Power Tools

Bosch Power Tools: Success by means of multi-channel communication Speech by Bernd Müller, Sales Director for Germany,
Austria, Switzerland, of the Power Tools Division

  • on the occasion of the press conference in Stuttgart on March 13, 2013
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  • March 13, 2013
  • Power Tools
  • Presentations

press release

Ladies and Gentlemen,
The German market for portable electric power tools stagnated in 2012. In this difficult environment, Bosch again grew faster than the market: in Germany, sales with portable electric power tools from the Bosch, Skil and Dremel brands increased by two percent. We therefore managed to again win one additional percentage point of market share, increasing it to 39 percent.

The market for measuring tools grew by three percent. With its innovative offering, Bosch was able to strengthen its own market share by four percentage points to 60 percent. We also registered positive development with accessories: the market grew in 2012 by three percent, with Bosch managing to increase its own market share from twelve to 14 percent by means of consistent market cultivation and expansion of distribution.

Bosch achieved an especially high market share gain of ten percentage points with the Dremel brand in the category of what are known as “Mini-Tools”. A major contribution to the high gain in a market which is declining at a rate of minus two percent was made by the range expansion with the Dremel DSM20 hand-held compact circular saw.

Key factors for our success
Three major factors form the key to this success:

  • We consistently gear our products towards the needs of users.
  • We are the only manufacturer to offer both professionals and do-it-yourselfers system solutions from a single source in the power tools, measuring tools, and accessories segments.
  • We provide users with comprehensive information and services across all channels – on the net, in mobile services, in consultations – and are therefore very close to the customer.
  • We were able to impress on the market in 2012 with this offering, and managed to win over professionals and do-it-yourselfers more than ever for power tools and system solutions from Bosch.
Sales growth with professional power tools
The sale of professional power tools is dependent on the development of the construction industry. In 2012, this branch of industry was not able to achieve its strong growth again from the previous year and only grew by just less than two percent overall. Private residential construction nevertheless contributed to this with growth of 6 percent. In this environment, the market volume for professional portable power tools decreased in 2012 in Germany by one percent. The number of tools sold declined by two percent. Bosch was able to grow by five percent in this declining market and increase its own market share with portable electric power tools by one percentage point to 28 percent. Bosch is therefore the brand with the largest gain in market share in 2012 at German specialist retail outlets.

Market share gains with rotary hammers, measuring tools and accessories
Bosch is the market leader for professional rotary hammers. This market segment grew in 2012 by slightly more than five percent, while Bosch was able to increase its own market share from 50 to 56 percent. The GBH 8-45 DV Professional, which was launched in April 2012, with its triple vibration damping, high impact energy and extra power in chiseling mode was especially well received by the market and managed to convince professional tradespeople.

We also managed to strengthen our leading position in the market for measuring tools: the Bosch market share increased by four percentage points to 53 percent. Professional Bosch accessories also sold well: the market share at German specialist retail outlets increased by one percentage point to eleven percent.

Multi-channel communication is a success factor
The purchasing behavior of German DIYers and tradespeople has changed: the search for information, the impulse to buy and finally the purchase itself are increasingly taking place in different channels. As a result, sales are shifting from brick-and-mortar retailers to online retailers and vice versa. Classical retail and online retail are merging to become multi-channel distribution.

This development can also be seen in the power tools industry: the share of tools purchased online has tripled in the past three years and is now at over ten percent. The share of purchases influenced by online information is even significantly higher. To meet this change in information and purchasing behavior, it is necessary to have sustained multi-channel concepts with networked communication across all channels. Bosch recognized this requirement early and is leading by example: we offer the most extensive range on the net and in retail both in terms of diversity and depth of information.

Multi-channel communication for professional users
Professionals can access the data that is relevant for them at any time: at the company, on the move, at the retail outlet and at trade fairs. Moreover, we make the professional’s day-to-day work easier with innovative offers such as the measurement camera in the Bosch Toolbox App.

Our Bosch website provides information about all products and service offers around the clock. More than 100 product videos vividly show professionals what it is that makes our power tools excel. The constantly growing number of visits confirms the great interest in our website: in 2012, it increased by 50 percent to three million visits per year.

