Neckarsulm, 13 October 2020 – 25 years ago today, Bechtle launched its very first website on www.bechtle.de, the beginning of an online presence that today spans 14 European countries. With its break into the e-market in October 1995, Bechtle sent a signal that amplified the internet’s rapidly growing significance, just two years after it became accessible to the general public. The website, which at the time offered visitors information on products along with up-to-date prices would become the foundation for an extensive online shop and customised e-procurement solutions for enterprise and public-sector customers.
The commercial internet was still in its infancy when a handful of pioneers set out in 1995 to explore the business opportunities it harboured. In July, Amazon sells its first book via online bookstore. On 13 October 1995, eBay is founded as AuctionWeb—and on that same day, Bechtle steps into the web with an initial 150 products. A complement to Bechtle’s physical catalogue, the industry’s go-to reference at the time, the website offered customers up-to-date prices for the listed items, as well as information on the newest products that would enter the market every week. The idea would quickly gain traction, spurring Bechtle on to constantly develop a dynamic online shop solution.
“In the mid-1990s, we had no idea of the impact the internet would have. All the same, we were fascinated by this new medium early on and we were eager to be close to our customers in the digital space, too. What we did within the IT market was really breaking new ground. And our success encouraged us to keep pushing for more and exploiting the opportunities of e-commerce for the benefit of our customers,” says Jürgen Schäfer, COO, IT E-Commerce, Bechtle AG.
Since 1998, the online shop spawned the first individual e-procurement solutions, giving customers access to their customised online shopping carts with built-in authorisation flows and automated synchronisation with their own ERP systems. Thanks to these digital solutions, it is able to dramatically shrink the process costs of sourcing IT products and services.
Today, bechtle.com is the unified home address for all shop and e-procurement activities in 14 European countries—a shared, digital business platform that blends rich information about the company and its portfolio, as well as the latest news and trends in the world of IT.