The online sales of Laattapiste got a boost from the coronavirus – surprise popularity from day one
Setting up an online shop had not been a priority to Laattapiste. The company believed that customers wanted to see and touch the products and get additional service in the shop. Then came the coronavirus. The shops emptied of customers, and plans had to be reshaped.
In spring 2020, Laattapiste and Solita formed a team that quickly and agilely created a pilot version of an online shop. A manual shopping cart was set up in one week. After that, the online shop has seen further development and automation week by week.
A continuously evolving, automated online shop.
A boost to the pioneering role in digital business.
A new outlet channel for Laattapiste. Considerably faster warehouse turnover.
A wider customer base and the ability to offer better service.
Laattapiste’s product range is available to everyone.
Added flexibility to Laattapiste’s business.
The online shop brings Laattapiste new customers and provides more information about existing customers. This information can be used to develop business, which translates into a great competitive advantage.
The idea of an online shop had been discussed at Laattapiste over the years. However, the company had not made it a priority, because it firmly believed that customers wanted to see and touch the products and get additional service in the shop.
“We were convinced that no one wanted to buy tiles online, for example,” says Joonas Tammisto, CDO of Laattapiste.
Enter the coronavirus, and the shops emptied of customers overnight. Plans had to be remade. Laattapiste and Solita have worked in close cooperation since 2016, and in collaboration, they began to agilely design new services for customers. In one week, they had set up a shopping cart, based on manual background processes, in order to see whether customers showed any interest in buying products related to home improvements and renovations online.
“Thanks to our long-term cooperation, we were able to react quickly to the turmoil caused by the virus. In only a few weeks, we had also created processes for remote meetings and were able to offer our customers modern meeting options suited to the present situation,” says Joonas Tammisto.
Thanks to our long-term cooperation, we were able to react quickly to the turmoil caused by the virus. The most important thing is to listen to the customer’s wishes and boldly test different options.
Joonas Tammisto CDO, Laattapiste
Surprising results from early on
The piloting of the online shop, carried out on a near-zero budget, was an extremely agile experiment. The results took the company by surprise.
“People were surprisingly active in ordering products online. We had so many customers during the first week that we were forced to begin automating the service,” says Tammisto.
After the first stage, the online shop was automated piece by piece, week after week. The development project stretched over several months.
“As for digital business, Laattapiste is a pioneer in its field and a real innovator in the sector. Among other things, the company has made its entire product and service portfolio available online, and in addition to its own channels, it even offers it to partners through various interfaces,” explains Joonas Juujärvi,Business Lead at Solita.
The online shop as an outlet
What concrete goals did Laattapiste set for its online shop?
At first, it was an experiment and a question of agile development. Laattapiste wanted to see whether an online shop was profitable and whether it made sense to develop it. Following the online shop’s success, the company has set clear numerical goals for it.
“We want our online shop to achieve the same sales volumes over one year as a single brick-and-mortar shop. For example, in a few months we have sold 600 square metres of tiles online. It’s quite a lot, since the surface area of your typical wet space ranges from four to six square metres. Purchases from our online shop have averaged slightly under 300 euros, which is clearly higher than usually online,” explains Tammisto.
Online operations are supported by the company’s previously fine-tuned, efficient logistics services, as well as its own warehouse of 10,000 square metres. In the best case, customers get their goods the following day.
Moreover, the online shop has quickly become an outlet channel for Laattapiste. Shops used to feature discount corners, which will now be removed to put the space to better use. Discontinued products can be sold efficiently online.
“Customers save a lot of money, and we speed up our warehouse turnover. It is also good for nature that good and usable products find a new owner,” says Tammisto.
The construction of the online shop and related items was based on modern cloud architecture and the Azure platform. An Optimizely (Episerver) Commerce solution was also used.
Laattapiste has been investing in digital solutions for years. The online shop is a great example of how a good foundation enables quick experiments and a boost to business through digital solutions.
Joonas Juujärvi Business Lead, Solita
Solita receives thanks for several years of cooperation: “a top team”
Tammisto, from Laattapiste, lavishes praise on Solita’s team. The two companies have cooperated since 2016, and the team members on both Solita’s and the customer’s side have remained the same all this time.
“Solita’s team is outstanding. I know they are good, but they still manage to surprise me every time with their unbelievable performance. I am really satisfied with the team and hope we can continue to work with them in the future,” says Tammisto.
It has been great to witness the customer’s involvement in the project and their trust in us. Our cooperation has been expansive and close. There has definitely been no lack of ideas. In fact, the biggest challenge was to pick which ideas to pursue,” says Juujärvi, from Solita.
The development of the online shop is a continuous process. Laattapiste now has roadmaps for several years into the future. The main point, however, is to listen to the customers’ wishes.
“We want to make their lives easier and strive to answer their needs by offering a starting point for their success,” says Tammisto, from Laattapiste.
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Joonas Juujärvi Business Lead, Solita