Veronika Novakova, Raiffeisenbank Czech Republic |
Alza.cz, the largest online retailer and recognized market leader in online sales in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, has recently opened its branch in Austria. Its main objective is to address customers with high quality goods and a wide range of services. We asked commercial manager Petr Bena in which respect Alza is ahead of other online shops and with what offer the company is coming to the Austrian market.
With which offer does Alza appeal to its customers and what exactly does its business comprise?
Our business activity is based on a simple concept: we offer our customers a wide portfolio of innovations and high quality goods with professional services and products that are always in stock. As a leading innovator, we have invented self-service payment machines for our customers, so-called PayBoxes, as well as self-service boxes available 24/7, the AlzaBoxes (there are currently 57 AlzaBoxes in the Czech Republic, and you can also find them in Slovakia and Hungary).
In response to numerous requests from our customers, we have, for example, introduced payment with crypto currencies and the electro mobility segment in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. This year we also launched a unique self-service shop of the future, the first in January, the second in June. These shops are currently only available in the Czech Republic, but we plan go abroad with them in the future. We offer via Alza.at to our customers in Austria some unique services, such as the right of return within 60 days or Alza Custom-Built PCs, a very popular service. We produce 15,000 custom-built PCs per year and are strategic partner for Intel, Microsoft, Nvidia, Asus and others. Our rapid growth in recent years is the direct result of our good reputation. The customer is our most valuable asset, therefore our highest priority is to ensure all customers are fully satisfied with their purchases.
What is your strategy? What is the goal of your company?
Our goal is to provide a perfect shopping experience in terms of choice, price, information and services. To fulfill customer expectations and ensure complete satisfaction with all aspects of the purchasing process. In Austria we now offer electronics – mobile phones, PCs and laptops, components, TV, photo/audio/video, household appliances, health and beauty and toys, but we are working on expanding the product range to include other segments.
What was the main reason for opening a branch in Austria?
We see a great potential in the online market. However, we emphasize the creation of added value, we want to be close to our customers, offer extra services in addition to our goods, ensure speed and reliability. The proximity of our countries works to our advantage and allows us to deliver goods to Vienna on the same day as the order is placed.
In Austria, Amazon’s storage facilities are quite extensive. How big is your nearest warehouse and which goods does it contain?
The nearest warehouse is only one hour’s drive from Vienna, so the goods can be delivered on the day of order. The warehouse in Senec (near Bratislava) has an area of approx. 23,000 m2 (more than three soccer fields) with the possibility of expanding by nearly half. For logistic purposes, the goods are mainly categorized according to size and weight criteria. The smallest items include various connectors and SD cards, USB sticks or protective display foils, the heaviest of the classic products (besides electric vehicles) are American refrigerators weighing 200 kg. I could speak for hours about the technology used to insure maximum efficiency and fastest delivery, but this would include so many technical terms and details that it would go far beyond the scope of this interview. Usually, 30,000 to 40,000 orders are processed per day (for the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the rest of the EU), and three times as many before Christmas.
Alza was founded in 1994. It is the largest online retailer and a recognised market leader and innovator in the field of online sales in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In these two countries, the company runs 50 branches. Two branches are located in Budapest and Vienna, and 70 AlzaBoxes are installed in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. Through the online shops www.alza.at, www.alza.de, www.alzashop.com, www.alza.hu, the goods are also offered to foreign customers. The head office is in Prague.
Almost 8 million orders were processed 2017. Revenues in 2017 amounted EUR 806 million. The year-on-year growth rate in sales revenues was 21 per cent. As an employer, Alza is very attractive, 1,500 employees work for the company, and as part of its various CSR activities it also employs hearing impaired people.