The websites of specialist retailers are also popular. We provide our specialist retailers with constantly up-do-date information by means of direct data transfer. We keep about one million pieces of product data, 30,000 pictures and 260 videos up to date at all times for this purpose.

Success by using new media
For many professional tradespeople, the smartphone has become an integral part of their day-to-day work. With the Bosch Toolbox App, professionals always have fast access to the power tools catalog from Bosch even when they are on the move. Moreover, the Toolbox App offers a measurement camera, building documentation, unit converter and GPS dealer locator. The measurement camera helps, for example, to quickly and easily document jobsite data. You can take a photo, enter the dimensions directly into the photo with arrows and angles, make notes, save it and send it by e-mail – all this is done by the measurement camera in the free Toolbox App. Over 150,000 downloads in Germany in 2012 show how appreciated the digital toolbox is. It has now made it into the top twelve in the Apple App Store.

Skilled worker companies can save money cleverly with the Bosch “Bonus Bang”: every month, registered participants receive information about attractive promotional offers for professional power tools from Bosch by means of a “Bonus Bang” notification from the app.

Strong sales due to good product presentation
At specialist retail outlets, professional tradespeople can not only obtain comprehensive information about Bosch innovations and get advice, they can also hold the tools in their hand. A decisive factor here is attractive product presentation. We support specialist retailers by providing them with high-quality presentation modules for the sale of cordless tools. They literally put Bosch innovations within the customer’s reach. The “Bosch Cordless Specialist” concept is a sweeping success, with 1,000 participating specialist retailers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The Bosch Cordless Specialist retailers achieved sales growth of more than 40 percent with Bosch cordless tools in two years. Non-Bosch Cordless Specialist retailers achieved twelve percent. Across all brands, the increase in purchases of cordless tools during this time was only nine percent.

We also offer professional tradespeople inspiration and an experience at our trade fair stands. We take part in different tradesman fairs and received over 360,000 visitors in 2012. More than 100,000 tradespeople were able to experience the advantages of Bosch tools in hands-on tests at our Germany-wide roadshow for professional power tools and measuring tools called the innovation tour.

We will further expand this information offer for professional tradespeople about innovations, system solutions and promotions in 2013 in all channels, and we will network it more and more intensively. The aim is to assist and advise our users around the clock and in any location, and to win over even more users for our products and service offers.

Bosch continues to be market leader with DIY tools
The profound changes towards multi-channel purchasing are clearly noticeable in the market for DIY tools. Business with portable electric power tools in German homecenters declined for the second year running. Sales declined by five percent in value and by twelve percent in units sold. Bosch managed to retain its position as market leader here with a market share of 53 percent. The two strongest competitors together lost one percentage point. The strength of our offering for do-it-yourselfers is also shown by the fact that 19 of the 20 best-selling power tools in German homecenters are from Bosch.

Lithium-ion tools from Bosch are in demand
Lithium-ion technology continues its success: do-it-yourselfers increasingly prefer tools with a lithium-ion battery. This technology accounted for 74 percent of sales with cordless tools in 2012. As technology leader, we have a market share of 58 percent here. Our PSR 14,4 LI-2 and PSR 18 LI-2 cordless drill/drivers sold particularly well in 2012. They receive top ratings on the internet, and in the first year after their launch they are already top of the hit list of cordless drill/drivers sold.

Innovations from Bosch make markets
The innovative PBD 40 bench drill also made it into first place in the popularity ratings of do-it-yourselfers in the very first year of its marketing. It is the most frequently purchased bench drill in German homecenters. Thanks to this innovation from Bosch, the entire market segment of bench drills was able to grow by 14 percent, and Bosch strengthened its market share from four to 29 percent. This is further proof that innovations from Bosch make markets. The many positive customer ratings on the internet over a prolonged period of time are evidence of the lasting enthusiasm for this tool.

Skil becomes fourth strongest DIY brand
We were especially successful in 2012 with our Skil brand: with sales growth of 47 percent, a 54 percent increase in units sold and a market share gain of two percentage points to five percent, Skil moved up to become the fourth strongest brand in German homecenters. The best-selling nickel cadmium cordless screwdriver in German homecenters in 2012 was from Skil. We achieved the enormous growth with this brand by means of an EDP-based Category Management, an attractive price positioning and our target-group-specific innovations and marketing activities. Skil will again strengthen its position this year with an expansion of distribution, attractive offers and the marketing of new segments.

