International expansion with your own brand: this is how Wickey does the trick!

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We spoke with Florian Spehl, Marketplaces Specialist at Wickey GmbH & Co. KG.

How did you come up with the idea of selling homemade climbing equipment?

"The company was originally a lumberyard, where we made all kinds of products out of wood. In the early 1990s, owner Guido Goyen developed the first wooden climbing equipment, and soon the first climbing sets and swings were being sold. As the Internet gained popularity in the late 1990s, Guido decided to start selling the climbing equipment online. This soon proved to be a great success! In 2009 Wickey was launched and the climbing equipment was sold under this trade name. Since then we have continued to grow and have become the market leader in Europe. We have also expanded our offering by including wooden bed frames and bunk beds."

"The strength of our organization lies in our Customer First mentality. At Wickey, this is not just a nice sales pitch, but the whole driving force behind our organization. We are happy when we see beaming children's eyes and satisfied parents.''

Why did you make the move to marketplaces?

"You have customers who do not like to shop in online stores, but choose to make their purchases on marketplaces. This can result from various reasons, for example, the customer may have an account with marketplaces such as Amazon and thus benefit from free delivery and fast delivery. It could also be that the customer is still in the orientation phase and is not sure what or from whom they want to buy something. To be able to serve those customers, we made the move to marketplaces."

"This was over 7 years ago, we were present on marketplaces from the beginning. At that time Ebay was especially very popular, especially Ebay Auctions, while now marketplaces like ManoMano, Amazon and Otto are the most popular in Germany. Meanwhile, we sell on the largest marketplaces in Europe such as, Kaufland, Cdiscount and Allegro. We made a conscious decision to focus only on the largest marketplaces, because that's where we reach a larger audience and turn more sales."

What challenges do you face when selling on marketplaces with your own branded products?

"Different rules apply on marketplaces compared to your own webshop. On marketplaces, you have to meet strict performance targets for example. However, we are now also using these guidelines to improve our own webshop business. This is where our Customer First mentality comes in handy; we make sure that possible complaints are handled properly and reviews are always provided with an answer. We have arranged our customer service entirely in-house for that extra personal touch."

"With marketplaces you are not lord and master of the Customer Journey, you will have to set up a separate strategy for this. For example, on the marketplaces we offer a select number of products that we know sell well with the marketplace customer. Should the customer be looking for more choice, they'll find the entire range with us in our webshop!"

How did the need for an integrator arise? And why did you choose EffectConnect?

"We are currently active on about 40 marketplaces across 16 countries and will continue to expand in the future. To keep everything running smoothly, you simply need technical support with this plus you save an awful lot of time by automating certain processes."

"Previously, we were working with another integrator, but they were not working properly. Then we ended up with EffectConnect and from the first moment of contact it felt right. EffectConnect offers good functionality and excellent support."


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