- Stable growth of B2B platforms despite a crisis-ridden environment
- Offer expanded further – SMEs diversify their supply chains
Hamburg, 25 January 2023 – The Hamburg based B2B platform operator Visable delivers a great performance during the previous year. With a turnover of EUR 68 million, the 2022 annual result exceeds the previous one by three per cent – and this in what are, on balance, extremely challenging economic times. "With our B2B platforms – wlw and europages – we provide small and medium-sized B2B companies with easy digital access to the national and international market. The fact that we were able to grow despite an economic climate in 2022 that was characterised by supply chain issues, energy-saving constraints and inflation shows that our offering is perceived as part of the way out of the crisis – that makes all of us at Visable very happy," says Peter F. Schmid, CEO of Visable.
Political and economic crises are reflected on the platforms
The needs of many companies are changing, thus triggering changes in purchasing behaviour. The platforms operated by Visable GmbH include wlw (formerly "Wer liefert was"), today the leading B2B platform in the D-A-CH region, as well as the leading European B2B platform, europages, on which around three million companies are registered. Together, the platforms reach 3 million B2B buyers each month.
In the course of the year, procurement trends triggered by the prevailing economic-political situation were observed repeatedly. The energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, for example, immediately triggered a boom in demand for renewable energies on wlw: Photovoltaic systems were in greater demand in 2022 than ever before. A total of four of the seven most searched categories on wlw in 2022 testified to the intensive effort to achieve a rapid energy transition. "In crisis situations or in times of supply shortages, buyers need to rethink their traditional supply chains, and find new ways of procurement. Therefore, we continue to observe a further shift of processes to the digital realm, even in what were previously rather conservative industries," says Peter F. Schmid. The two platforms, wlw and europages, support international procurement in Europe in particular, making buyers more flexible and faster. Suppliers, in turn, can easily and cost-effectively increase demand for their products and services quickly.
Steadily increasing number of employees
Visable's positive development is also reflected in the number of employees, which increased in 2022 with 130 new hires to a total of 425 at the Hamburg, Berlin, Münster and Paris locations. A total of just under 6,000 applications were received. Visable's employees, who now come from a total of 50 nations, were able to celebrate both the 90th anniversary of wlw and the 40th anniversary of europages in 2022.
Buyers and sellers benefit from simplified communication
The expansionary focus of the platforms last year was on better communication between users. For example, the Message Centre introduced on wlw in March 2022 has greatly simplified contact between buyers and suppliers. Since then, users have been able to bundle all their communication in one place, make and answer enquiries and exchange files. Both professional buyers in procurement and suppliers in processing enquiries benefit from this optimised user-friendliness. In total, the europages platform is available in 26 languages. An automated translation tool on europages also eliminates language barriers in direct user communication, if required.
Expansion of the product range well-received by customers
Most of the searches sent and received on wlw again came from Germany, followed by Austria and Switzerland. The United States and China follow in fourth and fifth place, with the United States, in particular, growing in enquiries many times over compared to the previous year. The five most searched product categories were mechanical engineering, firewood, photovoltaic systems wood pellets and food. On europages, the majority of searches came from France, with Germany, Italy, Turkey and the USA in second to fifth place. Here, too, the searches from the United States increased significantly.
You can find this press release for download here.
An image of Visable CEO Peter F. Schmid can be found here.