More than 28 million users per month: With this reach, German Offerista group is the market leader in digital trade marketing in the DACH region. Benjamin Thym (38) is Managing Director of the German group in which Styria Digital Marketplaces hold a 20 percent stake. In an interview he explains what he intends to do with the takeover of wogibtswas.at and what his strategic and technical targets are.

How did the cooperation with STYRIA come about?
Benjamin Thym: The operative colleagues in sales have been in contact with each other for a long time, which we later continued at the managing director and board level. This led to the development of the business relationship. 

What is the current status of wogibtswas.at?
Thym: The restructuring has been completed. In Vienna we will focus on sales and product management. The software development will be done from Germany. We are looking forward to increasing our turnover in Austria, to growing and to welcoming new colleagues.

With "Profital", a cooperation with Swiss Post, you are active in Switzerland with digital brochures. Have you been looking for an expansion in Austria for some time?
Thym: With our barcode scan app "Barcoo", we had been on the road in Austria for some time and also had customers here, so there was a certain proximity. We then looked for partners who could fit and found what we were looking for at STYRIA. The scaling associated with this partnership wins at the end of the day.

Why is STYRIA the right partner for Offerista?
Thym: We noticed two factors in our discussions: First, STYRIA thinks in long terms. Second, there is the demand to grow big. This was in line with our strategy. 

How does the German market differ from the Austrian market?
Thym: The competition in Germany is certainly tougher than in Austria due to the higher number of competitors. But basically, the trade in both countries wants to go digital. We now have four European markets: Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France. If something works well in one country, we try to roll it out to the others.

For example?
Thym:  Our publisher network. Our own reach is great, but the trade wants more. That's why we work with more than 40 publishers in Germany. Through us, the customer gets the opportunity to be natively integrated with large, interesting publishers in his region, for example with FOCUS online. We aggregate, take care of all the control and reporting. We are the central contact for every retailer, no matter how large. That's a great lever. There is a growing demand here, and we also want to meet this demand in Austria. 

Is this also an opportunity to expand our market leadership in the DACH region?
Thym: Certainly. Whereby one has to say: There is also no other provider who is active in digital trade marketing in all three countries. But of course: It is about continuously investing, being innovative and being able to offer our customers something in order to measurably increase their turnover. More sophisticated targeting opportunities are certainly part of this, as are measuring customer frequency and revenue contribution. We have been offering store visit measurements since 2015 and were among the first in Europe to do so.

How will purchasing behaviour or the search for the product develop in the future?
Thym: Every consumer will use several shopping bots in the future. We will soon be talking about a personalized shopping bot world. We want to develop this topic further, because the potential in it is enormous. I would even say: It is a digital disruption that is happening in the retail market, and we want to support retailers and users.

About the person: Benjamin Thym (38) is managing director and co-founder of the Offerista Group, headquartered in Berlin. Before he joined Offerista in 2009, the business information specialist co-founded the "barcoo" service and made it one of the most successful shopping apps (17 million downloads) in the download stores of the DACH region. 

The interview was recorded and written by Philipp Lackner (Corporate Communication Styria Media Group).