Service design at the core of successful online sales

No one has been able to deny the significance of customer-oriented design since 2007. That’s when Apple introduced the iPhone, which fell into the wow category not only due to its exterior design but especially due to its ease of use. Instruction manuals were no longer needed to use a phone. To top it off, Apple Store was also launched. In the new competition situation, Nokia’s mobile phones, which had been designed based on engineering- and production-centered efficiency thinking, became the “basic” phones. What followed is one of the best-known chapters of Finnish economic history.

Quick mobilization is one of the main trends affecting consumer behavior and consequently also the future of the trade sector. The mobile phone is a device with which people tend to have a strong emotional bond. Therefore we have high expectations regarding the functionality, attractiveness, and personalization of the services that we use on our phones (we want the services to be designed just for us).

Perhaps superior service design could be today’s competitive advantage. Instead of the starting point for the online service being the platform solution or the service selection (which are, of course, also important), creating a superior user experience through service design would be a starting point, in accordance with Apple’s philosophy.

What does service design mean in the context of online stores? Above all, service design means ease of use, personalized offerings, quick responses, communality, game playing, and integration of customer contact points into a seamless whole. Therefore service design means the courage to try, to make mistakes, and to learn. A good motto for service design would be ”Demo or die”.

Analytics are at the core of online services, and the quality of the analytics is the key to success. Mere shopping cart or click path analysis is no longer sufficient. In order to develop sales operations, knowing the qualities the customer is looking for and the products he or she cannot find can prove critical.

Rajalan Kamera-Agentti is a good example of successful service design. The service helps the customer find the product that he or she is looking for by asking questions. At the same time the service collects customer data that can be used in developing the product selection. Prisma has significantly boosted its online sales of bikes using this same solution, which is also familiar from election machines. GlomeID, a startup company, on the other hand, allows its customers not only to link their online store findings with various user devices but also to share links and collect comments from their friends without forcing anyone to register or install an application. Easy communality!

Foreign operators have also realized the opportunities offered by Finnish startup culture and service design. Zalando, which wants to be the Facebook of Fashion, has established a technology center in Helsinki that works in close cooperation with startup companies.

The success stories of the future will seize the moment now and will not let the service design trend pass by unnoticed.