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Launch your e-commerce now or never

Now, during the coronavirus pandemic, it's high time you finally launch your e-commerce to keep your cash flow open. As a global hub for e-commerce, Estonia offers fast world-class solutions for that.

Since many supermarkets and stores around the world are closing their doors to prevent the spread of coronavirus and physical contacts between people, the only sure way to sell is to do it online.

Foremost, parcel robots and artificial intelligence used for process automation are not afraid of any microbes – they can do their job perfectly even during a pandemic.

Secondly, the more your company uses automation, artificial intelligence and robotic automation, the less vulnerable the company is if an employee becomes ill.

As the world’s most digitally enabled nation, Estonia has the best solutions in the fields of e-commerce – from FinTech company Fortumo serving Amazon, to Cleveron delivering Walmart’s goods to customers with parcel robots.

The biggest names in retail, like Amazon and Walmart, are already using the competence and solutions of Estonian e-commerce companies. Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Spotify and Sony are costumers of Estonian carrier billing solution provided by Fortumo, business daily Äripäev writes.

There is no doubt that Estonia is an emerging hub for global e-commerce activity. World-class IT skills have created numerous e-commerce applications for online trust, payments and digital logistics.

Automated processes

One of the most positives of e-commerce business are the lowered costs, which come from the automation of order management, inventory management, checkout, billing, payments, shipping, and other operational processes lowering the number of employees required to run an e-commerce setup. However, an experienced automation partner is needed to connect all these processes.

Linnworks, Erply and Pactum  are the right companies to connect and automate the different parts of your selling processes.

Estonian startup Pactum has created an AI tool for contracting. The system is able to learn to understand the value of different contract terms and uses AI to perform high-quality and considerate negotiations that reach a win-win outcome.

As announced by Digigeenius yesterday, Walmart, one of the largest sales organizations in the world, values the automation of contracts offered by Pactum and starts using it to simplify the contract negotiation and conclusion processes.

“If you, dear reader, see that you have thousands of standard negotiations in either the buying or selling process, you can feel free to let us know,” noted Kaspar Korjus, founder and CEO of Pactum.

 Kaspar Korjus, Pactum

Location-based services

We don´t wonder, how our smartphone knows, where we are, and where the nearest store or service we’re interested in is, or when it recommends a parcel machine nearby, where we can pick up our purchase. This all is possible with location-based services (LBS) that are using real-time geo-data from a smartphone to provide information.

Estonian company Reach-U is one of the largest LBS providers in the world, serving more than 343 million subscribers of 25 operators. Founded in 1989, Reach-U, can be an essential partner for excellent customer service, digital marketing and customer management, being able to give all the needed answers in the blink of an eye.

As Amazon provides consumers with real-time visibility of the goods itinerary, it is mandatory for each shipper and carrier to identify their location in real-time. A good partner for this is Sixfold – Europe’s leading independent provider of visibility services.  The logistic platform Sixfold, which is used by Rockwool and Saint-Gobain, has recently put together a real-time border crossing map to help prevent international freight traffic being delayed during the pandemic.

Digital logistics

Estonia has produced numerous innovations in digital logistics, combining an ideal pro-business environment for R&D, world-class IT and engineering skills.

Estonian parcel locker and fulfilment robotics provider Cleveron has launched a grocery robot, opened a robotics academy, expanded to 21 countries, and has been awarded as the best last mile delivery innovator and last year’s exporter of Estonia.

The digital mindset of Estonia has influenced the entrepreneurial thinking, admitted Peep Kuld, co-founder of Cleveron. “The only way to be successful in entrepreneurship is to be on the internet or invent something that is based on computers or the Internet,” Kuld said.

Speaking of how quickly Estonia is adopt to changing circumstances, the ability that Forbes and the New Yorker have praised lately – here’s another example of that. By Bolt. “To support merchants, big and small and help people stay at home, we are launching Bolt Business Delivery today,” announced  Markus Villig, founder of Bolt, on Twitter yesterday.

Online payment services

In payments, Estonia has produced globally successful companies including Fortumo, Monese and unicorn TransferWise, each of whom has significant R&D, engineering and 24/7, multilingual client service operations in Estonia.

Fortumo, founded in 2007, is one of the world’s leading mobile payment service providers, whose payment solutions are available to 3 billion consumers, and whose customers include Amazon.

“We are proud to be a part of the solution that helps customers join Amazon Prime in new ways, giving them access to the best in shopping and entertainment,” said Andrea Boetti, VP of Global Business Development at Fortumo.

According to FinExtra, Monese, launched in 2015 as the first 100% mobile account in the UK, is the first banking service to enable Apple Pay payments in the UK and in several Eurozone countries, with the largest coverage in Europe. Taking care of customers’ online shopping security, Monese gives you tips on how to shop safely on Black Friday.

TransferWise offers a free multi-currency business account to pay global suppliers and to receive Stripe and Amazon payouts for free. The company, founded in 2010 by ex-Skyper Taavet Hinrikus and IT talent Kristo Käärmann, to transform international money transfers cheap, fair, and simple. They have been fabulously successful – TransferWise has 4+ million happy customers, 11 offices with over 1,300 employees, across 4 continents.

For small businesses, Estonian FinTech Xolo offers the easiest way to manage your business from anywhere, with access to secure banking, accounting, and one of the simplest tax systems in the world provided by Estonia.

Estonia’s world-class IT skills, tech-mindedness, high entrepreneurship activity, non-bureaucratic business environment with an advantageous tax system give the reason to believe that more and more innovative solutions for implementation in e-commerce are coming soon from here. Areas of innovation include harnessing AI to deliver personalised service, mobile commerce and enterprise management systems.

Read more about the e-commerce opportunities Estonia offers here or send us an e-Consulting request to get more detailed information.

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What is it like to run a business in Estonia? How to benefit from the e-solutions and the efficiency of our business culture? What are the opportunities in specific sectors? Who to partner up with?

The Estonian Investment Agency’s team is happy to help you via its complimentary e-Consulting service, organize online or offline follow-up events such as virtual investment visits and guide you through the fairly simple process of investing in Estonia.

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