If you call this number a random person in Sweden will answer your questions

If you call a number in Sweden, normal people that signed up for it on an app, will answer your questions about tourist destinations and travelling in Sweden.

It is the Swedish Tourist Association that launched this service called ”The Swedish number” in April 2016:

  1. Call +46 771 793336
  2. Wait to get connected to a random Swede that signed up for answering these calls
  3. Ask a travelling related question
  4. Be prepared to receive a very personal answer, depending on the location of the person, and own experiences.
the-swedish-number
The Swedish Number: A unique project.

Of course, I have tested the number, and it worked very well. I was recommended by a guy called Janne to walk “Kungsleden“.

With this fresh and simple project, I am certain that the Swedish Tourist Association will receive a lot of positive reaction and awareness worldwide.

Thomas Toernell, thomas@toernell.com

 

Get notifications if your website is down

It is critical to know when your online shop is not working. The tool we use is LiveWatch, and it works very well.

If we get a message that the website is down, we first pause our online marketing campaigns (email marketing, Google Adwords etc) and inform customer service.

Then we try to find out if we caused the problem – and if we can do anything to fix it. Does the problem occur only for our online shop, or is all of the hosting company affected? If it was us, we try to fix it asap. Otherwise it is only to wait.

Regularly check the uptime statistics of the online shop. If, over a longer period of time, the uptime is less than 99.8% (almost 1.5 hours per month), and you are not causing the downtime, change hosting. It is very annoying with a not working online shop, and it also causes problem with Google Shopping.

server-down
If your server is down, Google Shopping will temporarily remove some of your products from the listing. If it happens a lot, I think you will get a lower quality score at Google. So make sure that your website is up and running all the time.

 

When your online shop is working again, you get a new message from LiveWatch, and now you can turn on your marketing campaigns again.

99.94% uptime last 12 months is great.
99.94% uptime since the start is great.

 

– Thomas Toernell
thomas@toernell.com

What to do if your Swiss online shop is under pressure?

2015 was a tough year for many Swiss online shops. First the 20% increase of the Swiss franc compared to the euro, with falling prices as a result. Then the Amazon decision to ship most packages to Switzerland without shipping fees.

2016 will probably not be better. So what to do? In addition to the normal productivity steps: save where you can, slimming the product offering, find new niche products etc, there is untapped potential in exports for most shops. Especially to markets outside Europe. And Swiss companies have several advantages, one being used to deal with customers in multiple languages.

In the November kickoff of the ExportDigital in Zürich, Google and Switzerland Global Enterprise, presented a great approach for Swiss companies to find export markets.

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Google presenting at the Export Digital kick-off in Zürich in November 2015.

Here is an overview of the tools available to make a first check of potential export markets.


Step 1: Find your export market:

  1. Exportdigital.ch
  2. Google Global Market Finder
  3. Market Navigator with export market facts

 

Step 2: Analyse the relevant trends: 

  1. Google Trends
  2. Consumer Barometer


Step 3: Make a detailed investigation of the target country and test

  1. When you found your potential target markets, it makes sense to get in touch with the consultants of Switzerland Global Enterprise to make a more thorough check of specific trading and legal challenges.
  2. If your products are not too expensive, the best way to learn is simply to make a couple of targeted campaigns and sell a few items to the target market and see where the challenges occur.