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Fulfilment: your outsourced warehouse

14 April 2016 – Fulfilment companies are preparing for the expected boom in e-commerce by automating warehouse and other services for online retailers. Hanging or lying? The question refers to the most significant difference in […]

Fulfilment: your outsourced warehouse

14 April 2016 – Fulfilment companies are preparing for the expected boom in e-commerce by automating warehouse and other services for online retailers.

Hanging or lying? The question refers to the most significant difference in fashion storage compared with other products: clothing must often be stored hanging if the item is to be delivered in perfect condition. “Storage of hanging goods is more expensive than conventional warehouse storage: it requires more space and special equipment,” explains Ingo Heinze, CEO of Modotex.

The online fashion sales agency was established in 2007 and is now active worldwide. The company focus is selling fashion on international marketplaces. The service portfolio includes automated product descriptions in 15 languages, marketing, reporting, customer support and handling logistics.

In Heinze’s experience, even major providers like Amazon have their problems with fulfilment services. He sees Arvato as the clear pioneer in fashion logistics, with others springing up later to join the fashion bandwagon. DHL and Hermes have in the meantime also developed their expertise. A further factor is that hanging storage is less easy to automate. “This is also why many vendors are cautious about getting started,” Heinze added.

Investments in automation
If a customer wishes, Hermes Fulfilment can store their hanging goods at its facility in Suedhafen in Haldensleben, which the company has just upgraded technically. In a 30,000-square-metre hall, goods from external customers – i.e. not part of the Otto Group – are stored, picked and packaged. The site has 60,000 storage locations for hanging clothing and 540,000 storage locations for folded garments. From the site, Hermes Fulfilment ships items for online stores that fit into a standard carton or shipping bag – mainly items from the worlds of fashion and home & living.

Significant investments have also been made in the picking and sorting technology, including an automated, guided vehicle system. This conveys the trays with the orders from the picking area to the transfer station, where they are raised onto the conveyor system. Previously, processing at Suedhafen was a manual operation.
One reason for the automation: Hermes Fulfilment expects an increase of online orders, so it has increased its processing capacity at Suedhafen from 12 million to 35 million units per year.

Merchant size is decisive for service providers
“By tripling our throughput capacity we achieve two advantages: the unit price per unit processes is lower; and thanks to the technological support, employee productivity and throughput times have been improved”, explains Dieter Urbanke, CEO at Hermes Fulfilment, an Otto Group company. “The new technology allows us to offer attractive prices and advanced logistics services,” he says. Urbanke also expects the technological investment to attract new customers for e-commerce fulfilment.
Many factors determine whether an online retailer takes warehouse operations into their own hands, or uses an external service provider. “One important factor, of course, is the size of the company. If a retailer only delivers a modest volume, this is of little interest to many service providers,” explains Heinze.

Until recently, this was also the case at Hermes: previously, online retailers shipping a certain volume were the main target group. Now, the service is also open to start-ups and smaller retailers. To this end, a special fulfilment solution, Smartful, was introduced specifically for small and medium-sized online retailers last autumn.

A modular range specifically for small firms
Smartful consists of the basic warehouse logistics package, plus the warehousing and returns management modules. Additional modules can be added, including customer service, finance and shipping goods. The underlying IT architecture is modular and can interface with various shopping cart software solutions. “Repeated fine-tuning of the software is no longer necessary,” explains Urbanke. This facilitates entry into professional e-commerce.

Often, the decision to outsource fulfilment comes down to the company policy: if, for example, a fashion manufacturer makes its first venture into e-commerce, it suddenly has to deal with a number of entirely new questions, such as product photos and descriptions, payment, marketing, etc., which were not previously part of its core competences. “If a company then also has to take care of logistics, it is sometimes better to bite the bullet and get a service provider on board,” says Heinze, CEO of Modotex.

More and more providers in the market
The advantage for the shop operator: as demand for logistics and fulfilment services continues to increase due to the growth of e-commerce, more vendors will enter the market. Even new-comers that have developed comprehensive industry know-how from their own business, will discover the benefits of fulfilment. Even Zalando intends to expand its business model with fulfilment services. The range of services offered by fulfilment providers is constantly growing: Arvato SCM, for example, lets online retailers shoot product photos direct at its warehouse photo studio. Nevertheless, Heinze recommends that shop owners limit themselves to a few partners – after all, every outsider wants a piece of the pie.

Another reason in favour of a company taking logistics into its own hands: greater flexibility. If the merchant has the goods in his own warehouse, he can quickly find the product and respond to any customer queries. The same applies for the returns processing: after an initial visual check, it must be decided how to proceed with the returned garment. If a service provider handles this, an extensive checklist needs to be drawn up in that the right decision is made in each individual case. Again, the question remains: is returns processing part of the retailer’s core competence? And how many items must he process, on average? The higher this number, the stronger the case (and the cheaper it becomes) for using a service provider.

