Tools for Business Intelligence (BI) are the linchpin in Otto’s online presence. The company’s own employees, partners and customers should be offered more convenience on the online retailer’s platform.
The Otto catalog was an integral part of the inventory of German households in the second half of the last century. Millions of people eagerly waited year after year for the heavyweight to dive into the colorful world of goods of the German economic miracle and shop. It all started in 1950 with the first catalog of the Werner Otto mail order business: The dealer presented 28 pairs of shoes on 14 hand-bound pages. Edition: 300 copies.
Those in charge were innovative even then and hit the nerve of the consumer straight away. Otto was the first mail order company to introduce purchase on account. The company was booming. At the end of the 1950s, Otto Versand was one of the republic’s new major corporations, with sales of around 100 million marks. In the 2019/20 financial year, there was even a turnover of 14.3 billion euros. Almost 52,000 employees are on the Hamburgers’ payroll.
The fact that the retailer is in good shape today is thanks to his willingness to constantly question and change himself. That was also necessary, because the Internet has massively changed trade since the turn of the millennium at the latest. Companies like Amazon are breaking all standards today. Many traders who did not recognize the signs of the times and reacted too late are now history.
Otto reacted to technological changes early on. In 1994 the mail order company was the first to present its range on an interactive CD-ROM. In 1995 the company went online. With the founding of discount24 and travelchannel.de in 2000, the Hamburg-based company further expanded its online presence.
Today the company is called Otto GmbH & Co. KG and those responsible continue to write their digital story. The pivotal point is the expansion of your own online presence into a platform. The aim is to become a “digital real-time company powered by Otto BI”. The keys to the connected company are algorithms and data. With its broad-based BI strategy, Otto is applying for the Digital Leader Award (DLA) this year, which IDG-Verlag awards together with the NTT Group.
That means: In addition to its core business, Otto is expanding its business model to include a marketplace and additional services for customers and partners. The group has already invested 100 million euros in the underlying infrastructure in the past two years. In the current 2020/21 fiscal year, at least 1,000 new partners are to be automatically integrated into the trading platform.