Digital tuning of traditional sales channels

Hamburg, 19.04.20018 – At the fifth Retail Summit – Port of Thoughts, 300 representatives of the retail sector discussed the renaissance of traditional channels and how digitalisation can make them smarter

‘Back to the roots’ was the theme of the fifth Retail Summit – Port of Thoughts held at the Empire Riverside Hotel in Hamburg on 19 April. More than 300 guests accepted the invitation to the event, which was organised by the Eversfrank Group, Comosoft, Ebner Stolz and – for the first time – ISA, Architects of Internet. As the title reveals, the focus this year was on traditional channels – the roots of retail. After years of concentrating almost exclusively on digital drivers of growth, the retail sector is now seeing a turnaround. Traditional retail channels like brick-and-mortar stores, leaflets and printed catalogues are enjoying a revival. And rightly so. “After all, a healthy tree needs two things: branches that reach up to the sun and grow higher, and roots that provide stability,” said Dr Jens Silligmüller, head of corporate development at the Eversfrank Group, in his descriptive welcoming speech.


Legends & Rebels

The “Retail Summit – Port of Thoughts” that took place for the fourth time in Hamburg on September 29, 2016 has become an institution. The topic this year: How can the digital breakthrough succeed and what can “old foxes” and the “young savages” learn from each other?

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The Digital Impact on Real Business

The future does not wait. And the digital future definitely doesn’t. Commerce also has to deal with the issue of digitisation – not with esoteric visions, but with concrete solutions that work in practice. For this reason, this year’s RETAIL SUMMIT – PORT OF THOUGHTS will focus on the following question: Which solid feasible answers will commerce find to respond to the digital challenges?

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Multi-channel retailing in an age of instantness

“Has retail forgotten the art of trading?” – The ballroom of the Empire Riverside Hotel falls silent on this November morning at the “Port Of Thoughts” event in Hamburg. This was the question addressed by Prof. Björn Bloching PhD, a partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, in his opening speech. Statistics impressively show a customer drift into e-shopping – sometimes more, sometimes less, varying according to the industry. In any case, it’s a figure of 15.8% in consumer electronics. The statistics also state that around 70% of customers are unsatisfied with brick-and-mortar business. The reasons: inadequate consulting, lacking expertise, waiting times.

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Data-driven innovations

Almost every company has a data warehouse and thus reserves of interesting and useful customer data. But only a very few companies are able to put this data to use for profile and in their day-to-day business. This includes primarily the right approaches as well as the right tools for implementation. Answers and inspiration to the question of how to handle Big Data were given at the Retail Summit 2013 in Hamburg.

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I think that we will see a combination of different forms. The multichannel or omnichannel ability will be the feature of the future both in communication and also afterwards in the processing of the transactions.
I consider it rather problematic to just talk about the digital aspect and understand it as purely technological. Instead, I think that it´s something much more profound and that this involves a genuine transformation of company culture and not an introduction of technology in some form.
Port of Thought? It’s the convergence of ideas, innovation in one room – coming from different sources. And to me that´s the meaning of Port of Thoughts.


Jessica Wahl

Project management

Tel.: +49 4832 608-432

    Bettina Neises

    Marketing & PR

    Tel. +49 221 20643-684

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