Serge van der Hooft (Beate Uhse): “Sex sells in een omnichannel wereld”

In aanloop naar het congres What’s going on in (R)etailing?! interviewen we diverse sprekers. Hierin geven zij hun visie op de toekomst van de retailsector, hun eigen uitdagingen en kijken ze alvast vooruit naar het congres.

Deze keer Serge van der Hooft, CEO Beate Uhse. Zijn motto: “Sex sells in een omnichannel wereld”.


What is the most interesting development that you are seeing with regards to consumer behaviour and customer engagement at the moment?

The shift our customer group made in the last years is really remarkable. From mainly male to a more than 70% female customer group is an impressive turnaround. We could serve this new customer group with the same concept so we had to change. This is not only a change of logo and corporate identity; it contains a complete turnaround of the company and the mindset of everybody – employees, board, shareholders, partners et. DVD is almost out of our assortments (although the so called “porna” is slowly coming back in) – so we have to think of new categories which are interesting for our female customers. So for example way more fashion, beauty, wellness etc. Also the managing of content is a real challenge. To differ ourselves from our competitors, we have to give more guidance (which is also the legacy of Beate Uhse herself). Recorded media died – but VOD is a new area to explore. 30% of all internet traffic is porn, so we will find new ways to enter the “porn market” from that side. People pay for high quality content like netflix which is rolling out in europe now. There are chances for us.
The move from our male target group from retail to internet was a danger in the past, but we adapted in time and now it brings only challenges. And we gained the female target group with the new concept.

Which new innovations in the retail industry are of greatest interest to you and why?​

Omnichannel strategy will be very important for us. It doesn’t matter in which channel the customer buys – they have to get the same (good) feeling everywhere. Retail has a new function, more inspiring – more showroom – more personal guidance and this really adds value to the brand. In the past it was not more than one person, more a cashier than an advisor. Retail is an important part of the omnichannel strategy and will develop in the coming years. “The new customer” is shopping in our retail with a mobile device in the hand and well aware of the competition. We are not the cheapest, but we add a lot of value by guiding, informing and pampering our customers – so the look at Beate Uhse as “the big sister” and sex expert. We want our customers to feel comfortable with us – in all our sales channels.

Which future trends are you keeping an eye on?

Optimizing the Omnichannel strategy and Customer Service (welfare of our customers) are main topics for the future.
Online this will be the development of VOD and payTV like netflix concepts.

Why is the 2015 “What’s going on in (R)etailing” Congress so important?

To share our own long experience and to learn from others. We are active in a niche market – but very successful, this make it an interesting business case for everybody. We had our golden and dark ages – we were, as a company, able to keep up with all the quick changes and became stronger than ever – based on a true vision and strategy in which everybody in the company believes in. Thats why we are very convincing and all our partners help us and believe in us (again).

Brochure-What's-going-on-in-RetailingWhat’s going on in (R)etailing?!

Serge van der Hooft is op 16 april een van de retailsprekers van het congres What’s going on in (R)etailing?! in de Passenger Terminal Amsterdam. Een unieke mogelijkheid om van koplopers in de retailsector (zoals Mango, Jumbo, McDonalds, Bas Groep, Macintosh Retail Groep, Subway, Walgreens en vele anderen te horen hoe zij succesvol zijn.
Absoluut hoogtepunt is de presentatie van Werner Vogels, CTO Amazon. Hij geeft een uitgebreide kijk in de keuken van ‘s werelds grootste online retailer.

Meer informatie over het congres en alle sprekers is terug te vinden op de website van What’s going on in Retailing.

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