The story of Rollei began in 1920 in a precision mechanics and optics workshop
in Braunschweig. As early as 1916, Reinhold Heidecke had the explicit idea of
marketing a new kind of roll film camera.
RCP-Technik GmbH & Co. KG acquired the trademark rights in 2007 and since then
has marketed products under the Rollei brand. Since 2015, the company has been
known as Rollei GmbH & Co. KG and currently has a presence in more than twenty
The product range is very diverse and includes professional photography accessories
such as tripods, square filters, camera backpacks and flash units as well as
actioncams, digital cameras, digital photo frames and slide scanners.
Being a well-established and recognised manufacturer’s brand within the
photography segment, Rollei made its first steps into e-commerce in 2013. “The
Rollei webstore is available in five languages – German, English, Spanish, French
and Italian. However we also sell in a range of other international markets. Our main
goal online is to inform potential buyers about the products that stand for high and
trustworthy quality as well as to present outstanding customer service and flexible
return options,” said Jessica Mueller, head of marketing, Rollei.
Rollei built a successful B2B business selling its products to major German retailers
including Media Markt, Saturn and specialised photography stores. The company also
distributes to and on Amazon and has a growing B2C business selling directly to end
consumers who are predominantly hobby photographers.
“At the beginning of our online journey, the main purpose was to direct consumers to
Rollei’s website to provide them with detailed information about the wide range of the
available products”, said Mueller. “We put a lot of effort into our website, however, we
knew that it would be difficult to keep the sales numbers high because as a brand
we are restricted with our price campaigns. We could track the visitor numbers of our
own website as well as individual products, but once the potential buyer left the site,
we had no overview about the next steps.”
Conclusively, the problem Rollei was faced with is that customers would visit its
website to research merchandise, but in many cases in order to complete the
purchase they would leave to browse the internet for retailers and on the way they
might have got distracted by competitor’s products.
“We realised that to further expand our market share, we would need to find a solution
that could fix this problem, so that we could achieve a streamlined path to purchase
for consumers,” explained Mueller.
Rollei began using ChannelAdvisor Where to Buy to ease the buying journey of their
customers. Now, by clicking on the Where to Buy widget, consumers can see Rollei’s
preferred resellers for particular products, and with one click, they’re taken directly to
the product detail page where they can check out and process their order.
“We implemented Where to Buy with relative ease. It has really helped us change
the way our brand interacts with consumers,” said Mrs. Mueller. “The launch was
straightforward – we trust the ChannelAdvisor for Brands solution and find it quite
innovative and flexible. Our account manager at ChannelAdvisor is always dedicated,
so that we could adapt our campaigns to our need.”
“The Where to Buy technology and concept perfectly aligns with our strategy — to
simplify the customer’s journey so they can quickly find the right products without the
effort of a new search on resellers websites with the reduced risk of being distracted
by the competitor’s products,” said Mueller.
Since implementing ChannelAdvisor Where to Buy, Rollei is able to track the number
of clicks for the individual resellers. “Where to Buy is a huge benefit for us because
previously we didn’t have any visibility into where consumers were going after they
came to our website to research a certain product,” said Mueller. “We’re tracking what
products consumers are looking for and where they’re going next. It all means that
consumers go through a reduced amount of steps required to purchase products and
it improves our overall e-commerce strategy by using better analytics.”
The next step for the company is the implementation of ChannelAdvisor
Marketplaces.“We have been selling on marketplaces like Amazon and eBay for
quite some time and decided to take our marketplace endeavour to the next level”,
said Mueller. “ChannelAdvisor Marketplaces offers a secure, stable and efficient
integration that will help us further expand in Germany as well as on international
scale. ChannelAdvisor is part of our immense success as a brand and we look forward
to a bright future.”
The e-commerce future looks promising for Rollei since discovering ChannelAdvisor
Where to Buy. Now the photography manufacturer can step back and focus and
strategic decision-making instead of day-to-day tactics.