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Helping drive
e-commerce growth in Portugal through customer excellence

Dott is the only local e-commerce platform in Portugal which acts as a digital marketplace for 500+ retailers and Portugal’s online shoppers. Learn more.

“Zendesk is very easy to configure and set up only took a few days. In addition, it offers a rich variety of features and is very scalable and flexible. You can quickly add new capabilities, languages and channels as your customers’ needs evolve, so it’s a perfect fit for our business.”

Paulo Ribeirinho

Chief Operating Officer at Dott


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Portugal is on the cusp of rapid growth of e-commerce,with the number of online shoppers expected to grow from just over 5 million in 2016 to 7.7million in 2022. One of the companies helping drive this growth is Dott, the only local e-commerce platform in Portugal which acts as a digital marketplace for more than 500 retailers and Portugal’s online shoppers. It also offers a host of services for retailers: from designing their online catalogue and product pages, through to selecting the images that appear on the website and managing the order distribution and delivery.

Created in early 2018 through an acquisition by the global business and retail group Sonae and Portugal’s national postal service, CTT, Dott has ambitious growth plans.

“When we started the business, there was no strong local brand that can deliver a seamless end-to-end online shopping experience. Global e-commerce players such as Amazon didn’t have an in-depth understanding of the cultural nuances and shopping preferences of Portuguese shoppers, while the few local e-commerce brands didn’t offer a fully integrated online shopping experience. We knew we could bridge this gap by offering sellers and individuals an integrated e-commerce experience that rivals the digital features of Amazon and is locally relevant,” said Paulo Ribeirinho, Chief Operating Officer at Dott.

“There is a huge potential in driving e-commerce growth in Portugal as online sales are still behind the European average, so our ambition is to digitise the Portuguese customer and seller and drive growth in digital sales,” he added.

Using scalability and automation to drive efficiency and growth

To be able to achieve these ambitions, Dott needed a scalable customer service platform to enable it to deliver exceptional customer experience across multiple channels. It also needed to accommodate the needs of its rapidly growing customer base and large network of sellers. The company started using Zendesk in May 2019 when it commenced setting up its customer service operations. Paulo had worked with Zendesk before joining Dott and was confident in its capabilities and its potential to fulfil their business needs.

“Zendesk is very easy to configure and set up only took a few days. In addition, it offers a rich variety of features and is very scalable and flexible. You can quickly add new capabilities, languages and channels as your customers’ needs evolve, so it’s a perfect fit for our business,” said Paulo.

Currently, Dott is using Zendesk Suite, including Zendesk Support, Chat, Talk and Guide and have recently adopted Explore, Zendesk’s advanced reporting and analytics tool. “Zendesk offers great automation capabilities, which has helped us improve efficiency and streamline customer service operations. For instance, Zendesk’s triggers and automation features, have helped us automate the closing of resolved tickets in the system and the escalating of time-sensitive queries, which has helped us reduce ticket volume by more than 20%. We can also leverage multiple channels including social apps such as WhatsApp which is a preferred channel for a lot of our customers,” explained Paulo.

Paulo and his team have been using Zendesk Guide to build up a knowledge base for shoppers, sellers, and to boost Dott’s self-service capabilities. “This has helped us improve the experience for both customers and sellers. We have a dedicated Help Centre where sellers can learn how to make the most of our offering. This includes a Seller University Knowledge base which provides sellers with detailed information about how to use our platform and enables them to build up their e-commerce knowledge,” added Paulo.

Using technology integration to drive engagement with sellers

Zendesk was configured to work with third party apps, enabling Dott to interact with sellers. The company is using the apps integration tool Zapier to link Zendesk to the customer operations interfaces of its sellers.

Another key area of the Dott service model is managing and facilitating product deliveries, including the distribution services for parcels and small packages. However, larger purchases such as fridges or furniture need to be managed manually with their distribution partner. “When we get a special order, it gets categorised as such within our system and we create an internal ticket which is routed to our supplier counterpart. With Zendesk we can set up reminders and service level agreement (SLA) notifications which are sent to the supplier so that we can ensure their customers receive a great delivery service,” commented Paulo.

For instance, if a customer requires technical advice about an issue with their new washing machine or the exact delivery details for their bespoke furniture, the enquiry gets directed to the supplier team to ensure maximum efficiency.

Apart from enabling Dott to manage communication with sellers, Zendesk also helps Paulo’s team to capture sales data and leads through its integration with Zapier and the contact management app InSightly. Zendesk is also integrated into Dott’s order management and tracking systems, and customer feedback tools. This provides Dott with an end-to-end view of the whole service value chain: from the initial customer contact, through to the follow up interactions, order status tracking, delivery and customer feedback.

Moving forward, Paulo is planning to expand its team and enhance Dott’s customer service capabilities, including the support for sellers by giving them more guidance to enable them to provide a personal touch when fulfilling customer orders. “We are really excited about the next stage of our journey to growing our business and we look forward to working with Zendesk to deliver exceptional customer experience to both online shoppers and sellers,” commented Paulo.

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