Sponsored: DigitalBooker – E-commerce for the service sector

    This post is sponsored by the Finnish Software Entrepreneurs Association as part of their competition on ArcticStartup. Feel free to participate in the competition for your chance to win a free promotional article.

    DigitalBooker offers companies selling wellness, sports and beauty services a tailored internet shop, giving them an efficient system to benefit from the ease and increasing popularity of internet shopping.

    “The market potential is tremendous because the service sector is limitless, and people are spending more and more on services,” said Fredrik Rönnlund, Partner at DigitalBooker. “Even retiring baby boomers are computer literate, and love using the Internet as their primary source of information and shopping.” Latest statistics from government department Statistics Finland state that over 60% of people between the ages 65 to 74 use the Internet.

    “The only thing that stopped people from buying services online has been the lack of channels, something which DigitalBooker provides.”

    Booking system as your dashboard
    DigitalBooker’s system is tailored for three major service needs: selling timeslots (such as one hour at a tennis court), selling a specific service (such as a haircut) and selling a place at a group event (such as at a yoga class). When a barber defines the requirements for each service they are selling, the system will optimize time usage with the precision only a computerized system could offer. As a consequence, empty timeslots are minimized. Instead of working on scheduling and optimizing resources and other bookings, DigitalBooker’s user friendly system allows business owners to focus on what they do best: running the business.

    Identifying various business needs and tailoring the system to suite the business has been the top priority at DigitalBooker, and its continued success has proven the success of their approach. DigitalBooker is much more than an up-to-date calendar where business owners and customers can manage their own bookings. It is the most important dashboard in a business owner’s daily life, providing an overview of the business. With the help of DigitalBooker you can follow historical data on your usage rate, easily keep contact with your customers through the integrated customer register and allow your customers to pay for bookings online.

    But the ideas don’t stop there. There are many ideas in our pipeline for future versions, from Facebook Connect to offline storage and from HTML5 to OpenID. Social media has played a central role in DigitalBooker’s strategy, and the company has included support for Twitter and Facebook, so your customers can tell their friends about what they are booking, and at the same time engage in viral marketing for your business.

    All you need to get started is a computer with an Internet connection and you’re set. Backups and system updates are conducted on a regular scheduled basis, making sure your data is safe. Users are able to access their personal dashboard from any location in their own language. We emphasize usability and if you for instance compare our barber booking system to competing ones it’s like night and day. “But in order to survive in the SaaS business of tomorrow you have to be like a shark – you need to swim forward or you die.” Fredrik Rönnlund concludes.

    Portal of power
    “An interesting concept we just launched in Finland is the portal Varaaheti.fi which combines all Finnish service providers under one roof. We even challenge our competitors and homegrown systems to add themselves to VaraaHeti.fi so that people can book all their services from one place.” The Finnish webshop portal Fruugo, which combines all webshops under one roof, was in the back of the mind while creating VaraaHeti.fi and the idea is pretty much the same – only sexier.

    Having an Internet presence is something every business owner knows is important today, but why would you be satisfied with having your name at the bottom of a catalog? By letting your customers find you, letting them book a suitable time for a game, zumba class or a haircut and paying for it online, you are making it easier for them to buy your service. And the best part is that it can all take place while you are asleep, so in the morning you are fresh to serve your clients with a smile. “In a way, we are in the business of making people happy,” explains Fredrik Rönnlund. “By reducing business owner’s workload, they are able to smile and concentrate on what’s most important: serving their customers,”

    Check out more about DigitalBooker at www.digitalbooker.com or contact directly.
    Also remember to follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/digitalbooker and join our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/DigitalBooker/191425226037

    Fredrik Rönnlund ([email protected] – +358-400-300381)