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E-commerce in the Nordics - statistics & facts

E-commerce companies have been generating higher and higher revenues across Europe. Although Ireland led the ranking in 2020, the Scandinavian countries followed closely, and Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish companies’ online sales accounted for roughly one-fourth of their total revenues that year. Within the Nordics, Sweden was the country with the highest online shopping reach in 2020, beside generating the highest turnover value. In 2020, the percentage of companies selling online in the B2C sector increased in Sweden and Denmark but showed a small contraction in Norway and Finland. The overall investment in further digital strategies proved to be more effective in 2020, with the top-ranking e-commerce companies improving their digital score.

Delivery and payment

Over 2020, most consumers preferred their online orders to be delivered home, while an increasing percentage of them opted for delivery at pickup locations. Consumers from Sweden and Norway liked external distribution points better, while parcel machines were more popular in Finland and Denmark.
Survey data regarding payment methods from 2020 indicated that credit cards still had the highest penetration rates in the Scandinavian region, while PayPal or similar services ranked as the second-most popular services, followed by mobile applications. Unlike Norway and Denmark, paying after receiving the invoice was a common habit in Sweden.

Online shopping and consumer behavior

In the Nordics region, the global marketplace Amazon had a significant user base in Denmark and Sweden. On the contrary, it wasn’t even among the five most visited marketplaces in Finland. In Norway as well as in Finland, eBay was used by one in four online shoppers. Zalando was the undisputed leader e-commerce platform for the apparel and fashion category in Scandinavia. When asked why they shopped online, Nordic residents pointed out finding it easy and saving time as the most common reason. This was considered important by approximately one out of three Swedes. However, like other businesses, online retailers have also experienced some challenges in early 2020, after the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak . One of the outcomes was a decrease in customers, which was also observed in Denmark in the second half of March the same year. Regardless of the differences among countries, in Sweden and Denmark, on average one in three online shoppers planned to buy more local products.

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