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What's in your shopping cart? The future of ecommerce

You can already buy a Tesla car fully online, but e-commerce has reached the next level in the Netherlands.

Last month, the first 15 newly built houses were sold online. It’s the next stage of e-commerce, with all the convenience of clicking your purchase options into a virtual shopping cart. Clear instructions on the website make the entire buying process as simple and convenient as buying a book or DVD online.

The future of buying a property

When it comes to the biggest purchase most people will make in their lives – a house – the average prospective buyer today is not necessarily looking for the services of a traditional real estate agent.

With a singular focus, young buyers know what they want and will happily search through all the different options to build their dream house themselves. Younger generations are very used to doing all their research before doing a purchase online. They also prefer doing so in the comfort of their own home, sitting on the couch, laptop on their lap.

Traditionally, the process from initiating a search to signing the purchase papers for a new house would take up to six months – hardly the effortless and convenient transaction people expect nowadays. The new platform was developed by digital agency TamTam (part of Dept) and has accelerated and simplified this process considerably. It was developed for BPD, the largest real estate developer in the Netherlands.

Justin Kniest, senior digital strategist at TamTam (part of Dept) said: “Of course we are delighted with the news that the first customer has taken the step to purchase their new house online, only days after the launch of the platform. A successful first transaction means mission accomplished and many more to follow!”

Jessie Wagenaar, BPD sales and regional marketing director: “We already knew that people were increasingly doing their research online, especially when it comes to buying a new home. We took this desire one step further and now offer a complete A to Z purchase process on line.”

Service design at its best

The process that TamTam designed for BPD has a service design that matches the step-by-step decision-making process that consumers like so much. Buyers first want to feel comfortable and relaxed, especially in the initial orientation phase. In addition to creating a list of favourites, prospective buyers can see what the new neighbourhood looks like, as well as filling out a ‘housing preferences’ survey to get personally involved in the early stages of a neighbourhood’s development.

As soon as their favourite house is up for sale, interested buyers receive a notification by email, and financial assistance is offered. Customers’ needs are met by reviewing their personal profiles and matching those to the specifications of the newly built properties. The neighbourhood, as well as the houses in it, are co-created with the future residents. Because of this alignment of needs, a much better match between supply and demand is guaranteed.

Some of the other features of the platform include access to important documents and architectural drawings in one folder, and of course one can also create a virtual interior by using home decor suggestions. Even after buying their property, new home owners can continue to use the online platform to stay in touch about activities and new developments with other home owners and with the real estate developer.

This move establishes the platform and BPD into one of the leading e-commerce platforms in the Netherlands.

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