Online retail under the microscope

The world’s leading fresh produce conference and networking events
Carl Collen

BY CARL COLLEN

Online retail under the microscope

Opportunities in buying and selling fresh produce online will be one of the key subjects under discussion at Fruit Logistica 2017

Online retail under the microscope

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Opinions differ on the subject of buying and selling fresh produce online, and what the future will bring for this particular medium.

Some believe that traditional trading channels are threatened as Amazon Fresh and other fresh produce delivery services become increasingly active, while others are more sceptical. The costs of the “last mile” are high, and there are doubts about consumers’ affinity for online shopping with this product category in particular.

“German consumers value freshness, guidance and direct contact with the product. Online retail will therefore struggle to take hold in Germany,” professor Horst Lang predicts. Lang is head of quality assurance at the German hypermarket chain and multiple winner of the Retail Award, Globus SB-Warenhaus.

However, Michael Meierhöfer, managing director of Ifco Systems GmbH, is convinced that omnichannel is the way of the future. “Consumer behaviour will change radically in the medium- to long-term,” he noted.

One thing on which everyone agrees is that a close eye should be kept on developments. Any changes affect more than just trade in the end product itself. They have an impact on the entire supply chain. For the packaging industry, for example, e-commerce presents both an opportunity and a challenge, and logistics providers are also expected to come up with intelligent and cost-effective solutions.

So there is plenty to discuss for the industry, which will come together at Fruit Logistica from 8-10 February 2017 in Berlin. Some 70,000 visitors are again expected to attend the world’s leading trade fair for the fresh produce industry. Companies can still register for Fruit Logistica 2017 until 31 July 2016. Registration may be completed online. The Fruit Logistica team in Berlin or one of the Messe Berlin representatives offering support in 150 countries in the respective national languages will be happy to answer any questions.

Fruit Logistica Global Brand Manager Wilfried Wollbold is clear: “In an increasingly digital world it is becoming more and more important to meet face to face at least once a year. More than any other, the fresh produce business is based on trust. This is created not by e-mailing back and forth, but only through personal contacts.”

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