International web stores have become increasingly interested in expanding their business to Finland. However, a few obstacles usually have to be solved before the business can become successful in the Finnish market. In order to bring local ecommerce knowledge and solutions for the use of non-domestic web stores, Payment Trust Finland Ltd (Suomen Maksuturva Oy) co-operates with several international partners. We interviewed two of our Swedish software provider partners about their thoughts regarding the Finnish market and Maksuturva.
Daniel Lindström from e-Butik i Norden AB sees the Finnish market as very interesting for international web shops. At least at the moment, the competition online is not as high as for instance in Sweden, which means that international web stores have a good chance to succeed. However, as Fredrik Ottosson from Viskan Distanshandel System AB highlights, local adjustments regarding for instance payment methods and return handling are essential for surviving. In addition to these, expanding does have some barriers on the way:
“In Sweden we believe that Finnish people are okay with speaking Swedish but that is not always true. We also have a lot of Finnish speaking people here and we count them as native but they’re not. In addition to this big miscalculation Finland also has expensive freight prices and the rules about free returns”, analyzes Lindström. Ottosson points out that most of these problems can be solved by teaming up with good local partners and, naturally, having a system platform that will support several markets in an efficient way.
This is where companies such as Maksuturva step in: their knowledge of the local market and its requirements help along the way. “For us there are two major benefits of co-operating with Maksuturva: First, the web stores get the ability to provide local payment methods for their customers. The second benefit is trust, which increases conversion rates”, says Lindström.
“Viskan evaluated the Finnish payment market and potential partners, and Maksuturva came out on top. What the customers will get in the end is a strong and automated payment process from the front-end webpage through order handling, pick and pack and the payment processes in the back-end”, states Ottosson.
All in all, Finland as a marketplace has space for new web stores although the competition is growing fast. Even though the Finns are switching their buying habits from brick-and-mortar shops to online stores, the buying behavior is still based on certain expectations that may come as a surprise for foreign players. An example of this is that the Finns prefer to pay their purchase in online banks rather than using credit cards.
Hence, succeeding in Finland requires planning and good local partners, but with these worked out it may well be possible to become even a market leader. And, as Ottosson reminds, Finland can also be seen as a bridge to the expansion to further east, like the Baltic countries or Russia.
Viskan Distanshandel System AB Viskan is a full-fledged e-commerce provider. Their Retail and Mail Order System (RAMOS) is the foundation of the service and it is used by more than 40 companies in various industries across the world. Subscription clubs, mail order and stock handling are Viskan’s prioritized areas of expertise. www.viskan.fi
e-Butik I Norden AB E-butik.se helps you develop your online store and increase sales. With over 10 years of experience the company has helped over 5000 companies working with e-commerce. www.E-butik.se