E-commerce in Nordic region posts strong growth, PostNord logistics report reveals

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The Nordic e-commerce market is in a phase of robust growth. According to a new report from logistics firm PostNord, more than 14m citizens of the Nordic region bought goods online last year. Nearly one in three people in the Nordic region bought goods online at least once a month. Denmark tops the Nordic list for percentage of consumers who buy goods online, while the highest amounts are spent by consumers in Norway. PostNord estimates the Nordic e-commerce market amounts to sales of around SEK 100bn.

More and more leading retail businesses in the Nordic region are now investing heavily in online selling, and over the past year several international e-commerce companies have elected to expand in the Nordic market, PostNord reports. The reasons why the Nordic region is at the forefront of this trend include widespread internet use, good access to mobile telephony and mobile broadband and generally strong purchasing power on the part of the population of all the region’s countries. 

  • The robust growth of recent years indicates the Nordic e-commerce market is playing an increasingly important role both to consumers and businesses. Nordic people are generally up for trying out new things and so often represent a good test market when a business wants to expand internationally. Nordic customers love to buy from UK sites,” said Karin Falkentoft, managing director at Direct Link, part of PostNord.

Increased growth has also brought higher consumer demands. Nordic consumers want to receive their goods more and more quickly and to decide themselves how their deliveries are to be made. They also want problem-free returns. 

  • Fast transportation and efficient warehousing are essential in any successful online selling operation. To e-commerce businesses, logistics and supply chain are as business-critical as innovative capacity and service-mindedness,” said Falkentoft.

There are many similarities between e-commerce consumers in the Nordic region, but the report also highlights clear differences in behavior, depending on the country the person comes from. One of the biggest differences is how people want to pay for their goods. While Swedes want if possible to pay afterwards by invoice, Norwegians and Danes prefer to pay using payment or credit cards. Finns, on the other hand, mainly pay direct from their bank. 

Danes and Norwegians are the most frequent buyers, followed by Swedes. Finns lag behind somewhat. Norwegians top the list when ranked by the average total value of goods bought online during 2012.

Four out of 10 Nordic e-commerce consumers bought goods online from a foreign site during 2012. The most popular option is to buy from UK sites, followed by US and German sites. When Nordic consumers buy goods online from other Nordic sites, these are above all Swedish online shops.