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Nordic ecommerce booming with high levels of cross-border sales


Ecommerce continues to grow fast across the Nordics, with decisions on where to buy from being driven largely by delivery considerations.
In 2015, shoppers in the Nordics spent around £14bn online, an increase of 15% on the previous year, with around £3.4bn of that spent buying good from other countries.

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Cross-border shopping by online Nordic shoppers

Norwegian shoppers recorded the highest cross-border percentage (50%), followed closely by Finland (49%), according to PostNord’s E-commerce in the Nordics 2016 report, with UK retailers the most likely beneficiaries of this activity. The most popular countries Nordic consumers bought from in 2015 were the UK (36%), Germany (25%), the US (23%), and China (23%).

Much like shoppers in the UK, Nordic consumers want flexibility and convenience from delivery options. Across Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, home delivery was a less favoured option than collection, when shoppers are given a choice at the checkout. Whether collecting from the retailer’s own store, or from a third party network (such as a Collect+ or Doddle, as we have in the UK) being able to pick up a parcel when it’s convenient is the preferred choice.

Nordic delivery methods

Patience is also a factor. Danes will wait an average of 3.4 business days for a delivery. Swedes will wait 3.9 days, in Norway it’s 4.1 days, and the Finns will wait the longest at 4.4 days.

Nordic patient delivery

Those figures are in line with last year’s E-commerce in the Nordics from PostNord, which found returns rates this year to be similar to last year too.

Across the Nordics, 15% of consumers said they’d returned an item during the last quarter of the year. In Norway, that was 12%, 14% in Denmark, 17% in both Sweden and Finland.

However, 36% of Norwegians who shop online said they have never returned an item. In Sweden that figure is 33% and in Denmark it is 32%. By comparison, around 55%-60% of UK online shoppers have never returned an item, according to estimates from Clear Returns.

“Smooth, flexible deliveries make more people want to buy online more of the time,” said Arne Andersson Nordic ecommerce specialist at PostNord.

“Recipients want to know when, where, and how their goods will be delivered. It’s also becoming more common for recipients to want the option to change the delivery address and time while the goods are in transit. Customised deliveries are becoming an increasingly important competitive advantage.”

nordic summary

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