Boosting sales with e-commerce
A well-designed online store and versatile payment options are often the keys to a successful sale. When the Finnish furniture manufacturer Isku launched its redesigned online store, sales also increased in its brick-and-mortar stores.
Isku, a company with a long history that designs and manufactures its furniture in Finland, opened its redesigned online store in June 2019. The previous online store was outdated and unwieldy to use, and its main function had been to list opening hours of stores.
Launching the new online store took great effort but was part of the company’s strategy and carried out according to schedule.
“At first, some in our sales team feared that the online store would be stealing their jobs and were unable to see the change as an opportunity. It quickly became evident that the online store was bringing in more customers to our brick-and-mortar stores – even younger customers between the ages 25 to 40, who were previously few and far between,” says Mikko Kuuppo, COO of Isku.
Today, Isku’s online store has rapidly grown to become popular all over the country and continues to help boost sales in brick-and-mortar stores. With the exception of March 2020, when Covid-19 began to hit Finland, sales have continued to grow every month since launch.
Smooth path to purchase and reliable payment methods
Besides attracting new customers, the online store has also increased the average value of purchases.
“Customers first explore our range of products online before coming in to one of our stores to see the items first hand. The online store has also helped customers understand the price categories of different product groups, with the effect that customers increasingly favour more high-value products,” says Kuuppo.
Buying must be made easy, and the customer’s path to purchase in the online store should be smooth and effortless.
“It is also important that the seller and the payment process are credible and trustworthy and that each buyer finds a suitable payment option,” says Kuuppo.
From the start, Isku’s online store has offered a wide range of different payment methods. Kuuppo stresses that an unsuitable or inconvenient payment method may result in a poor customer experience or cause the customer to go elsewhere. That is something we want to avoid.
OP Lasku offers 45 days of interest-free period
Furniture is often a long-term commitment, and this is reflected in the value of the purchase.
“It is essential that we can offer customers the option to pay by bill or financing. OP Lasku is an excellent solution that meets both of these needs,” says Kuuppo.
OP Lasku is both a billing service and a revolving credit agreement that can be used to finance purchases of up to 2,000 euros. It offers an interest-free payment period of 45 days for all purchases, which is much longer than the market average of 14 days. The customer has the option to pay the entire amount by the due date or the minimum sum, in which case a repayment plan is automatically formed for the remaining amount. The payment method is available to everyone, not just OP’s customers.
“OP Lasku is offered to both OP’s customers as well as to other banks’ customers as a separate payment method,” says Timo Laitila, Vice President in charge of sales of OP Lasku at OP Corporate Bank.
OP Lasku was created out of a desire to offer a Finnish-based and secure online payment solution for Finnish online stores and their customers.
“The service is easy and transparent to use and competitively priced without hidden fees or other surprises. For sellers, the method is straightforward to use and risk-free, as the store is paid upfront while OP takes care of consumer billing and financing,” Laitila adds.
Another advantage of OP Lasku is OP’s excellent brand recognition in Finland. After all, around four in every ten people in Finland are OP’s customers.
Isku continues development of its online store
While the popularity of payment methods offered in Isku’s online store is fairly even, paying by mobile is clearly on the rise right now.
“We listen to feedback from our customers and look for ways to meet their wishes on payment options. Naturally, we also closely follow general trends in e-commerce payments,” says Pauli Nieminen, Ecommerce Manager at Isku.
The next project under development at Isku is a redesign of the company’s IT management system, which will automate certain tasks that are still being done manually.
“These have to do with the management or orders and deliveries, for example. Speeding up our processes translates to better and faster customer service in our online store orders and elsewhere,” says Nieminen.
Isku’s online store is on track to become the company’s largest single store this year.
“The journey from last to first place is proof that the leap to e-commerce has been rapid and well worth the effort,” says Kuuppo.