Gather multiple offers and renegotiate prices
If a retailer is looking for a fulfilment partner, he should in any case look closely at the market and collect a number of offers. Alongside the service offered, other factors play a role, including geographical coverage, international shipping costs and customs clearance. Finally, the price is important: according to Heinze, is one of the largest expenses. If a service provider dispatches large volume, it can negotiate far better prices with DHL, Hermes & Co.

Hermes Fulfilment offers customers two billing methods: on the one hand, unit-related prices; on the other hand, a net sales solution. In the latter variant, Hermes receives a percentage of net sales from the merchant as consideration for the fulfilment.

Thus, part of the cost-risk remains with the fulfilment service, Urbanke explains, and both the merchant and the service provider are trying equally to keep the return rate as low as possible. The majority of customers currently opts for unit-related pricing, while around a quarter chooses the net sales solution, according to Urbanke. A typical contract is for three years.

Heinze has a further tip for online retailers: to keep costs under control, they should always gather more offers, and renegotiate repeatedly with their service provider. This applies especially if the merchant has strong growth and increasing shipping volumes.

Released:
internetworld.de, 14 April 2016

Press Contact:
CORELATIONS
Agency for Public Relations
Gabi Westerteiger, Tel.: +49 (0)40 6461-5372
Kathrin-Luise Fiesel, Tel.: +49 (0)40 6461-5305
Werner-Otto-Straße 1-7, 22179 Hamburg
Mail: gabi.westerteiger@corelations.de
Mail: kathrin-luise.fiesel@corelations.de

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modotex makes an impression at Internet World

2 March 2016 – The online sales agency successfully presents the world’s first digital Fashion Standard. modotex GmbH presented its services for the first time at the Internet World trade fair in Munich. The company […]

modotex makes an impression at Internet World

2 March 2016 – The online sales agency successfully presents the world’s first digital Fashion Standard.

modotex GmbH presented its services for the first time at the Internet World trade fair in Munich. The company mission: to market fashion worldwide, as effectively as possible. modotex was able to establish a number of contacts with decision-makers while presenting its worldwide-exclusive modotex Fashion Standard. The superior proprietary technology allows the online sales agency to handle profitable digital distribution of fashion to the end customer – whether it’s exclusive premium brand clothing or standard fashion for a wider audience. Visitors also responded enthusiastically to the presentation by Nicolas Kröger, Head of E-Commerce & IT at modotex, who demonstrated the modotex Fashion standard using the best practice example of plus-size label sheego.

“The Internet World gave us the perfect opportunity to enjoy interesting discussions with potential partners from trade and wholesale,” enthuses Ingo Gerald Heinze, Founder and CEO of modotex, about a positive exhibition. “Visitors were impressed by our modotex Fashion Standard, which offers fashion manufacturers and brands a unique advantage: maximum reach, available immediately.”

Visitors were particularly interested in the proprietary technology behind the Fashion Standard: in just one hour, modotex can translate the respective product information into 15 languages and position the products for sale on more than 50 international distribution platforms. This gives partners from the fashion industry a considerably shorter time-to-market – and an immediate increase in sales.

Nicolas Kröger demonstrated a best-practice example of how the cooperation works in practice: fashion manufacturers and brands such as sheego make the goods, while modotex handles online distribution (and, on request, product description, photography, reporting, customer support and logistics). The owner-managed medium-sized company guarantees its customers full visibility and control over the appearance and placement of their fashions. The entire process is extremely fast, and full the sales process is handled from a single source. The result for the customer: multiplied sales potential without additional investment costs and resource binding. “The modotex Fashion Standard gives our customers a real competitive advantage. And to keep it that way, we will continue to strategically develop the solution,” Heinze emphasises.

Released:
it Note, 02 March 2016
Nachrichten.net, 02 March 2016

Press Contact:
CORELATIONS
Agency for Public Relations
Gabi Westerteiger, Tel.: +49 (0)40 6461-5372
Kathrin-Luise Fiesel, Tel.: +49 (0)40 6461-5305
Werner-Otto-Straße 1-7, 22179 Hamburg
Mail: gabi.westerteiger@corelations.de
Mail: kathrin-luise.fiesel@corelations.de

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modotex expands its international customer portfolio

25 January 2016 – Online sales agency wins over five new partners More and more renowned fashion companies are turning to the unique technology of modotex GmbH for their online retail needs. In the past […]

modotex expands its international customer portfolio

25 January 2016 – Online sales agency wins over five new partners

More and more renowned fashion companies are turning to the unique technology of modotex GmbH for their online retail needs. In the past few weeks alone, the company from Hanover gained five new partners, notably Rivergate GmbH & Co. KG. From February, modotex will handle sales on online platforms across Europe for the Wellensteyn subsidiary, supporting the jacket specialist in this first step towards internationalisation. “We are delighted that more and more fashion manufacturers are turning to the modotex Fashion Standard and our cross-channel online sales of their products,” says Ingo Gerald Heinze, Founder and CEO of modotex. Besides Rivergate, the brands Strenesse, Jet Set, Casamoda and Hiltl were also convinced by the unique service from modotex.

