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A year overshadowed by the pandemic, 2020, brought exponential growth to the e-commerce market, and by all accounts, this trend will continue through 2021. Interior design wholesaler Vinga saw explosive growth in sales in the past year – which places high demands on the digital environment. Thanks to their e-commerce solution, they have a stable platform to lean on when sales take off.

Over the past few years, Vinga has made the transformation from a company that sells quality interior design products exclusively to companies to also targeting private individuals. Vinga saw a remarkable increase in both visits and sales last year, with a peak during the fall and winter months. During the Christmas rush, traffic to their consumer website  Vinga Home increased by 1071% compared to a normal month, and sales increased by 400% compared to the previous Christmas season. The sudden influx of website visitors certainly put Vinga’s infrastructure, flexibility and scalability to the test.

– This winter, and Christmas in particular, demonstrated how important it is to have a stable platform with built-in flexibility. We were able to quickly scale up the entire environment to meet demand, which allowed us to handle all the traffic without compromising the user experience, says Niklas Dahlros, business developer, e-commerce at Vinga.

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Malin  Bodolla
Chief Marketing Officer
In mid-March, Litium and our partner Ateles will be broadcasting a webinar on conversion optimization led by UX experts Carolina Carlgren and Matilda Nilsson. You can view the webinar at the bottom of this page. You will find a summary of the webinar content here.

Many companies today underestimate the importance of the customer journey and therefore fail to recognize potential pitfalls and points of friction. For example, it is easy to see an ad and develop a specific expectation, but if it doesn’t deliver on that expectation, the entire experience becomes a negative. This is something I myself experienced all too clearly the other day when an ad popped up on Instagram for a fleece jacket I had been eying for my son. When I saw it in that moment, I thought I would make the purchase. But when I clicked on the ad, I only got to the message “product is not found.” So my customer experience ultimately ended in failure, and the store in question lost a sale. It was certainly no win-win deal.

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Anna-Karin Evegård
Content Manager
Motillo
Motillo is a consulting company that focuses on e-commerce and digital businesses. They have a clear commercial focus and are equally adept at talking business benefits with a management group as taking responsibility for translating these benefits into technology and design. The name Motillo is derived from the word motility, which means “the ability to be able to move by oneself”. We had a chat with Jakob Twedmark, CEO of Motillo, to find out more about their expertise and why they recommend our platform to their clients and how they got started within e-commerce.

The company was founded by childhood friends Twedmark and Jonas Kihlström in 2012 when Twedmark move back to Karlstad after working as an e-commerce consultant in Stockholm for a number of years. At the time, the market looked completely different and they initially began with a broader offering. However, within a few years, Motillo decided to specialize in e-commerce and purely work with various kinds of e-commerce assignments. 

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Anna-Karin Evegård
Content Manager
Litium has acquired the rights to dropshipping software from Droshi AB. The software will be integrated into Litium’s product offering for advanced digital commerce

Dropshipping is a means of selling physical products without having to maintain them in stock. A dropshipping retailer delivers sold goods directly from the distributor or manufacturer to the end customer, thereby reducing the costs of stock and distribution. This business model is common in e-commerce, both in its purest form and as a model for expanding the product range.

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Malin  Bodolla
Chief Marketing Officer
This fall, Amazon finally swung open the doors to its Swedish site after years of speculation and intense anticipation. Many companies have already made the leap and are now using the marketplace as a sales channel for their products, but for those of you who are still on the fence, here are our top seven tips!

 

1. Register so that you regularly receive up-to-date information

Even before the launch date, Amazon sent out information to well-known Swedish brands and Swedish sellers who were already selling on Amazon informing them how to add Sweden as a market for sales. If you have not already registered on Amazon –  do it now. This way you can keep up to date with the latest information Amazon puts out and use it to your advantage.

2. Evaluate your starting position

All businesses selling products in Sweden will be affected by Amazon’s presence. It is therefore important that all businesses familiarize themselves with the opportunities and threats that this will entail before Amazon launches. Consider exactly how you want to relate to the e-commerce giant, which means evaluating your existing business model and how it may be affected.

