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Karl Andersson, Anna Näppä, Michael Nilsson, Luleå University of Technology Photo: Linda Alfredsson
Karl Andersson, Pervasice and Mobile Computing, Anna Näppä, Industrial Marketing, and Michael Nilsson, Center for Distance spanning Technology, are working together in the EU project Smartbuy. Photo: Linda Alfredsson View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Increased online visibility for better business

Published: 9 May 2017

An EU project at Luleå University of Technology will enable small and medium-sized companies to increase their online visibility and thereby increase their competitiveness. – We will bring the customer to the store, via the internet, says Karl Andersson, Associate Professor of Mobile and Pervasive Computing.

The technical development has enabled more and more of our purchases to be done online. With a few keystrokes on all possible platforms, we can buy goods and services from all over the world. This development imposes new demands on product and service companies that lack online presence and primarily have a more traditional sales situation with physical stores.

– Many small and medium-sized companies do not have the capacity to have a web shop. They may also actually prefer to have a physical store, says Karl Andersson.

– The question is how they can retain the competitiveness and attract new customers.

On-line search but buying locally

It is these small and medium-sized companies that the Smartbuy project addresses. The aim is to increase the companies' visibility on the internet, to display products and services even though it does not necessarily mean that it can be purchased on-line. The idea is that customers are looking at the goods on the internet, but buy them in the store locally.

– Today's consumers want to know a lot before deciding. For example, many customers want to shop locally but still want to compare prices and product quality, says Anna Näppä, researcher of Industrial Marketing.

Wanted: local business

The researchers are now looking for companies that can participate in the project. In the long run, one aim is to create a common platform for internet presence.

– Today there is a gap between the physical and the digital customer. We want to close that gap and our focus is entirely on getting the customer into the store, says Karl Andersson.

Smartbuy is an EU Horizon 2020 project.

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