February 23, 2018

Five for Friday: eCommerce innovations

Finland is a one-stop shop for big eCommerce ideas.
Finland is a one-stop shop for big eCommerce ideas.
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The Finnish approach to online commerce is making a distant impression on buyers and sellers around the world.

Whilst brick and mortar retail is far from dead, there’s no denying the ease of purchase with the click of a mouse or tap of the finger. This quintet of Finnish companies are leading the charge in facilitating eCommerce on a grander scale.


One-person businesses tend to be up to their eyes with work, even without the hassle of coding and hosting their own online store. Vilkas wants to give them a digital hand, by allowing any enterprise to open its own online store instantly simply by creating an account and logging in.

“It’s a do-it-yourself platform that’s as easy to use and navigate as possible,” CEO Markku Korkiakoski explained earlier this year. “With it, business owners don’t need the skills or the technology to create a global webshop from scratch.”


These days, we can buy something from an Italian online store or sell something to Germany as easily as doing business with the shop down the street. This Finnish company acts as a bridge between startups and established banks, making sure modern payment systems work as advertised.

“Currently, we’re the leading specialist in the field of Open Banking Test Sandboxes,” CEO Jarkko Leppälahti said back in September. “We provide Software-as-a-Service for banks and other financial institutions who need to onboard and offer test portals for developers looking to connect to bank APIs.”


Ever wondered how an online store chooses the products it recommends to you? Nosto has the answer: its platform-independent e-commerce personalisation tool.

“The way consumers meet and engage with brands and buy products is changing fast,” Juha Valvanne, Nosto’s co-founder, explained in our feature last year. “If we play our cards right, we can build very interesting solutions on top of our current product and data.”


This company is at the forefront of two global trends: the digitalisation of retail and simplification of software development.

Frosmo improves the user experience by personalising websites to meet a specific customer’s need. its platform also streamlines the purchase process, so that swapping between devices doesn’t mean the user needs to start over again.

“Software development is becoming simpler and faster,” CEO Mikael Gummerus said last summer. “Instead of heavy and lengthy projects, the focus is on coming up with more efficient and straightforward approaches and browser-based solutions.”


Shopping online can sometimes be frustrating. Is one product better than the other? Why does this cost more than that? Where do I find information about delivery costs? Finnchat is here to help, with its real-time chat solution.

“The core idea was that although business is moving online, shopping doesn’t need to be all technology,” Roope Rämänen, company CEO, said back in 2015. “In a normal store, there’s always a person asking if the customer needs assistance. We figured this would be doable online as well.”