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Malin  Bodolla
Chief Marketing Officer
Digital commerce continues to reach new heights, demanding that consumers and companies alike incorporate a sustainable approach. “E-commerce is often unfairly criticized for being unsustainable, but digital commerce and the digital transformation also mean opportunities,” says Malin Bodolla Chief Marketing Officer at Litium.

Better customer experiences drive conscious consumerism

Many of the clients that use Litium’s platform for their digital commerce needs are major market players and work actively with sustainability issues. How do you reconcile profitability and sustainability in digital commerce? Conscious online consumers are less likely to make returns, which are especially common in the clothing industry.

- It is extremely important that you have good product information that makes it easier for the customer to make the right choice the first time and to get a real feel for what the product looks like before finalizing the purchase. A big part of this is having quality images and videos as well as informative product information. “Many of today’s consumers are conscious consumers, and they also seek out information about all parts of the production chain, which may include everything from country of origin, labels and reviews from other customers, etc.,” says Malin Bodolla. Litium offers what is known as a PIM system, which helps companies structure and enrich their products, streamlining processes and generating uniform product information in all channels.

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Anna-Karin Evegård
Content Manager
Do you spend too much time managing the products you offer on your site? Whether you have your own e-commerce business, sell exclusively in marketplaces or display products without offering sales on your site, it may be time for a Product Information Management system (PIM). It will simplify and streamline your product management system, freeing you up so you can focus on what is really important — building sales.

What is PIM all about?

PIM simplifies and streamlines your digital product management tasks by organizing and presenting your products in an intuitive, user-friendly way. A PIM system can be a good choice for your online store as well as your other channels on the web, for example, any external marketplaces or social media channels you may be using. Well-structured information is a benefit for both you as a seller and for your customers. If the customer is able to find the information they expect to find, the opportunities for conversions and sales increase.
And you can use a PIM system even if you do not have an e-commerce engine and simply want to use it to present goods or services on the web — the real benefit is the simplification of product management. Instead of scrambling around gathering information from different sources every time you update a product on the site, PIM offers a way to structure and standardize the information for the products you offer.

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Ludvig Block
CPO
Huski Wear, a new direct-to-consumer brand in ski and activewear, has selected Litium’s platform as a valuable tool for growth and the realization of the company's global ambitions. The opportunities presented by the new platform will allow the company to experience a rapid, seamless expansion.

The newly launched brand avoids intermediaries altogether, with its exclusive focus on digital sales directly to the end consumer. Huski Wear creates stylish, functional garments for customers who plan to travel to an alpine destination any time of the year. The initial product range features skiwear, but the product portfolio will be expanded in 2021. Huski Wear has corporate ties to Huski Chocolate.

Huski Wear was founded by Magnus Liljeblad, Lena Claesson and Jonas Olsson, all of whom have solid experience behind them in the fashion and sports industry and a background in brands such as Peak Performance, Henri Lloyd and Sportmanship.

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Anna-Karin Evegård
Content Manager
Influencer marketing and unique product launches have become a way for e-retailers to increase their sales and build up their own brands. Nordicfeel greatly invested in the strategy and recently conducted a perfume campaign with Linn Ahlborg, one of Sweden's major YouTubers, influencers and bloggers. The collaboration led to a record-breaking number of visits and the resulting rushes on checkout made great demands on the e-commerce platform. In partnership with Litium, Nordicfeel was able to manage the high traffic from the launch, even exceeding Black Friday levels.

 

In the ever-competitive landscape of e-commerce, it is more important than ever to stick out of the crowd and reach consumers in new ways. Influencer marketing has become a normal part of many actors’ marketing strategies and is something that has led to increased sales for perfume and beauty giant Nordicfeel. 

“Today, influencers are a successful aspect of our marketing strategy. We have quite a few long-term collaborations with major influencers such as Bianca Ingrosso, Ida Warg and Maja Nilsson-Lindelöf. When our influencers talk about products they genuinely like it increases our credibility and generates a bunch of best-sellers,” says Julia Bergenstråhle, e-Commerce Manager at Nordicfeel.


