Publiceret: 18.05.2017Af Lotte Malene Ruby mail
DKK 106,000 per employee.
That is average revenue for companies that use both e-commerce and e-commerce exports in addition to more traditional sales channels.
Companies with neither exports nor e-commerce earn DKK 30,000 less per employee on average, shows a new analysis by the Danish Commercial Industries Federation based on key figures from Statistics Denmark.
“E-commerce exporters earn an average of DKK 76,000 more per employee. That is 3.5 times more than in companies that do not make use of digital sales channels and exports at all,” notes Director Annette Falberg, the Danish Commercial Industries Federation.
According to Annette Falberg, the figures prove that more sales channels are the direct route to higher revenue and hopes that the figures will encourage even more Danish companies to make use of digital sales channels.
“We have now demonstrated that there are only very few and very specific excuses left for not taking advantage of the possibilities for e-commerce. According to the analysis, the greatest earnings go to companies with both e-commerce and e-commerce exports. But companies that only have domestic sales can also reap major benefits in the form of streamlining company procedures simply by digitalising their Danish sales. As such, it is a matter of tools that can be employed step by step so it is suited to each individual company,” she emphasises.
See also: Analysis - Companies who export through e-commerce make the most money (in Danish)
Nevertheless, there are still many Danish companies that hit the brakes when it comes to digitalising sales processes. 56 per cent of companies that participated in the analysis and do not yet have e-commerce also do not intend to get started within the foreseeable future.
“The response from companies is often that their products are too complicated for e-commerce - or that their customers are not prepared for digital shopping. But there is already a host complicated products for sale online. Furthermore, a recent survey of 600 B2B customers revealed that more than 60 per cent already shop digitally - and that nine out of ten customers use the internet when searching for a new supplier,” says Annette Falberg.
Hugo Dorph, who is Chief Commercial Officer at Solar A/S, a sourcing and services company that operates in several countries within the heating, plumbing and ventilation sectors, agrees. Indeed, over half of the company’s business is digital.
“We definitely find that today’s B2B customers are ready for e-commerce. We see B2B customers as digital consumers at work. They are used to shopping online, buying services, managing their private economy via apps and handling communication with the school, municipality and government digitally. They therefore have high demands for precision, digital communication and user-friendliness. We and other companies must be able to handle this with professional digital solutions,” he says.
See also: Danish companies not utilising major potential in e-export
At Solar, the company has also found that the transition to digital sales is a value creation process that extends far beyond creating new sales channels.
“Our work with e-commerce goes all the way back to the late 1980s. This means that we have been refining the area ever since and have adapted the company in step with technological developments. Today, we thereby have better processes and better data on both products and customers. Meanwhile, we have employees that automatically think more digitally and who for example include data more in their decisions,” says Hugo Dorph.
Annette Falberg from the Danish Commercial Industries Federation is familiar with the experiences at Solar.
“A study among 800 companies earlier this year showed that digitalisation of sales also prompts a review of a number of workflows and routines in the company. In that connection, possibilities for streamlining are often located, making the company more cost-effective. It is therefore not just access to more customers and additional sales to existing customers that make digitalisation a good investment,” she says.
See also: New trade barriers are digital
All the advantages to e-commerce and online exports notwithstanding, many companies face two barriers that can be difficult to overcome without help. One is the fact that digital transition is costly - and the second is that companies may lack the knowledge and experience required to enter export markets.
“The Confederation of Danish Industries has therefore urged politicians several times to help companies get started. This could e.g. take place by establishing an e-commerce export centre for companies that have already got started with domestic e-commerce but are lacking the finishing touches in relation to getting online exports up and running. This would be a good investment for the country as a whole,” says Annette Falberg.
Exports via e-commerce today constitute less than 2 per cent of the total Danish exports, equivalent to DKK 17 billion. According to figures from Statistics Denmark, 700 new jobs are created every time companies increase exports by one per mille overall.
The e-commerce export centre:
• Should be established under the auspices of an existing export-related organisation
• Should be financed partly via user fees and partly via funding from the trade promotion system
• The goal is to provide help to 1,300 companies in the first year and that the number will increase steadily over the following three years.