Dan Nilsson is one of the persons that have been leading the Swedish e-commerce for the last 10 years. He is, among more, the founder of Ehandel.se (the leading forum for e-commerce in Sweden), CEO and founder of Roliga Prylar and co-founder of Fyndiq. I sat down with him and talked about his journey; past, present and future.
Dan started his e-commerce journey in 1998 and was more or less employed until he set up his first company in 2003. His first niche was to sell t-shirts with various printing. He had a small textile printing factory so that he controlled the whole chain. This business were run at the same time that Dan where studying.
Dan set a goal that he should sell for SEK 100.000. When the year ended the site had sold for SEK 1M
2008 Dan started a blog, RoligaPrylar.se, about gadgets that is more or less “useless”. The blog got a lot of attention and inspired by CoolStuff he made it a try to set up an e-commerce site. Dan set a goal that he should sell for SEK 100.000. When the year ended the site had sold for SEK 1M. Dan felt that he was in his right element, combining his interest in gadgets and his knowledge in running an e-commerce store. The site has continued to grow every year and today they have about 5.000 articles. As of April 1Roliga Prylar is owned by the newly started Net Departo Ventures, focusing on a quick expansion to Norway, Denmark and Finland. Dan will continue as CEO and are feeling very excited about taking the company to the next level. The primary goal is a sale of SEK 40M and the long-term goal is a sale of SEK 100M.
Dan is advocate of transparency in the e-commerce business. Two years ago he published his sales figures on a daily basis during the Christmas sale. Last Christmas sale he took another step and published all the sales data in real time. He means that businesses must be more open and not so afraid of sharing information. Everybody is eager to talk about their success but only a few are willing to talk about their failures. In many cases it’s more interesting to talk about failures and discuss how we can prevent them in the future. A step to that direction is Ehandel.se Analytics which shows data and statistics based on the companies that shares data. That is, the more companies that share their data, the more reliable data. Transparency that all will benefit from. You will get a quick feedback if it’s only your site that did poor yesterday or was it your industry or the whole e-commerce in general.
Dan and the future
When looking into the future, Dan says that the most important for web shoppers are a broad product range and the second most important is the price. The key for sites with many products are the filtering. A customer would like to have many options but not to many. Dan also thinks that we will see some changes in payment and freight.
“It’s still easy to set up a new e-commerce site and there are still some areas or niches that are not fully covered. To set up a new e-commerce company now you need to have some financial muscles. The big players are always watching if a new area will be successful and can quite easy broaden their offering and take out the newcomer.”