More visitors than Black Friday

Nordicfeel's most recent major influencer collaboration was with Linn Ahlborg who, in collaboration with Nordicfeel, developed her own perfume, Hot Shot but Hotter, the sequel to Hot Shot. The campaign not only generated a whole lot of product monitoring from interested consumers but also a whole lot of hype on social media, not to mention a record number of visits. 

“It was fantastic to see the interest this campaign generated and how quickly the perfume sold out. There were a huge number of people monitoring the perfume and once it was released, the number of visits exceeded Black Friday levels,” Julia Bergenstråhle tells us. 

Investing in your own perfumes and brand is part of a long-term strategy for Nordicfeel, who continue to differentiate themselves on the market. 

“Private label is incredibly important when there are so many actors on the market. We are using this as a way to create an identity and stick out. At the same time, it helps us to further strengthen the fragrance category, where we are already strong, and to build our profile as a fragrance destination,” Marcus Johansson, Vice President and COO of Nordicfeel tells us.  


Steep technical demands

High-focus campaigns such as the collaboration with Linn Ahlborg put a lot of technical demands on the e-commerce platform there to ensure a good user experience regardless of great volumes of visitors. The campaigns can generate up to five times the traffic and still, visitors the site to load quickly. Nordicfeel chose Litium as their digital commerce platform to enable flexibility in peaks during launches and events such as Black Friday. 

“The platform itself is flexible and has a stable core that Litium is constantly developing. The functionality of the platform can also be expanded when needed and offers quick access to new services that can help increase and control customer personalizations. When new functionality appears in the industry, you need to be on your toes. Flexibility becomes increasingly important,” Björn Carling, CTO of Nordicfeel concludes.

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Malin  Bodolla
Chief Marketing Officer
During a Litium customer and partner event held earlier this year – three of Litium’s customers; Vinga of Sweden, Pacs On and Lindex tackled questions about customer expectations, internationalization and sustainability and offered their views on the future of e-commerce. We have gathered the highlights from the discussion here.

Vinga of Sweden is growing on the international level What are the lessons you have learned from that, and what are your recommendations for others who want to enter a new market?

Niklas Larsson – Business Developer, Vinga of Sweden:

“Three years ago, we started cultivating the German market, and that was really when we learned the biggest lessons. We are quite widely known in Sweden, with over 600 resellers and a strong focus on building relationships.  When we started out in Germany, we thought we could keep doing things the same way we do in Sweden, but it didn’t work at all because the sales process is completely different there with a much greater focus on cold calling. We simply needed to go back to the drawing board and decided to take a new approach by analyzing the market. Given the fact that our business is largely based on corporate gifts, we took a closer look at the tax limits for giving gifts and also analyzed traditions around gift giving in Germany. We mapped out where and when gifts are given and also added a dedicated resource staff member to cultivate our new markets in depth. We have seen significantly better results from this effort, and it has increased our sales in the German market by around 260 percent over the past year.” 

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Malin  Bodolla
Chief Marketing Officer
B2B digital commerce insights
In this year’s B2B study, Scandinavian B2B Commerce 2020, we take a closer look at the driving forces that push Scandinavian B2B companies to make the leap into digital sales. There are a variety of reasons for the move towards increased digital sales, but our study shows that some reasons are more common than others. We will unpack the results of the study here and consider what might be behind them. 

Simplified administration ranks as the top motivator

The results of the study clearly show that the end result of a company’s digital sales efforts go hand in hand with expectations, at almost all levels. But what are the market forces that are steering us towards an e-commerce segment based more and more on digital solutions? And why is this the case?

In our study, both B2B companies planning to digitize their sales (64%) and those already engaged in digital sales (61%) report that the primary motivator is a desire to ease their administrative burden and/or increase sales efficiency. The fact that a company may place a greater focus on reducing internal costs rather than, for example, increased sales, may seem a bit counterintuitive. But when we look more closely at the way B2B companies function and operate, this prioritization seems more logical.

In a B2B company, internal administrative processes are often more complex than they are in a B2C company. Therefore, any inefficiencies in internal processes put a strain on resources and drive costs. Improvements to these processes can save a company a lot of time and money, which can have a significant impact on a company's bottom line.

