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Ceconomy refocuses on online user experience amidst disappointing 2018 results

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Ceconomy is hoping to boost customer conversion rates through upgrades to its online platform after it failed to deliver on expectations for the year.

The firm, which owns brands such as MediaMarkt, pledged that the coming year would be one of transition after seeing its annual sales decline 0.7% year-on-year to €21.42 billion.

With its share price down 14% on the news, the company claimed that it has “great potential that has not been fully utilised” and that the company has to “fix the basics and lay the foundation for a sustainable future”. This means “put[ting] the customer back at the centre” of the company’s strategy.

Online sales, which delivered 13% growth to reach €2.59 billion for the year, will be one of the main areas of focus.

The company said it would look to improve conversion rates online, partly by optimising user experience and the customer journey through focusing on areas such as page load times.

Ceconomy will also look to improve online margins by expanding its offering of online services, as well as increase its use of data to acquire and retain customers.

The company singled out its Black Friday performance as a particular area it will aim to improve, highlighting how its backbone systems were challenged during the peak period.

It didn’t provide updates on whether it would change its store opening plans, but it said it was continuing to “rightsize” stores as average store size fell 3% in the period.

But it is worth noting that online still takes up a fairly small portion of the company’s total sales – up to 12.1% from 10.6% last year.

Ceconomy brand MediaMarktSaturn is offering cashierless payments in its Hamburg store over the Christmas season, citing a successful pilot in Austria.

According to its chief innovation officer, the company has adopted a “Silicon Valley style” mentality in an effort to become a leader in omnichannel.

Image credit: MediaMarktSaturn

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