet of Things? This is exactly what IDC asked 150 IT decision makers from German companies with more than 500 employees. The conclusion: 45% consider themselves to be “very familiar” with the Internet of Things, ahead of industrialised nations like the USA (42%) and China (37%).

The user survey established that the networking of sensors, devices and machines, including immediate evaluation of data collected, could tap into new areas of business, especially for medium-sized organisations. According to  IDC, the most important role in The Internet of Things, at least in the start phase, will be played by providers of hardware and software as well as by the solutions providers and system integrators. The largest hurdles standing in the way of an IoT implementation are the up-front costs, security considerations and the apprehension amongst those responsible for IT when selecting the right provider. Additionally, writers criticise the fact that there is currently still a lack of comprehensive solution approaches.

What is your view on this? Is it something which will get out of the laboratory into the daily life of all of us?

E-commerce: the stationary retail market is betting on mobile payment


While German retail sector sales rose by 1.5% in 2014, inner-city businesses in particular saw a decline in customer numbers. The reason is most likely the increasing popularity of shopping via the Internet: about 17% of sales are now generated online, 18% of which via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

When it comes to the question of how this trend will continue in 2015, the British company Powa Technologies has formulated some interesting theories. It expects, for example, that retail will increasingly employ big data technologies to analyse customers’ behaviour and needs and to identify new trends. At the same, businesses will increasingly use technologies such as Bluetooth beacons in order to provide customers with offers tailored to their specific interests. Powa also expects retailers strive for ever more online interaction with customers.

This includes the option for mobile payment of goods. While in 2014 only some 176,000 German consumers took advantage of mobile payment systems, this figure is expected to rise to about 11 million by 2020.

This goes hand in hand with an increasing use of payment apps: their market volume is expected to increase from 7.4 million euros in 2014 to 1 billion euros in 2020. If nothing else, this very optimistic forecast would ensure Powa Technologies itself of sold profits – the company’s main product is PowaTag, a mobile payment app.

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