With the unique modotex Fashion Standard, product descriptions can be translated into as many as 15 languages and presented as retail offers on up to 50 international distribution platforms and online marketplaces – in less than an hour. modotex partners can thus open up international fashion markets quickly and easily, multiplying their sales potential without risk or tying up resources. They also benefit from revenue-based billing. “Following our successful German launch last autumn, our goal is now to expand into other European countries,” explains Falko Brejla, Managing Director of Rivergate. “With the support of modotex, we can access international markets quickly and make our jackets available to a far wider audience.”

modotex handles the entire fulfilment process for its new customers. This includes not only preparing and translating product information, but also product photography, creating and processing offers, and storing and shipping goods. Multilingual customer support is part of the services. Depending on the partner, goods can be marketed and sold in Germany, the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. According to the individual needs, future expansion into other countries is also possible.

Released:
IT Note, 25 January 2016

Press Contact:
CORELATIONS
Agency for Public Relations
Gabi Westerteiger, Tel.: +49 (0)40 6461-5372
Kathrin-Luise Fiesel, Tel.: +49 (0)40 6461-5305
Werner-Otto-Straße 1-7, 22179 Hamburg
Mail: gabi.westerteiger@corelations.de
Mail: kathrin-luise.fiesel@corelations.de

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modotex presents at Internet World for the first time

18 January 2016 – Online sales agency presents its global digital fashion exclusive: the Fashion Standard. modotex GmbH presented its own booth at the Internet World trade fair in Munich this year for the first […]

modotex presents at Internet World for the first time

18 January 2016 – Online sales agency presents its global digital fashion exclusive: the Fashion Standard.

modotex GmbH presented its own booth at the Internet World trade fair in Munich this year for the first time. On the 1st and 2nd of March, the online sales agency presented its services to trade visitors, which allow customers to market their products on worldwide distribution platforms. The focus of the presentation was on the modotex world exclusive, its Fashion Standard: the superior, unique technology allows the sales accelerator to translate the respective fashion product information into 15 world languages in just one hour, shortening the time-to-market and making an immediate sales boost possible. The modotex Fashion Standard stands for rapid positioning of fashion items on more than 50 international distribution platforms, with the high quality multi-lingual product translations that modotex guarantees its customers.

Sustainable success in online business calls for global thinking.

“The modotex Fashion Standard makes it possible for companies to market their clothing to end customers profitably and digitally. Our standardised process means we can handle the entire online sales process for manufacturers – that’s high-speed, comprehensive sales management from a single source, and without additional investment costs,” says Ingo Gerald Heinze, Founder and CEO of modotex, on the benefits for partners. “We have a technological lead of at least two to three years over the competition.” For modotex, the leading European e-commerce trade fair was an ideal opportunity to present the revolutionary technology to decision makers from retail and wholesale. At the fair Nicolas Kröger, Head of E-Commerce & IT at modotex used a best-practices example to give further insight into the modotex Fashion Standard.

Another advantage is the multiplication of the sales potential without risk and tying up resources.

Fashion manufacturers and brands provide the goods, while modotex handles online distribution (and product descriptions, photography, reporting, customer support and logistics on request). The high, internationally consistent quality of product descriptions ensures global, brand-oriented representation. The owner-managed medium-sized agency guarantees customers full visibility and control over the appearance and placement of their fashion articles.

Released:
Hannover News, 18 January 2016
Nachrichten.net, 18 January 2016

Press Contact:
CORELATIONS
Agency for Public Relations
Gabi Westerteiger, Tel.: +49 (0)40 6461-5372
Kathrin-Luise Fiesel, Tel.: +49 (0)40 6461-5305
Werner-Otto-Straße 1-7, 22179 Hamburg
Mail: gabi.westerteiger@corelations.de
Mail: kathrin-luise.fiesel@corelations.de

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Online sales agency modotex strengthens its team

17 December 2015 – The global online sales agency modotex is on a growth course. Using its unique technology, the company can translate product information into 15 languages at once, opening up international marketplaces to […]

Online sales agency modotex strengthens its team

17 December 2015 – The global online sales agency modotex is on a growth course.

Using its unique technology, the company can translate product information into 15 languages at once, opening up international marketplaces to its fashion industry customers and thus supporting their internationalisation strategy. Beyond increased sales, this success is reflected in the expansion of the modotex team. Two new members have recently been brought in to reinforce the team of fashion and e-commerce specialists.

