Venturing onto Stockholm!

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Hello! Hallå! Tere! Hei!

Welcome to Stockholm!

Conversionista! Founder and CEO, John Ekman me with us and has mastered the art of calculating website conversion rates. The industry that the company primarily works with is e-commerce where the conversion rate is known to be below 3%. Conversionista believes that each digital bucket on the website should have a return on investment and that it’s mostly about analyzing consumer behavior. Online purchasing happens in three ways, as John explains it:

  1. What YOU (as the consumer) think you do
  2. What they (as the company) think they do
  3. How they (both consumer and company) actually use

Most companies need to realize that number three is the most important and that behavioral economics/persuasion psychology is prevalent in digital media. This is where Conversonista comes in, they are professionals at analyzing the consumer and the actions they take when they purchase online. The consumer is mainly on autopilot, they click blindly and are often unaware of the situation or website that they are clicking through. Most consumers when scrolling online want to be told what to do and how to do it without asking of having to think about where to go next. Consumers also, when purchasing online, make their decisions on an emotional base. Conversionista understands this and works with their clients to make their website easier to the consumer behavior and mindset.

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Conversionista currently has no sales team and no marketing team as clients seek them out and ask for their service. Their main client base relies on media companies and those in e-commerce. When it comes to their company culture, they focus on productivity analysis. They have various types of desks with each having three monitors, as they beige the more your eyes move, the more productive you are.

This company has come to Earth to “save people from bad conversion rates and websites that suck!”

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Magnus Akerhielm the Managing Partner of Keolis took us on a tour of their Stockholm corporate office. It was quite a unique experience to see how Mr. Akerhielm decided to change the traditional office space and create “open offices”. This differs from traditional spaces, in that there are no assigned desks. When you come to the office you either can do work in the quiet room or an open seating area. The mentality behind this is to break conventional barriers and give people from the various departments a chance to get to know and work with one another. When comparing this to American companies, I have also noticed a trend to create more open work environments. Accounting firms like BDO and Ernst and Young are changing office designs to stimulate a “team setting”. The Orange County BDO office has an open door policy that allows employees access to all top level management, no appointment needed. After speaking with Mr. Akerhielm we could see that he runs his organization in a similar manner.

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Sustainability is a hot topic around the world. Learning about Keolis, it is apparent that this is not just a “buzz word” for them, but an important cultural choice.  They demonstrate this choice by their commitment to not use fossil fuels.

Kelly Johnston is in charge of the procurement management department, and gave us insight into the differences between French and Swedish culture. Keolis is a French based company that operates is various countries like Australia, Sweden, China, etc.  While Sweden has a specific hierarchy similar to France, they have a more lax take on how executives interact with staff. France is the opposite, in that you must always shake hands, address others by their full name and schedule an appointment. Dropping in is not a common thing in French culture.

Keolis’ core values:

  1. Safety First
  2. Passenger Focus
  3. Responsibility and respect for each other

(We noticed that safety really is a top priority for most Swedish companies core values, Keolis is no different)

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Just a five minute walk from the hotel,  Sqore.com, a game based employment recruitment company. We met with Niklas, the founder, and Maria, the Chief Operating Officer and they spoke to us about how Sqore works with the companies and students/entrepreneurs and making a game or competition to either win money or job placement. The company was founded on the basis of providing equal access to opportunities for all those looking to enter the job market. Sqore is a B2B and B2C company as they work with companies to create games and post jobs online, they work with students and entrepreneurs by placing them in these game competitions.

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Looking around the office, you see a diverse group of employees who come from all different countries. Sqore’s focus is to take their business global and help those around the world, the way they see it is employ international people and get a global perspective. They find it pertinent to invest in culture and in team building/bonding to get the best possible work environment.

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The Bank of Sweden, (Riksbank) could be considered one of the oldest central banks, dating back to 1668. Their company culture was probably the most similar to a traditional work environment. From all of the Swedish companies we visited, everyone seemed to dress very professional and gave off somewhat of a stern/guarded appearance. From our experience with American Banks culture, Riksbank seemed no different.

An interesting question to consider, which might also become relevant in the United States, is one about increased security measures. Sweden’s increasing reliance on credit cards and decreased use of cash could pose potential problems. A large spread blackout could create panic and is something that Riksbank is actively thinking about while doing their best to plan for potential disasters.

Sweden sure has been good to us…

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But now we are off to Estonia!

Goodbye! Adjö! Hüvasti! Hyvästi!

Team 16-1