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Created on 02.08.2023

Online shops and e-commerce: the keys to success based on real life

What makes a successful online shop? The best Swiss e-commerce solutions are honoured each year at the Digital Commerce Awards, held as part of the SCORE! e-commerce conference. In 2023, Hebetech AG was honoured in two categories. Head of Marketing Reto Müller explains what he values when it comes to the Hebetech platform, and why it is a lot more than an online shop.

Impressions video from the SCORE! event (2023).

At first glance, the Hebetech AG online platform may look like a conventional online shop. However, there is more to than meets the eye. It is a platform that provides its customers with a positive experience – way beyond just shopping itself. This is why the Swiss family-run company of 35 employees was honoured in two categories at the 2023 Digital Commerce Awards (run as part of SCORE!), specifically: B2B Usability & Content and Omni-Channel & Innovation.

Since 2009, the company has provided services and products in the field of hoisting technology, such as lifting mechanisms and devices, load restraints and occupational safety services. The company’s customers primarily come from structural and civil engineering, mechanical engineering, industry, the transport sector and administration, as well as the B2C sector. In our interview, Head of Marketing Reto Müller outlines what the hoisting tech platform means to the success of the company, and reveals what makes the e-commerce solution unique.

Profil Reto Müller

Reto Müller is Head of Marketing with Hebetech AG. The family-run company was honoured twice at the Digital Commerce Awards 2023.

How important is e-commerce to Hebetech AG?

Reto Müller: our online platform, which went live in 2011, is in many regards an important, indispensable tool for our business, and not just for revenue. Specifically, we also use our online platform as an internal information platform for our sales employees. When it comes to on-site consultations, for example, our field staff can access information across over 10,000 articles on their tablets. This means the platform also acts as a permanent replacement for a print catalogue. Last but not least, we have also integrated a customer platform into where our customers can manage objects requiring inspection and generate inspection certificates, for instance when it comes to sling chains, protective helmets and safety harnesses. In short, our online presence is a central platform that is used intensively by both our customers and ourselves.

What did the jury at the Digital Commerce Awards like in particular about your platform?

For one thing, we have – according to Laudatio – found a good way of advertising the comprehensive information we have on our range so that customers can discover our products with ease. We are especially pleased about the positive feedback because we don’t offer convenience products, but products that are highly technical in nature. We have also been praised because we have collated all the channels we offer our customers in a single system – our ERP. What this means specifically is that, regardless whether you, as a customer, place your orders over the phone, with the field staff directly or in our online shop, you will find all your orders online on our customer platform. This means our customers are able to keep track across the various channels.

What e-commerce trends are important to Hebetech AG?

A major area for us is marketing automation, or to put it another way, our ambition to get the right information through to the right customers at the right time in a data-driven, software-supported manner. One of our biggest challenges is that we not only have a diverse range of products, but also a varied range of customers – from large industrial groups to small horticultural businesses. Marketing automation would help us reach and support our customers in a more targeted and tailored way. We do actually have a relevant project in the pipeline at the moment, but this isn’t official yet. The reason for this is that it will require major investments.

What would you say are the most important keys to the success of the Hebetech platform?

From the very outset, we had high expectations of the e-commerce sector, in addition to the robust support of an experienced partner. Together, we built a fully-integrated solution, the core of which is our ERP. Seeing as this solution is more labour and cost-intensive than a solitary online shop, we needed the commitment of the Executive Board. Today, statistics show that we chose the right path. Our configurators, who help our customers compile their products the way they want, are also key to the success of our shop.

Why did you take part in SCORE!?

I love going back to SCORE! To me, it’s one of the most important events when it comes to digital commerce in Switzerland. It helps you stay up to date. You can also find out what solutions are available on the market, and what challenges other companies face. At the same time, it can be reassuring to know that much larger companies are struggling with the same problems and are in the same boat – it just happens to be a bigger boat.

Why do you offer PostFinance payment methods at

Firstly, because we see PostFinance as an important partner in payment solutions and Swiss Post in logistics. We send everything with Swiss Post. Secondly because it is important to us as a Swiss family-run company to be able to offer our customers services provided by other Swiss companies.

What matters most to you when it comes to improving your platform?

An online shop is like a catalogue: it can become outdated. An online shop is never complete – you have to stay on the ball as new requirements and technologies come to light. As we work on improving the platform, we stick to a principle we apply to many areas: if we’re going to do something, we do it right, and we bring in the resources we need to do just that.

What is your top e-commerce tip?

You need to know your customers and to recognize what their needs are, what problems they face, and what could make their lives easier. This is the only way you’ll be able to develop a solution that benefits your customers. As for us, we tend to get this information via our field staff, who are close to our customers. This, in turn, allows us to focus on the essentials and to make adjustments in the right place. This is important as we don’t have unlimited resources.

Digital Commerce Awards and SCORE!

The Digital Commerce Awards honour the best online shops in Switzerland, and are held as part of SCORE! – the Swiss Conference for Retail and E-Commerce.
The event is one of the most prestigious industry award ceremonies in Switzerland. Companies who want to take part can register online between 1 December 2023 and 29 February 2024. PostFinance, which offers attractive e-commerce payment solutions, is a proud presenting partner of the Digital Commerce Awards, together with Swiss Post.

The next SCORE! will take place on 29 May 2024.

Interested in e-commerce? Keep up to date

Find valuable tips and tricks for digital commerce on Swiss Post’s expert platform.

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