Daniel Olstinski, 22, joined modotex as Head of New Business in early November. Trained in wholesale and foreign trade, Daniel already has a wealth of experience in fashion and sales. Most recently, he was the CEO Assistant at Gustav Ramelow KG in Elmshorn, where he handled cooperation management, among other things. As a startup entrepreneur, he also expanded his e-commerce expertise in B2B and B2C fashion distribution at Label Loft. In modotex he now leads the team responsible for expanding the customer base and acquiring new partners.

Dr. Stefan Konarski, 43, has headed the modotex IT team since mid-June. The PhD in chemistry has many years of professional experience as a PHP developer and is an expert in the Zend and Symfony PHP frameworks. After positions as Senior Web Developer at best it GmbH & Co. KG, Technical Director at Oleco GmbH and most recently, as CEO of Oleco’s successor Hoody GmbH, Konarski now leads the IT team in further developing modotex technologies.

Released:
Fashionmag.com, 17 December 2015

Press Contact:
CORELATIONS
Agency for Public Relations
Gabi Westerteiger, Tel.: +49 (0)40 6461-5372
Kathrin-Luise Fiesel, Tel.: +49 (0)40 6461-5305
Werner-Otto-Straße 1-7, 22179 Hamburg
Mail: gabi.westerteiger@corelations.de
Mail: kathrin-luise.fiesel@corelations.de

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A successful business year for the online distributing agency modotex

8 December 2015 – 15 languages, 50 sales platforms, 800 million potential customers – new international fashion sales channels within just one hour. 2015 was a successful business year for modotex GmbH. The global online […]

A successful business year for the online distributing agency modotex

8 December 2015 – 15 languages, 50 sales platforms, 800 million potential customers – new international fashion sales channels within just one hour.

2015 was a successful business year for modotex GmbH. The global online distributing agency for fashion registered an increase in turnover of more than 500% compared to last year. As a sales enabler, the Hannover-based company supports its clients in positioning their retail offerings on global sales platforms and thus provides a cost and resource-efficient entry to international markets. This business year (ending 31 December 2015), modotex convinced its partners with its own specially developed technology. What makes this technology unique is its ability to create product information in as many languages as you like inside of just one hour. The information is then used to generate retail offerings on sales platforms all over the world. Precisely this technology enabled the creation of over 20 new sales channels for clients such as sheego, Strenesse and CasaModa.

Breaking down the language barriers

The online fashion sales agency uses its superior technology to convert product information into 15 languages at the same time. This multi-lingual approach combined with automated standards for various markets means that modotex does not simply overcome languages barriers in the international fashion industry, but is also in a position to ideally address the specific circumstances of individual platforms and countries, including different sizes and currencies. In this way, a single product becomes visible to 800 million potential customers in 15 languages and on 50 sales platforms all over the world inside of just one hour.

Global first!

“Developments over the past twelve months have far surpassed our expectations. In addition to acquiring important major clients, our total sales have progressed positively in the international markets”, says Ingo Gerald Heinze, founder and CEO of modotex, summing up. “We are following a new strategy of making fashion available all over the world on online B2C marketplaces. Instead of seeking gradual entry into an increasing number of countries, our slogan is ‘Global first!’ Think globally and then decide which platforms to use as a means to present fashion in the various markets.”

The principle is clear: fashion manufacturers and brands provide the goods, modotex looks after online sales and, on request, product descriptions, photography, reporting, customer support and logistics. A great advantage for retailers is that they can play on all the appropriate national and international markets at the same time without any technical hurdles, while still addressing their specific target group.”

Developing the market and technological leadership in the New Year

Over the past year, the company has integrated ten languages – including Russian and Chinese – and has also integrated additional sales channels in Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland as part of its strategy to make fashion available all over the world on B2C marketplaces such as Allegro, LaRedoute, Amazon, eBaby, Sears and Tesco. Further platforms, specifically in Asia, North America and Eastern Europe, are due to be connected in the coming year. “Second round financing in the first quarter of the New Year will help us to strengthen our financial position and to develop our role as the market and technological leaders”, says Ingo Gerald Heinze, in anticipation of 2016.

Released:
Der Tagesspiegel, 8 December 2015
Fashionmag.com, 9 December 2015

Press Contact:
CORELATIONS
Agency for Public Relations
Gabi Westerteiger, Tel.: +49 (0)40 6461-5372
Kathrin-Luise Fiesel, Tel.: +49 (0)40 6461-5305
Werner-Otto-Straße 1-7, 22179 Hamburg
Mail: gabi.westerteiger@corelations.de
Mail: kathrin-luise.fiesel@corelations.de

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