Bosch continues to be market leader for measuring tools
Our business with DIY measuring tools grew at an above-average rate. We are the market leader by some distance in all three disciplines – measuring, detecting, leveling. In 2012, Bosch Measuring Tools managed to gain four percentage points of market share in total across all disciplines, therefore increasing it to 73 percent. Nine of the ten best-selling measuring tools in German homecenters are from Bosch.

Accessories business is thriving
DIY accessories business also developed exceptionally well in 2012. Bosch managed to strengthen its own share in this slightly growing market from 22 percent in 2011 to 27 percent in 2012. We achieved this success with an integrated concept. The basis for it is a broad product range with innovations that help do-it-yourselfers to achieve very good work results. Moreover, we use an EDP-based Category Management to optimize the product arrangement and space utilization at retail outlets. In addition to this, our product presentation concept with color-code system makes it easier to search for the desired accessory. This results in an optimized range, shelf space that is utilized in the best possible way and self-explanatory product arrangement. If requested, our specialized accessories field force will take care of shelf maintenance, shelf stocking of the products and availability management of the accessories. We therefore offer retailers an attractive complete package.

Multi-channel communication for do-it-yourselfers
As with the professionals, we also use networked communi-cation for do-it-yourselfers and offer information and services across all channels. Users can access the content that is rele-vant for them at any time and hold our products in their hand at the homecenter or at events, test them and obtain expert advice. In this way, we make the Bosch brand something that they can experience.

At the Bosch website www.bosch-do-it.com, the do-it-yourselfer will find virtually all information about DIY from home, including detailed product descriptions, application advice by video, hotline or matching accessories. The constantly expanding offer of information is being well received by do-it-yourselfers: in 2012, the average duration of a visit was about 60 percent longer than in 2011.

Our “1-2-do.com” community is currently the largest DIY community in Germany. About 5,000 projects now inspire over 50,000 members to perform DIY or decorate. Community members can also ask Bosch experts questions around the clock. They will provide help and advice. Workshops, joint projects and meetings promote the community of do-it-yourselfers.

When out and about, do-it-yourselfers are increasingly using our QR Codes to obtain comprehensive information about Bosch products. As a result, we increased the access rate to Bosch DIY media by 50 percent in 2012. On Facebook, we managed to gain about four times as many fans in the same year as in the year before.

In homecenters, we have for ten years been offering do-it-yourselfers Shop-in-Shop systems and competent advice for power tools, accessories and garden tools. Continuous maintenance and adaptation of our Shop-in-Shops to market needs ensure their lasting success. Due to the great popularity with do-it-yourselfers and homecenters, we increased the number in 2012 by about 40 to over 230 Shop-in-Shops. The range is being continually expanded, for example with the new info terminals. They help customers to find the suitable tool for their application independently of an adviser on location and in only a few steps.

A further module of our multi-channel communication is approaching do-it-yourselfers through event marketing. For example, women can go to events like the Bauhaus (homecenter) “Women’s Night” and try designing and working with paint, decorating, or building furniture for themselves, and under expert guidance they can find out how easy it is to do these jobs with Bosch power tools.

Ixo: success due to consistent multi-channel communication
A prime example of the successful implementation of net-worked multi-channel communication is the marketing of the Ixo. Whether on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, our Bosch websites, in blogs, in homecenters or in independent media: the Ixo is present everywhere. This makes an important contribution to the success of this popular cordless screwdriver: it has sold 12 million units worldwide, has been the best-selling power tool in homecenters in Germany for ten years without interruption, and again leads the hit list of Germany’s best-selling power tools in 2013.

Forecast
We are well equipped for the future with our innovations, extensive service offers and networked multi-channel communication for professionals and do-it-yourselfers. We want to generate enthusiasm for Bosch and its products again in 2013, and to strengthen our position as market and technology leader. The success in the past is our motivation for the future.

RF00189 - March 13, 2013

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