ICMA BlogICMA: International Classified Media Association Online

MSO.fi – Building Finland’s largest shopping mall
February 24, 2014 - Shay Bueters

eRetail in Finland is buzzing. Two-thirds of the Finnish adults have made purchases online.  In despite the recession eCommerce is thriving – something one can’t really say about the traditional retail.
eRetail has however suffered from the same problem year after year: consumers are struggling to find the best products and deals from the depth of the Internet and eRetailers are trying to reach out to the potential masses.
eCom platforms are rapidly growing in popularity .  Amazon.com, Japanese Rakuten (shop.com), Canadian Shop.ca and Alibaba.com have over 100 million consumers happily shopping at their pages – every month. Online shopping malls create an amazing opportunity for small entrepreneurs to build and grow their business significantly with lower costs and for wider audiences than ever before.
Sanoma Digita, Finland launched a new MaaS (Marketplace as Service) platform called MSO.fi September 2013 – purpose of the service is to make it as easy as possible for consumers to make great finds and enable the merchants to stand out for potential customers at the sites Finnish consumers are already hanging out. MSO.fi shop fronts can be found from Finland’s largest news sites, leading magazine sites and from national radio station sites aside of the main front.
Sanoma’s websites reach 3.5 million potential online buyers in Finland every week – our goal at MSO is simply bring online merchants and consumers close to each other. MSO aims to make online shopping as fun and easy for consumers as popping by to your favorite mall – and then some more.
It doesn’t matter which MSO store front you use as a consumer, you can always easily log in to the service with same login credentials you are using to access and manage all your print or digital descriptions in all of Sanoma’s Medias.
So how does it look a few months after the launch?

  • MSO has received a great response from merchants – service eRetailer count has increased by 200% after launch. MSO currently has over 150 eRetailers and new entrepreneurs are signing in every day.
  • Shopping mall stocks over 25 000 SKUs not including variants, which makes MSO the 5th largest online store in Finland – 4 months in.
  •  Mobile device or tablet use of the site is around 40 % of the visitors.

MSO.fi has attracted masses of positive attention from the market and the start has certainly been promising, but still a huge amount of work lies ahead with new MaaS service.
During 2014 our aim is to become Finland’s largest shopping center.
A tough, but achievable goal we believe.

Contributed by ICMA FLN Sub-Committee Member Laura Pitkänen

Why Your Visitors Aren’t Spending More – Tips And Tools For Generating More Money More Often
December 13, 2013 - Lisa Pesak

If your company had only one user, would he or she be happy? With some types of business the answer is a definite no. No one would want to join a dating site that had only one member. The same is true for many types of business, including:

  • Sites that put members in touch with other members, like auction sites, trading platforms, job sites and classifieds sites.
  • Sites that depend on user-generated content, like YouTube, Flickr, IMDb and StackOverflow.

In a recent edition of our ICMA webinar series, Conversion Rate Experts‘ Co-founder Karl Blanks presented his company’s winning strategies for classifieds players and addresses the ever important issues around conversion.  Companies such as Apple, Sony and Google turn to CRE when they need help increasing their website conversions

If you want to turn your classified site’s visitors into customers, you need to identify why most of them are abandoning. This can be difficult, as visitors who leave your site come and go without a trace. How can you find out what they wanted?  How do you discover what would have persuaded them to take action?

 Bricks and mortar companies have it easier. They are able to ask direct questions of their customers. They would hear what they muttered as they headed for  the door. On  the web, it’s harder to capture the voice of the customer, but it can be done.  The approach to optimisation is a scientific one, and during the webcast Karl  discussed the      following:  Google’s “URL strategy,” and why it’s particularly important for classified sites, five tools that are invaluable for finding out why your visitors  aren’t spending  more, and case studies showing how you can generate more money from your existing visitors.

Download the presentation materials: