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Industry viewpoint: Delivery and e-commerce in the Nordic region


During the first quarter of the year, consumers in the Nordic region shopped online for a total of approximately SEK36.5bn (£2.8bn). This corresponds to an increase of approximately SEK2.5bn (£192M) compared with the same period last year, according to PostNord’s report ‘E-Commerce in the Nordic Region’.

Annemarie Gardshol Postnord

Annemarie Gardshol, PostNord

The development of e-commerce in the Nordic region continues to move forward. For e-commerce to continue to develop positively, 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, writes Annemarie Gardshol, Head of E-commerce at PostNord.

People in the Nordic region are shopping online more and more: between January and April this year, e-commerce increased by 7% compared with 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.

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 open to waiting up to five days.

Preferences for how an item purchased online will be delivered vary among the Nordic countries. However, the most popular option for all countries is to pick up the item from their partner outlet. 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.

Mobile e-commerce

Most people in the Nordic region still shop online using a computer, but more and more consumers are shopping via cell phone.

A clear trend compared with last year is that more and more Nordic e-commerce consumers are choosing to shop online using their cell phone. The percentage continues to be highest in Sweden, but the development shows an increase in purchases made via cell phone in almost all Nordic countries.

In Denmark, online purchases via cell phone increased by 5% to 15% this year, thus surpassing the Nordic average. 17% shopped via cell phone in Sweden, 12% in Norway and 8% in Finland.

Popular e-commerce goods

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.

The UK, US, Germany and China still top the list by far when people in the Nordic region shop from abroad. In the Nordic region, Sweden is still the leading country for shopping from abroad. However, Swedes do not shop very much from their neighboring countries. Clothes and shoes are the most popular items to buy from abroad.

You can find more details, and charts, in our item Nordics: delivery options more important than speed.

* E-commerce in the Nordic Region is published once a quarter and is based on a consumer survey conducted in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland involving just over 4,000 respondents. The consumer survey was conducted in April 2015 with a representative national selection of the population aged 18-79 years in each country. The survey was conducted via the TNS SIFO online panel. In all, 1,084 respondents took part in Sweden, 1,163 in Denmark, 1,408 in Norway and 1,252 in Finland.

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