The K5: This year for the first time only online

The K5: This year for the first time only online

K5 as the most important industry event for e-commerce: dealers, brand suppliers and founders as well as industry experts meet to exchange ideas. What is it all about? About nothing less than the online trade of the future!

Practice-oriented exchange of knowledge with many concrete use cases provided the participants with new strategy impulses - freely adapted from the slogan #LearnFromTheBest.

In addition to information and networking, the focus was also on industry observation: forecasts and new services were presented and solution providers introduced themselves.

This year K5 had to reinvent itself and take place online due to the current situation. We provide a summary of the first K5 Digital and go into new trends and forecasts as well as the characteristics of successful online shops.

New implementation

In the K5 studio, Sven Rittau, Co-founder & MD of K5, interviewed founders or top executives together with Jochen Krisch, publisher of Exciting Commerce. During the practice-oriented exchange new trends and strategies were discussed.

K5 partners presented themselves at the K5 sessions and master classes. The offer included information lectures on topics from the daily business of many online shops and thus provided concrete added value for the audience. The sessions were conducted via zoom, enabling interactive exchange via chat between presenters and listeners.

Spryker@K5: Selected industry representatives presented themselves and their concepts for the successful onlineCommerce. In addition to best practices, Alexander Graf reflected on e-commerce topics. All in all, the focus of this virtual stage was on discussion and joint learning.

In addition to the provision of information, interactivity was a relevant factor at K5: The K5 Roundtables offered a platform for the exchange of information on defined topics in smaller groups. Chat functions at the individual sessions were supplemented by four different group chats, divided according to the focus of interest - "Dealer meets Dealer", "Brand meets Brand", "K5 Orga" or "search & find" for suppliers of software and tools or the exchange of contacts.

In the K5 live ticker, trade experts had their say and shared their assessments and comments on the current programme directly in the event web interface - an entertaining addition to knowledge exchange and networking.

More than 75 sessions have taken place on the various virtual stages. More than 30 speakers were invited - including Olaf Koch, CEO of Metro AG or Vanessa Stützle, CDO of the Douglas Group or Andreas Schobert, CTO of Hornbach.

Proven contents

The overall goal of K5 was to provide a platform for e-commerce experts to present and discuss new trends and developments and to learn from practice in order to promote the successful onlineCommerce of the future. As a result, the online event covered various sectors, such as fashion, sports, construction and hobbies, and offered information and exchange formats.

In the lecture "Shops vs. marketplaces vs. platforms: The three e-commerce generations" by Alexander Graf, Spryker Systems GmbH, focused on the different potentials of e-commerce formats. The balance of implemented omnichannel strategies was sobering - success is more likely to be found in niche markets. The paradigm shift towards the new relevance of speed and automation was also discussed. In this context, different commerce generations were also presented, which differ mainly in the inventory risk taken. Increasingly, services are entering the market that do not originate in e-commerce but in the area of communication and entertainment. An example of this is the new shop functions of social networks. Since these services are limited to the intermediary function, the inventory risk is correspondingly low. Changes in customer behaviour lead to increased demands in the technical area. An analysis of various platforms shows that the company's turnover correlates with the number of IT employees. Learning: IT is key.

The session "The new shopping platforms - an update" with Jochen Krisch comes to similar conclusions: Social media platforms have an enormous potential to develop into the new shopping platforms. For retailers and providers, this means that they must learn from these media formats and the successful players in them right now. For example, the role of content creators has increased enormously and as a retailer or brand, you have to be aware that you are fighting against influencers in the battle for customer attention. Adapting to the new media usage behaviour is also a prerequisite for e-commerce success - here it is important to remember that each end device represents a specific usage behaviour which must be taken into account. In order to be successful, it is of course necessary to successfully communicate which problems the company or product solves for the user. But in addition to the message, emotionalisation and entertainment are increasingly relevant. Not only the brand and product experience needs to be digitalized, but also consulting services are affected: Conversational commerce is identified here as the topic of the future. So e-commerce remains an industry that is constantly in a state of flux and constantly offers new challenges. Accordingly, agility and flexibility are the decisive characteristics for long-term success.