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Fredrik Hrdlicka
Sales Executive
Eleiko, a company originally known for selling small kitchen appliances, underwent a major transformation in the late 1950s. When the company decided to stop making toasters and waffle irons and start producing weightlifting bars made exclusively from high-quality Swedish steel, the move raised eyebrows across the entire weightlifting world. Since then, Eleiko bars have taken the world by storm–not to mention the role the bars have played in setting over 1,000 world records. Today, Eleiko supplies equipment for weightlifting, powerlifting and strength training to international competitions and training facilities across over 180 countries. Eleiko now finds itself ready for the next transformation. After selling equipment exclusively to professional buyers, the company is now launching its first e-commerce outlet.

New lifestyle patterns accelerated launch plans

Erik Blomberg, CEO and owner of Eleiko Group AB, explains how the company had been developing a strategy to launch an online store for about a year. Initially, the company planned on launching a new platform towards the end of 2020, but the outbreak of the coronavirus and the lifestyle changes it brought around the world resulted in a change in plans:

– When avid exercise enthusiasts could no longer hit the gym as usual, the demand for home fitness products increased quickly. The biggest demand was in the UK, where just about every day we received inquiries directly from consumers who wanted to be able to exercise safely in their home. We decided we needed to act fast! 

Although the initiative to invest in e-commerce was accelerated by the outbreak of the pandemic, Eleiko was already well prepared in many ways.

– We had done a thorough study and evaluated a number of alternatives and platforms for how we would implement our solution at the beginning of the year. Now we decided to put the plan into effect immediately rather than waiting for the fall as planned, Erik says.

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Malin  Bodolla
Chief Marketing Officer
Litium is represented in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. We have now strengthened the team in Norway with a new star seller, Hans Audun Sørensen. It's great to finally have Hans on board and although he got an unusual start depdending on the corona situation, he has already found his place in the team. Warm welcome Hans, we all look forward to meeting you irl when these crazy times are over. But until you get the chance to meet Hans, as you can get to know him a little bit here.
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Linda Ericsson
Marketing Coordinator
For e-commerce companies, products are a vital part of operations. Of the many different systems e-retailers use, the system that manages product information is core. Still, for the separate systems to be useful to each other, the information must be used correctly. In other words, having a well-integrated PIM (Product Information Management) system has become a condition for companies to quickly be able to adapt to new terms and not lose momentum.

On the highly competitive market of e-commerce, speed is one of many key factors. Companies of the future must be able to adapt to customer demand and get their products out onto many different channels quickly – on websites with e-commerce, in print and on social media. Here, the system support tools used are business critical, in particular, a company's PIM, making it possible to manage all types of production information centrally. PIM has become important for the customer experience since the system facilitates for e-retailers to distribute the updated information required for selling and marketing products digitally.

“As an e-retailer, you have to be able to manage your products in a structured manner so that you can reach your customers with information on what makes your products superior and why they should buy them. We have PIM integrated into our e-commerce platform, giving us the benefit of a quicker time-to-market. Separate PIM systems require integrations, which are not only unnecessarily time-consuming, but also increase the risk of technical problems and performance issues. This would mean not getting your products out for sale on time,” says Ludvig Block, CPO of the Litium e-commerce platform.

The Ultimate Guide to PIM for B2C

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Ludvig Block
CPO
Many brands rely a great deal on their retailers, especially companies that have traditionally sold their products physically. The future is in for a major shift. More companies are deciding to take control of their own brands and to communicate directly with their end customers. The journey onto the internet not only has a positive impact on companies, but stronger brands also benefit retailers.

An increasing number of companies are wrestling with the issue of taking greater ownership of their own brands, digitally, without ending up in conflict with their retailers.

Digitalization and the rapid rise of e-commerce have resulted in B2B and B2C companies suddenly being able to talk directly with their customers and strengthen their own brands. In spite of this, many rely on their network of retailers and hesitate to take the step to go fully digital. In the opinion of Fredrik Hrdlicka, Sales Executive of the Litium e-commerce platform, companies need to take control of their brands and invest in their digital platforms if they want to continue to be competitive. 

