MSO.fi – Building Finland’s largest shopping mall

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

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