Earn millions in online store developments: Attract new employees with six weeks of vacation and paid laundry assistance – E-commerce – Business



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The change in retail is expensive for some and very lucrative for others.

The consulting firms that make online stores for the trade have had some very lucrative years, explains the partner and marketing manager of Convert, Markus Sæther.

– It's been a small fragmented industry and we've been keeping ourselves for a few years, he says and continues:

– Now that there are many companies that sell more than 100 million, the big consulting companies come on the track.

Convert is one of the smaller companies in the sector, but has made online stores for, among others, Eplehuset, Høyer and Ferner Jacobsen.

Last year, the company had sales of NOK 27.7 million, with a pretax profit of NOK 4.5 million. In recent years, the company has grown between 30 and 40 percent and has enough to do in 2019 as well.

"We're full in the third quarter of this year, it's just about how many we can say yes to," Sæther says.

cowboy industry

There are many companies that make a good contribution to the digitization of the retail trade. Some companies create solutions that allow stores to build their own trading platforms, others work more with digital concepts, while companies like Convert work only with the virtual store itself.

The giant Visma has bought in the last years four consulting companies that work in the digital commerce, Trollweb, Mystore, Wikinggruppen and Meat Digital.

Yngve Bollie started at Trollweb, which Visma bought for NOK 85 million in 2017, and is now director of the Group's digital commerce department.

"A lot of players started easily with one or two people, and until recently there has been an industry with several cowboys, but they have now been tamed a bit," Bollie says.

He says that Visma is in contact with several similar companies about new acquisitions.

"Visma wants to be a big fish in a little water and will dominate our markets," Bollie says.

He estimates that the market for consulting firms that make online trading solutions in Norway is about 1 billion Norwegian kroner.

Convert says it even received several takeover bids last year, but wants to stay on its own.

Offers employee laundry assistance

Getting enough assignments is not the problem, but competent people are, on the other hand, quite different, according to Convert.

– There is no competition for tasks, but for employees. You have to attract with six weeks of paid vacation, course budget and conference and paid assistance to the laundry, says Ole Heintz, who is the general manager and partner of Convert.

– Is free laundry important for employees?

"It depends a lot on how they are unmarried," laughs Heintz, adding that such offers have become normal among competitors.

Convert has doubled the number of employees in Norway for eighteen months, but also had to establish offices in other countries where access to developers is better.

This agreement does not

Converse sees to a greater extent that Norwegian companies build internal e-commerce departments than what was done previously, how often a store manager who had no experience with digital commerce was to lead e-commerce store.

In recent years, e-commerce has gone from being part of the IT department to having its own employees dedicated to the online store. At the same time, we also see that more is being discussed at the board level, says Sæther.

– What is the most common mistake that Norwegian companies make when they settle online?

– What many still do not understand is that consumer behavior is different for a customer who deals in Colonial, Vita or Høyer, says Sæther.

Space to grow

While key players are contracting the market, both Convert and Visma believe there are good opportunities for further growth, also for those who are not bought.

"I think there are rooms for many smaller businesses to continue growing, but they need to find their segments and niches. At the same time, I think we will see margin pressure in the future as processes become more efficient, "says Bollie in Visma.

"You do not need so much background knowledge to start, but to succeed you need something completely different," explains the director of Visma.

One of the reasons for growth is that not only the retail industry is digitized, but also that suppliers and wholesalers will sell directly to the consumer.

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