7 step guide to getting started with B2B e-commerce

“Companies that have a long history of physical commerce and who have had close collaboration with retailers are especially likely to hesitate when it comes to a new way of relating to their end customers. Nowadays, you can only keep existing customers and attract new ones if you go digital. By selling directly to the end consumer, you can relay a different feel around your brand than your retailers can, and you can show so much more,” Fredrik explains.

Platform an important tool

By owning your brand, you have the opportunity to reach new markets. Through the internet, companies can aim their marketing efforts to their end customers by communicating directly with them. And in this, your digital e-commerce platform is an important tool.

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Fredrik Hrdlicka
Sales Executive
Black Week and Christmas are rapidly approaching and e-commerce is facing its most hectic period. A lot can happen when there is a greater-than-normal load on your e-commerce site, and something going wrong can have dire consequences. You have to be prepared lest your customer experience be impacted by high traffic, e.g. in the form of delayed response times or, in the worst case, that the site crashes. That’s why we put together a check list of concrete tips for ideally preparing for a period in which uptime and response times are vital.
Getting started late? Keep in mind that it's better to have a simple plan than none at all. If you can’t check off everything, at least ensure that you have an overall plan. Start with the most business critical aspects and work from there. Good luck!

1. Assign a project manager

Black Week and Christmas retail are a project in and of themselves in which many people are involved (in-house and out at suppliers) making it’s easy to miss or forget things. Therefore, it is important to assign a project manager to be responsible for ensuring your progress. If you don’t have the time or resources in-house, you may benefit from bringing in an external resource during this period. You will be paid back for investing in this many times over since you can reuse and refine the processes you set now for the coming years.

2. Identify business parameters 

It is important to prepare by setting clear targets. Start from your current situation, compare it to last year and define your expected targets and a best case scenario.Use existing data and set the most important KPIs for your particular line of e-commerce – visits, response times, sessions, turnover, etc. For your e-commerce site, also set performance limits that, once reached, you will need to take particular measures in the case something arises. If you already have a good idea of your KPIs from the start, you will actually be working from real data rather than just a feel for how things are going. This way, you can set real fact-based targets for what you want to achieve rather than let your decisions be determined by emotion.  

3. Involve your suppliers

Compile a list of your suppliers and document areas of responsibility and contact persons. Distribute this information to your other suppliers as well as to your own organization so everyone knows who to contact should anything unexpected arise. It is good to have one supplier (preferably a technical implementation partner) as your single point of contactwho can be in charge of the contact chain. 

Your e-commerce is an ecosystem of services – from main suppliers such as platform and operational suppliers to technical implementation partners and all auxiliary services, such as for payments, etc. It goes without saying that it is vital that you are clear in your communication with your most business-critical suppliers. In addition to supplying contact information, it is important to inform suppliers of your market plan as well as through which channels your promotions will be distributed so that everyone is aware of and prepared for possible peaks on your site. 

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Daniel  Hultgren
CIO
Bilder från detaljhandelsbutik.
Just because more and more stores are closing doesn’t necessarily mean we have to talk about the death of retail. Certain people argue that it's more a case of a retail renaissance that we are experiencing right now. Traditional stores are on their way out, but are leaving room for increasingly experience-based premises.

During the 2018 D-Congress in Gothenburg, the “new store” was a hot topic of conversation. The majority of people there agreed that bricks and mortar stores have gained an entirely new purpose with the forward march of e-commerce. New expectations from customers create new and higher demands on what a store should be today. According to a survey by Eventbrite the millennial generation puts far more value on experiences and events compared to earlier generations.

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Gustav Tranback
Gästbloggare
Skylt med text
With 490 stores in 18 countries and EU-wide online sales, fashion chain Lindex is anything but a rookie when it comes to omnichannel sales. After having an online presence for over 10 years, Lindex has more experience and greater knowledge of digital retailing than most retailers. Lindex is now on the threshold of the next generation e-commerce solution. With the aim of further developing its leading position within omnichannel retailing, the plan is to launch all-new e-commerce on the market in 2018.

Henrik Sörstedt joined Lindex’s digital journey two years ago. Since fall 2017, he has been Director of Customer Experience, a new role within Lindex with responsibility for the brand's digital strategy and channel development which aims to supports Lindex’s e-commerce operations.

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Åsa Lundborg Ling
CMO