The 4 countries of Scandinavia have almost 23 million internet users, and offers extremely bright prospects for online business. So let’s take a look on this very interesting region of Europe and 3 trends in Scandinavian ecommerce 2012.

Internet in Scandinavia is almost as common as rice in China
With an Internet penetration almost 15% higher than the European average of 78.6%, Scandinavian users have set the pace and show to be remarkably tech-savvy. Statistics revealed that in 2010 almost 90% of Swedes accessed the internet and 89% of Danes. In Finland the number of internet users soared up to almost 5 million (population of 5.4 million people). And Norway is an absolute leader on the European scene when it comes to internet use: more than 90% of all Norwegian households enjoy access to the internet. But what is really interesting for the online retailers- numbers of people who are purchasing online in Scandinavia is also impressive:

  • 5% of total sales in Scandinavia is done online
  • 60% of internet users purchase online in Finland
  • 60% of all online Norwegian customers made at least one foreign purchase
  • In Denmark every fourth purchase is made in a foreign webshop

Winter holidays, sweaters, coats- Scandinavians prepare themselves for winter online.

What do Scandinavian by online? Fashion and shoes, travel, media and entertainment, consumer electronics. H&M (fashion), Ellos (fashion), Adlibris (books) belong to the most popular online shops in Sweden. Danish show preference for online retailers such as Amazon and ticket sales platforms like DSB or Billetnet. Consumer electronics shops such as and and also bookstore boomed in terms of unique visitor numbers in Norway. In Finland leading stores that competed for their share of the ecommerce market also sell consumer electronics (Hobby Hall and NetAntilla) and fashion (Shop Ellos).

Search, compare or ask about friends’ opinions- first steps when buying online.

It happens really seldom that a customer switch on the internet, a product finds the customer and the customer buys it immediately (even if my female nature begs to differ, it is true). If the customer knows what he wants, he searches for it. If he doesn’t, he wants to be inspired. And as everybody tries to make rational decisions, customers compare, ask friends or check ratings. Scandinavian clients do the same. First of all they use search engines (85% Denmark), then they compare (54% Sweden), Fins like to check catalogues before buying (64%) and almost half of the Norwegians check ratings and reviews before buying (49%).

These 3 Trends shows that ecommerce tools are going and should gain in importance in Scandinavia. If you want to exploit the opportunities in the Scandinavian market and establish yourself within the other players in ecommerce, you should definitely put greater emphasis on providing your customers a search friendly interface. This could be done for example by leading the visitors of your site quickly and conveniently to the desired product. You also should not forget about personalized merchandising. By that your shop will leave a positive impression, your visitors will turn into your clients and they will more likely come back to your shop to buy more.
And which online foreign ecommerce markets attract Norwegians mostly? German, Swedish or maybe Chinese? You will find that out soon in our next post!

Scandinavia B2C E-Commerce Report