Fashion e-commerce in the Nordics - statistics & facts
Fashion, encompassing clothing, footwear, and accessories, is one of the most purchased e-commerce products in the Nordic countries. In 2023, the Nordic online fashion market was valued at around 9.5 billion U.S. dollars. By 2027, it is forecast to reach almost 13 billion U.S. dollars. In the region, Sweden and Norway are home to the biggest fashion e-commerce markets, worth around 4.2 and 3.6 billion U.S. dollars, respectively. The online fashion industries in Denmark and Finland are comparatively small, each valued at roughly 2.5 billion U.S. dollars.
A tie between Zalando and H&M
Zalando and H&M are the leading online fashion stores in the Northern region. The German retailer Zalando takes the top spot in Denmark, Norway, and Finland, while H&M dominates in its home country of Sweden. However, Sweden is Zalando's biggest market in the Nordics, generating sales amounting to over 280 million U.S. dollars, compared to only 157 million in Finland. In turn, H&M generated roughly 370 million U.S. dollars in Sweden. Both stores have very successful mobile applications in the northern countries, each amassing over 50,000 monthly downloads.
Boozt is another emerging player in the market. Founded in 2007 in Sweden, the company quickly climbed to the top list of fashion retailers in each Nordic country. In 2022, the retailer earned an annual revenue of 6.7 billion Swedish kronor, wherefrom 1.9 billion originated from sales in its native country. The store started out as a pure player, but has since launched outlet stores in Denmark, as well as an online outlet store Booztlet.com.
Free shipping - a thing of the past?
As online fashion shopping becomes more popular, so do returns, raising the question of who should bear the expense. In Denmark, almost 30 percent of fashion items were returned in 2022, whereas around one out of five orders were sent back in Sweden. In an effort to alleviate the financial strain shipping causes, retailers have begun to charge customers for delivery and returns. However, according to survey results, only about 25 percent of shoppers are willing to foot the bill worldwide. The sustainability of online orders has also raised concern, leading many retailers to implement delivery charges as a means to reduce their carbon footprint. These charges are meant to cover the offsets for each package. Boozt has even gone so far as to block customers who have exceptionally high return rates, citing steep costs and environmental harm. Similarly, H&M has recently begun conducting trials in selected markets to explore the possibility of charging paid delivery fees.
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