Nordic e-commerce on the rise
E-commerce in the Nordic region is increasing steadily and delivery is a “crucial factor”, according to a new report from PostNord. During the first quarter of this year, consumers in the Nordic region spent SEK 36.5 billion (US$4.4 billion) on online shopping – 7% up on the same period last year. The Danes surpassed the Norwegians as the population that shops online the most (76% and 75%, respectively), but the percentage also increased slightly in Sweden and Norway.
“The development of e-commerce in the Nordic region continues to move forward,” commented Annemarie Gardshol, Head of E-commerce at PostNord.
Gardshol emphasised the vitally important role that the delivery company must play to keep the momentum going.
“For e-commerce to continue to develop positively,” urged Gardshol, “it is crucial that deliveries meet consumers’ demands. We’re seeing that consumers expect to be able to decide how to receive their deliveries to a greater extent.”
Almost half of all people in the Nordic region consider it very important to be able to choose the delivery method of their purchases. Recipient power is valued highest in Denmark, where over one third of online shoppers consider it very important to be able to choose how an item will be delivered.
In Denmark and Sweden, about one third of e-commerce consumers expect their purchase to be delivered within three days. In Norway, one fourth of consumers expect the same delivery time, and in Finland, one third are prepared to waiting up to five days.
PostNord noted that preferences for how an item purchased online will be delivered vary among the Nordic countries. The most popular option for all countries is to pick up the item from their partner outlet.
However, PostNord added: “In Sweden, Norway and Finland, about half of all consumers want to pick up the item themselves. But in Denmark, where home deliveries are more common, only one fifth want to go to a service point themselves. Generally speaking, interest in home deliveries in the evening is low in all countries.”
Most Nordic online shopping is still conducted on a computer (which could be a desktop or laptop), but PostNord’s survey did pick up a “clear trend” that “more and more Nordic e-commerce consumers are choosing to shop online using their cell phone”. Sweden is still showing the highest usage of cell-phones for online shopping at 17%, with Denmark second (15%), Norway third (12%) and Finland fourth (8%).
In Sweden and Norway, the most common goods to buy online were media such as books, magazines and CDs. In Denmark and Finland, the most popular items to buy online were clothes and shoes.
When Nordic e-shoppers buy from abroad, they tend to favour goods from the UK, USA, Germany and China, with clothes and shoes being the most popular items. The Swedes tend to buy more foreign online goods than the other Nordic shoppers, but PostNord found that “Swedes do not shop very much from their neighbouring countries”.
PostNord’s E-commerce in the Nordic Region is published quarterly and is based on a consumer survey conducted in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland involving just over 4,000 respondents. The latest survey was conducted in April 2015 with a representative national selection of the population aged 18-79 years in each country.