E-commerce in the Nordic countries 2020

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Camilla Jacobsen
by Camilla Jacobsen 19/07/2021

Get knowledge about the markets, consumption patterns, shipping, and preferred delivery methods from Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian consumers.

E-commerce in the Nordic countries 2020

2020 has been a year that we won’t forget. Corona’s entry into the whole world has left its mark - and e-commerce in the Nordic region has also felt that. In this blog, we make you wiser about what is up and down in Nordic e-commerce 2020.

Read our analysis of the Danish e-commerce and the European e-commerce.

Nordic e-commerce in the time of the corona

It hardly comes as a surprise that many Nordic consumers shopped online in 2020 - and global and local closures, closed shops, and an attempt to avoid the spread of corona are some of the factors that have influenced e-commerce. According to a survey conducted by PostNord, 19% of Danish consumers shopped online more often in 2020 than before the corona pandemic, while this applied to 26% of Swedish and 22% of Norwegian consumers.

New consumption patterns in Denmark, Sweden and Norway

As a consequence of the coronavirus, Nordic consumers have changed consumption patterns and, for the first time, physical goods dominate the things that are traded most of online:

Categories shopping online nordic Source: Nets: e-commerce reports 2019-2020

Physical goods have had the best year ever, with the most marked progress. This is mainly due to the various national and local restrictions that have meant that many physical stores have remained closed - and, in addition, it is also due to the increasing focus on hygiene, infection spread, and distance, which makes online shopping extremely attractive. In addition, many Nordic consumers who were not previously accustomed to the e-commerce market have learned to shop online - especially the older group.

E-commerce divided into product categories

According to Nets, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian consumers shopped for a total of almost EUR 50 billion online in 2020. The eight largest e-commerce categories within physical goods (share of consumers who have shopped within each product category):

Online shopping categories Source: Nets: Swedish e-commerce 2020, Danish e-commerce 2020, Norwegian e-commerce 2020

The most-purchased physical product categories in the Nordic region are clothing and health and beauty products. However, there are significant differences between the individual countries. In Sweden, online shopping for pharmacy products, in particular, is much higher than the total for the whole of the Nordic region, while Norwegians are at the forefront when it comes to buying sports and leisure equipment. In terms of shopping for food and groceries online, Danes stand out and, according to Nets, the proportion of Danish consumers who buy groceries online since 2018 has increased by 24%. At the same time, the increase in grocery shopping online is undeniably due to covid-19 as well.

The travel industry’s large losses

In common across all the Nordic e-commerce markets, the travel industry suffered large losses in 2020. Whereas in 2019 travel accounted for around 50% of the Nordic consumers’ online consumption, in 2020 in Sweden, Danmark, and Norway, only 15%, 23%, and 26% respectively went to travel. The Swedish travel industry has been particularly affected; in 2019 turnover was as much as SEK 114 billion, but it shrank to only SEK 31.4 billion in 2020:

Online shopping travel statistics Source: Nets: e-commerce reports 2019-2020

Preferred payment methods in the Nordic region

When it comes to preferred payment methods, the three countries differ from each other:

Popular payment methods in Sweden, Norway og Denmark Source: Nets: Danish e-commerce 2020

Among Danish and Norwegian consumers, credit and debit card payments are a favorite, with 62% and 52%, while only 22% of Swedish consumers prefer this payment method. For Swedish consumers, invoice payments are preferred (33%), whereas only 2% of Danish and 12% of Norwegian consumers prefer this type of payment.

New delivery patterns in the Nordic region: the year of home delivery

In addition to the fact that the consumption pattern has changed due to covid-19, we also see a change among consumers’ preferred forms of delivery. Home delivery is becoming popular - which, like many of the other new trends in 2020, is due to the coronavirus. Once again, it is about reducing the risk of infection and, in addition, many shops and parcel shops have been closed as well as workplaces (business delivery).

Although home delivery is popular, there is a difference in how Swedish, Norwegian and Danish consumers want to receive their packages: Popular delivery methods in Norway, Sweden, Denmark Source: PostNord: E-commerce in Europe 2020

While Danish consumers prefer to have their packages delivered to their home during the day, the Swedish and Norwegian consumers are particularly happy with delivery to the mailbox. And delivery to the mailbox is offered, among other things, by PostNord and Bring, both of which are popular carriers.

In addition, Swedish and Danish consumers prefer to have packages delivered to parcel shops to a greater extent compared with Norwegian consumers, where only 14% prefer this. Finally, Danish consumers also stand out in that 20% prefer parcel box delivery, while only 2% and 1% of Norwegians and Swedes prefer this delivery method, as parcel boxes are not as widespread as in Denmark.

In recent years, Nordic consumers have become more climate-conscious. According to Nets, 22% of Danish consumers and 27% of Norwegians who have been offered climate compensation - for example by donating to the climate, choosing environmentally friendly packaging or longer delivery times - have chosen to take up this offer.

Get good advice for sustainable considerations when choosing packaging here.

Offer greener delivery with Shipmondo through your own shipping agreements with PostNord, DHL Freight and UPS or through our agreement with PostNord.

Send packages in the Nordics with Shipmondo

You can send packages in the Nordics with a Shipmondo account. You can use both Shipmondo’s and your own shipping agreements. If you have several shipping agreements, you can collect them in one place and, at the same time, you also get access to our shipping prices and all our features that can help you streamline your workflow.

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Shipping in Sweden

If you send parcels domestically in Sweden, you can ship via DHL Freight. If you send packages to Norway and Denmark from Sweden, you can use our agreements with DHL, GEODIS, GLS, or PostNord.

If you have your own shipping agreement with for instance Bring, Budbee, DHL, Early Bird, PostNord, UPS, or TNT, this can be set up in your account.

Shipping in Norway

If you send parcels domestically in Norway, you can use Shipmondo’s shipping agreements with Bring and PostNord. You can also send domestic with your own agreement with, for example, Bring, DHL, GEODIS, helthjem, Posten Norge, and PostNord.

If you want to send packages to Sweden and Denmark, you can do this with your own shipping agreement with, for instance, Bring, DHL, GLS, FedEx, GEODIS, PostNord, or UPS.

NOTE! If you send packages to or from Norway, keep in mind that Norway is not part of the EU. Therefore, several special rules apply to VAT and customs duties.

Shipping in Denmark

If you send packages domestically in Denmark, you can make use of your own shipping agreements with a myriad of carriers or use our agreements with Bring, dao, Danske Fragtmænd, DHL, GLS, or PostNord. If you want to send to Norway and Sweden, you can send via Shipmondo with DHL, GLS, or PostNord.

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