Background information and concrete recommendations for action on the topic of "SEO for online shops" were provided by Mario Träger from the webworks agency. The result pages of online search engines (SERPs) are constantly changing: While a few years ago, organic search results were still displayed in the upper part of the page, you can now only find paid content there. In the mobile version this is even more pronounced than on the desktop. How important is SEO, i.e. search engine optimisation of your own web content, in this context? Even though the importance has decreased and new channels (e.g. social media, affiliate marketing) have been added, SEO is still a relevant part of a successful marketing strategy. But the challenges are great and often come in the form of adaptations of Google algorithms: these updates usually lead to significant losses in the visibility of websites. Mario Träger gives an overview of the SEO topics of the future: Currently, indexing management is very relevant and site operators should ensure that only really relevant pages are indexed by Google, i.e. analyzed and taken into account for the evaluation of the web presence. A comparison of the indexed pages with the pages listed in the sitemap is recommended to detect possible indexing errors. Mobile First should be the basic understanding of all website operators. Regardless of whether it is implemented in the form of a separate app, responsive design or different landing pages - the web presence that can be accessed via mobile should have the highest priority, as this forms the basis of the page rating by Google. This is also due to changing usage habits - more than 50% of searches are performed on mobile devices. In order to enrich and individualize the appearance in the results page, snippets (Meta Title, Meta Description, Rich Snippets and Featured Snippets) must be set. This can have a positive effect on the ranking and the user can be better reached. The keyword scaling is divided into different phases by Mario Träger: After the enrichment of the websites (e.g. product/category page) additional landing pages can be created (e.g. glossary, magazine) in order to optimally allocate the identified keywords. In addition to the current topics, the ranking factors from 2021 on are also of interest: In this context, website and online shop operators should already now focus on user-friendliness and the corresponding Core Web Vitals defined by Google as new KPIs. Specifically, it is a question of when the core content is loaded and how stable the visual layout of the page is when loaded. Equally relevant is how long it takes for the browser to respond to an initial user interaction (e.g. click on a button or link). These KPIs are already integrated into the common tools and can be viewed via the PageSpeed Insights Tool or the Google Search Console. In general, it is crucial for the success of the SEO strategy that the own KPIs are known, a structured approach is taken and the right expectations are met - because SEO is not a sprint, but rather a marathon.

Best practices and strategies of currently successful online shops show that customers are becoming more and more the focus of attention: the user experience is crucial and requires an easy, intuitive usability of the shop. At the same time, an emotional quality is required that inspires and stimulates customers to buy. - Originality and creativity as well as technical know-how are therefore required for the implementation.

New variants of navigation are successful: horizontal scrolling or swiping through product variants and images picks up the display forms of social networks and can also be used for navigation bars. Relevant elements, such as the shopping basket, can be fixed on the screen so that they are always accessible and part of the customer's perception. The design of the navigation elements and page layout should of course correspond to and support the respective brand or platform. But no matter which features are implemented, fast loading times are crucial for the user experience. Content and services are also customer-focused: Comprehensive product information is stored both in text form and directly in the image. A large selection of different variants as well as suggestions for combinations or additional articles help to expand the shopping basket. Clothing, for example, is presented on different models to provide a means of identification. User-generated content, such as ratings from other customers (or experts) are integrated and have a direct influence on the purchase decision. Demand can be stimulated by displaying additional counters that provide information on how many times the product has already been purchased in a defined period of time. Emotionalisation is also an important aspect: companies can use the storytelling for themselves by comprehensively thematising and illustrating either the product or, for example, their own start-up story. Original content (pictures, brochures, videos, etc.) can also be a strategy for success, but requires a corresponding effort in the creation and management of the material. In summary, successful e-commerce requires a shopping experience that is easy to use and at the same time fancy, and which picks up and supports the respective brand or platform in the best possible way.


K5 Digital was a successful online event with exciting sessions - congratulations to the organisers who have implemented a new format so successfully in such a short time. The wrap-up was also a positive experience for the organisers. Some of the new online formats, such as the live ticker as an additional view from outside, could also be integrated into future physical events. The conclusion is "The future is bright."

Nevertheless, everyone agrees that the physical trade fair has become a popular fixed point in the field of e-commerce - not only because of the exciting topics, but also because of the networking and successful supporting programme in Berlin. This is something many people miss - especially since 2020 marked the 10th anniversary of K5. All the more reason why we at Onedot are looking forward to welcoming you physically at our stand at K5 in Berlin on 22 and 23 June 2021.