Buying local becomes convenient and easy with EIN-FACH.de
by Kyra Molinari (exklusively for EuroShop.mag)
Shopping locally? Yes please! A study by IFH Cologne shows that customers will increasingly want to support local traders and buy local products in the future. And in general, this does not pose a problem – as long as they are not to be ordered via the internet. Then it can be difficult under certain circumstances, for example because the products are not listed under one “umbrella” but have to be bought via the individual websites of the producers. In this respect, shopping on large platforms like Amazon is more luxurious – but there the products are sometimes not regional.
Sven Proschek wants to combine both. With his online shop EIN-FACH.DE, he wants to become the Amazon of the region. He carries many local products on his website and thus makes it possible for customers to buy conveniently online and locally. In the interview, he explains how he wants to achieve this goal and which sales channel is most important to him.
Mr Proschek, please explain briefly how and why you started Ein-Fach.de and where you are today.
Sven Proschek: In general, I am someone who likes to buy regional products – no matter what they are. Short transport routes and high quality are simply unbeatable. But when I moved privately in April 2020 and wanted to renovate our new home, it was simply not possible for me to use regional products. The reason is well known – it was lockdown. There was no way to buy a wide range of goods from the region online. The paints came from Hanover, the brushes from Austria. That got me thinking and was the spark for my business idea. Today we already have more than 40 suppliers offering their products in our online shop. The trend is rising steeply.
What added value does Ein-Fach.de offer customers and retailers?
Proschek: As a customer, you have the advantage of being able to order a wide range of articles for everyday life in one place from the comfort of your sofa and in the best regional quality. Short transport routes and support for local businesses are included. The producers, in turn, receive an all-round carefree package from us: Ein-Fach.de takes care of logistics, marketing and distribution and the producing companies get their money after every sale.
What feedback do you get from the respective group?
Proschek: Customer feedback is still difficult for us to evaluate. We have many buyers who make multiple purchases, which is a good sign for us. Customers we know rave about the high quality of the products, which certainly has its price. Here we are working hard on the zeitgeist and understanding that work and quality cannot be had for free.
The delivery men and women are our best marketing machine. They think the concept is great and we always get recommendations – both to new suppliers and customers.
What is the technical process like during and after an order? How do you manage the orders?
Proschek: Customers order the desired articles in our shop and can purchase the goods using various payment models. Shipment by DHL usually takes place within twelve hours and delivery usually takes place directly the next day or the day after. The processing is done via some plug-ins for the online shop, which either ensure the integration to the warehouse management or also to the financial or forwarding agent systems.
What does the cooperation with the producers look like?
Proschek: Here, as already mentioned, we work according to the full-service principle: We take care of everything from order generation to invoicing. The producers only provide us with the goods.
How do you want to achieve your goal of becoming the Amazon of the region?
Proschek: We want to constantly increase the number of products, because that is the best argument for customers to keep coming back. However, we are still missing a few products to become an “Amazon”.
How important is social media as a sales channel?
Proschek: Social media is a sales channel that we also focus on. Our target audience is on social media a lot and inquiries about regional initiatives and sustainable products. We notice that campaigns in the social media area drive up the access numbers to the shop much more than campaigns in the classic print or radio media.
How do you want to develop your business in the future?
Proschek: I still have a lot of ideas about how we can expand the business with other sales channels. But that takes time and patience.
What opportunities do you see for the local mail order business in the future?
Proschek: I like to answer the question with a counter question: How do you see the future of brick-and-mortar retail? I think the changes in the city centers show that things are changing here. I am sure that the desire for local products will remain, but the shift towards alternative delivery concepts will be unstoppable – be it delivery services or online retail.