Hamburg, 5 June 2020 - For a year now, the European B2B platform EUROPAGES and the German market leader in digital B2B marketplaces "Wer liefert was" (wlw) have been united under the corporate brand Visable. The aim was clear: anyone looking for digital marketing and sales solutions for SMEs in Europe should not be able to avoid Visable.
And Visable has come a big step closer to this goal: Investments in personnel, technologies and site expansions have resulted in a significant increase in sales and new customers over the past twelve months. Covid 19-related trade fair cancellations and the collapse of apparently proven supply chains also led to a significant increase in the number of hits in recent months.
"We are very satisfied with the first Visable year, but we are by no means resting on our laurels. There is still a huge potential for B2B platforms out there. In combination with the worldwide acceleration of digitization triggered by the Corona crisis, all signs are clearly pointing to growth," explains Peter F. Schmid, CEO of Visable. He sees an enormous opportunity, especially in the long-term elimination of trade fairs. "Trade fairs as we used to know them are simply no longer up to date. We assume that one in four will no longer exist in their usual form next year."
The advantages of digital sourcing and digital marketing are therefore convincing in the short and long term. A quick overview of all available providers, acquisitions of new customers locally to worldwide, the measurability of budget deployment and availability 365 days a year are just some of the advantages offered by platforms such as EUROPAGES and wlw.
Significantly increased access figures - and the trend is upwards
Since the beginning of the corona crisis, traffic has grown by an average of more than 25 per cent to wlw and 22 per cent to EUROPAGES compared with the previous year. At peaks, growth on both platforms was even over 50 per cent compared with the same week last year. "Many are being forced to completely rethink their procurement strategy or are dependent on alternative sources of supply in the short term because established supply chains are breaking away from them. Suppliers from the surrounding markets with shorter delivery routes are also moving back into focus," explains Peter F. Schmid.
In total, the platforms recorded 8,800 new customers (5,000 on EUROPAGES and 3,800 on wlw) in the first year of Visible. Order intake, i.e. the amount of services booked by all customers, was 59.7 million euros in the period from the launch of Visable until the end of May 2020, with clear opportunities for further growth. The potential for the digital B2B market is still enormous. Even before Corona, the market has been growing by an average of 13 percent annually since 2013. Forecasts show that this will not change. On the contrary: studies show that the market will grow by up to 15 percent per year until 2027 and is already six times larger than the B2C market.
New locations and growing internationalization
83 new employees were hired last year at locations in Hamburg, Berlin and Paris. In June 2020, a growing team will move into new, larger offices in Berlin. In autumn, a further location will open in Münster with the focus on sales. The "leap" to Great Britain (UK) was already dared in the first Visable year. Three employees are currently responsible for expanding the UK market. "The protracted brexite negotiations in combination with the corona crisis did not make the start in the UK easy for us, but we also want to make a good start here in the medium term", explains Schmid. The focus is also on Eastern Europe. In Russia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Turkey, the company is working with local chambers of commerce to train SMEs in online marketing.
Relaunch and expansion of technologies
Visable has a lot planned for the second year. Investments in the double-digit million range should ensure further growth, especially in the area of technologies. Wer liefert was" will be published this autumn after a relaunch with new functions and a new corporate design. A further focus is also on the wlw Connect service launched in December 2019 and the implementation of a new search function. Peter F. Schmid is looking forward to the second year of Visable: "We want to continue to go full throttle next year and grow further. The past months have shown that marketing and sales in the B2B sector are finally going digital. The time for online platforms is now."
 Survey: The Insight Partners 2020