He made his first considerable annual sales as an eBay powerseller. Today, with Nebulus.de, Alexander Scharnböck runs his own online shop outside of the eBay/Amazon ecosystem. In order to keep his shop up to the latest state-of-the-art technology, he relies on outsourcing and automation.
Platforms like eBay are convenient for buyers and sellers in equal measure. eBay offers everything an e-commerce provider needs to anybody who wants to sell goods online in a professional way: A well-known brand name, a fast website and all the tools needed for initiating and handling sales. More than one thousand power sellers achieved a turnover of one million euros or more in Germany alone in 2016. They are able to fully concentrate on their business; eBay takes care of the operating and further development of the platform – the costs of which, needless to say, are easily covered by the selling fees. An advantageous exchange for all concerned.
Alexander Scharnböck is 42 years old and one of the most successful eBay power sellers in Germany. He started off in a secondary suite with a garage and – besides competitive sports – discovered his second talent: To purchase the most sought-after products at the right point in time and to resell them at a profit. Scharnböck and eBay, that is a success story. He has been making use of the platform since 2003 in all its facets. He then decided to set up a second source of income in addition to eBay.
Multichannel: Independent from the eBay/Amazon ecosystem
“Anybody who only sells on eBay is dependent,” Scharnböck says today. “The recommendation algorithms can change at any time or the fees can be increased. That was an obstacle for my business to grow. After all, how can I plan in the long term on this basis?”
Consequently, he opened his own online shop on Nebulus.de and gained new entrepreneurial independence. At the same time, however, he now had to solve lots of problems by himself, problems eBay had previously taken care of such as complex payment processes, web performance and security for his website.
“Obviously, there are modular systems with which you can set up a shop with little effort. But then again, you become somewhat dependent again doing that, as the overall infrastructure remains with the provider and you have little influence if the website is running too slowly,” says Scharnböck. So he set up a new one and integrated the existing content. Complex projects and technologies have never discouraged him. He relied on the concept of chaotic storage and on automating complex processes as far as possible.
With the opening of Nebulus.de, Scharnböck was suddenly the small fish in the sea. His competitors now are, of all companies, eBay or even Amazon – huge enterprises with their own infrastructure and competence in e-commerce that have become established since the 90s. Scharnböck is not the kind of person, however, to avoid a mountain just because there is no mountain pass that leads to the summit. He thinks in solutions, not in problems.
1-Click Page Speed
“I need a website that is fast and easy to operate, whatever the solution may be. Otherwise, my customers will be pulling out before they have even ordered the shopping basket. That is a fact. I don’t need to linger on the reasons, but make the site fast, whatever way I do it.”
As a matter of fact, Amazon calculated back in 2012 that every additional second of loading time would cost the enterprise a billion US dollars in losses in sales. And that second is there in no time. In order to become faster, global market leaders thus go to great lengths in research and development.
“When I sell on eBay or Amazon, I can always be certain that their developers will take care of the platform and always keep it technologically up-to-date, even when it comes to page speed,” says Scharnböck.
But who is taking care of the page speed of Nebulus? Employing a huge team of experts is out of the question; it does not match the company’s strategy either. Scharnböck adopted the solution from himself – namely that of chaotic storage. “That was a great gain in efficiency back then, to simply trust the machine when and where to store which products. And when web performance became increasingly relevant and more complex, I also took a look to see if that couldn’t be automated.”
Nebulus has thus been relying on wao.io since autumn 2017. The automated service optimises websites during the transmission to the user without intervening in the source text. Scharnböck’s IT specialists only had to change a DNS entry for this purpose and the loading time of the website already improved from 7.8 to 4.5 seconds.
The service is an internal development by Sevenval, a technology service provider from Cologne and Berlin. Normally, DAX enterprises form part of our clientele but, for quite a while now, the digitalisation experts have been involved in developing new self-service products that can also be put to meaningful use outside of a complex enterprise environment.
“Today, web performance and security are more important for a good user experience than ever before,” says Roland Gülle, the brains behind wao.io at Sevenval. “Yet, always being state-of-the-art is extremely laborious.” And so that the effort does not have to be shouldered by every single website provider, Gülle devised a technology with his team that takes care of that – and even more: “Not only the new features that the large browser manufacturers develop are integrated into wao.io. We ourselves are also researching new ways to make websites faster and safer.”
This is a blessing for e-commerce experts such as Schamböck. “I’m a businessman, not an IT expert,” he says.
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