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European Ecommerce Overview: Sweden

Sweden is a Scandinavian country in which GDP in 2019 accounted for US$530.83 billion. What is quite interesting Sweden seems like a great place to live. This country was ranked 5th in the case of HDI. Two countries border Sweden by land – Finland and Norway. And Denmark borders by a bridge over the strait Öresund.

Swedish ecommerce overview

By the end of 2020, Swedish ecommerce is projected to hit US$11,748m and, in five years, reach US$13,924m of the market volume. User penetration stands at the level of 76.6%, and by the end of 2025, it could hit 81.8%.

source: https://ecommercedb.com/en/markets/se/all

The top five popular ecommerce in Sweden are based on .se domains. Which means that Swedes appreciate Swedish-language websites while shopping online. The first place belongs to Swedish NetOnNet. Then comes Apotea – an online pharmacy that does not have brick-and-mortar stores at all. The third is Elgiganten – a Swedish electronics retailer. 

The largest sector of Swedish ecommerce is Fashion – 31% of the Swedish ecommerce revenue is generated here. Then comes Electronics & Media with 23% of ecommerce revenue. The third-place belongs to Toys, Hobby & DIY, with 20%. Behind the podium are Furniture & Appliances – 16% and Food & Personal Care, which generated 10% of Swedish ecommerce revenue in 2019.

Consumers behavior in Sweden

Swedes are a consumer nation. The main determinants of the purchase are price and quality. Swedish consumers also pay attention to know-how and after-sales service. Before shopping, online research is done by 53% of Swedes. 

Consumer confidence is falling – it is below the OECD average. In terms of e-commerce, the market is constantly developing. It is predicted that by 2035 up to ¾ of grocery purchases will be made online. Although Swedes are relatively open to international brands, they appreciate their native ones. There were only two global brands in the top 10 favorite ranking – Apple and Google in the last two positions. Brand loyalty is also declining – about 77% of loyalty programs are failing in two years. 

When it comes to health, the Swedes are among the leading countries in the quality of products and consumption. You can more often find natural, ecological products with a short and good composition in Swedish homes. It is the domain of not only the food sector but also, for example, the cosmetics sector, where natural cosmetics are used more and more often. Swedes are fans of the sharing economy, Uber or Airbnb are the perfect solutions for them, so such methods are often introduced to the Swedish market.

Where do Swedes buy from? In the case of cross-border shopping, Germany is the leader with US$23.1 billion of purchase value. The second place belongs to the Netherlands – US$10.9 billion and then Denmark – US$9.6 billion. The last two are Norway with US$8.56 billion and China with US$7.02 billion. 

source: https://learning.eshopworld.com/ecommerce-blog/sweden-ecommerce-insights/

Swedish payment methods

Swedish consumers prefer to pay via cards – over 41% of ecommerce transactions are made this way. As evidenced by the negligible share of cash in the table below, Sweden is moving in a cashless direction. As the first country, they are testing a digital currency. It is expected that bank transfers will constitute the foundation for non-cash payments. Nearly 100% of the population has a bank account. Thanks to this, bank transfers and Swish, i.e., a payment application based on this method, are often used.

source: https://www.jpmorgan.com/merchant-services/insights/reports/sweden

A quite popular method is an open invoice – it has almost 23% share in ecommerce transactions. This method is expected to grow in popularity. As the homeland of Klarna (buy now-pay later method), Sweden consumers use this way as an additional payment (20%). Swedes also use digital wallets; PayPal is the most popular, although Google Pay also has fans.

Payment safety

A fraud rate is in line with the European score. However, what is quite popular – invoice fraud and push-payments fraud. Since the first doesn’t need an explanation but the second one should be explained. So push-payments fraud means that scammers pretend to be a business and trick clients into making deposits using quick mobile payments. This results in the inability to reverse such a transaction. 

Social media in Sweden

There are over 9.60 million internet users in Sweden. It means that about 96% of the population is online. Over 7 million Swedes are active in social media. About 98% of them use it via mobiles. 

source: https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2020-sweden

Thanks to Facebook Ads, you can reach even 6 million Swedish people. But you need to remember that almost 98% of them use Facebook on the mobile. So your ads need to be mobile-friendly. 

source: https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2020-sweden

Thanks to Instagram, you can reach 4.80 million users. Twitter has the lowest power – 1.85 million users. 

What is also quite useful information – in the case of web traffic, Android devices’ usage is increasing while the popularity of Apple is falling.

Swedish logistics 

Taking into account the terrain and climate, logistics is concentrated in the southern part of the country. This is also the reason why freight logistics is so well-developed in Sweden. Its most important points are Malmö, Helsingborg, Gothenburg, Norrkoping, and Stockholm. Swedish companies provide such services as logistics & supply chains, logistics management, 3rd party logistics services, freight forwarding, packaging, warehousing, storage and distribution, corporate logistics, and pallet trucks. 

source: https://www.logisticssweden.com/

The most popular delivery provider is DHL – it covers  30% of parcels. Then comes DB  Shenker with 14% of shipment and UPS with a little less – 13%. 

source: https://ecommercedb.com/en/markets/se/all

To sum up 

Many retailers are afraid of Scandinavian countries, having the wrong impression of extremely demanding consumers and logistical difficulties. Both of these factors are currently not a problem, as evidenced by the rapidly growing ecommerce. As you already know, Sweden has potential, and consumers do shopping online quite often. It would be nice if you can provide a web in Swedish. In this way, you will definitely gain more sympathy and loyalty. 

If you are interested in the Scandinavian market, there is also an article about ecommerce in Denmark