The Nordic e-commerce market was worth €11bn in 2011, and many are shopping on UK sites, with this country being the most popular foreign market for online purchases. 

The E-commerce in the Nordics 2012 report from logistics firm postnord summarises key e-commerce trends in the region. 

The popularity of the UK for Nordic web shoppers is interesting for UK e-commerce sites looking to sell overseas. Here are some details on that, and a summary of market trends in the region...

Buying from foreign e-commerce sites

40% of Nordic shoppers buy from foreign websites, with the UK being the most popular choice. Norwegians are more likely to purchase from foreign sites, thanks in part to high costs and the lack of established e-commerce sites in the country. 

In Sweden, thanks to the fact that mail order and retail operators have a big share of the market, and has a more established delivery network, shoppers are more likely to use domestic sites. 

Lack of availability is the main reason to seek products from foreign sites, followed by lower prices, though shoppers do have concerns about fraud, and whether they will actually receive the products, which suggests that UK retailers targeting these markets need to do more to reassure potential customers. 

The Nordic e-commerce market: key trends: 

The Nordic e-commerce market is worth almost €11bn

More than eight in ten Nordic consumers shopped online at least once last year, each spending an average of €683 during the year.

Main product categories

Books, home electronics and clothing are the three most popular product categories for Scandinavian consumers, though shoppers are becoming more adventurous. 

Customers want speedy delivery

One in two Nordic consumers expect delivery within three days when they make a purchase online in their own country, thus providing a competitive advantage for those sites that can exceed expectations. 

Mobile commerce is beginning to take hold

5% of Nordic customers made purchases with their mobile phones last year, compared to around 10% in the UK. 

However, 11% of users expect to use their mobiles for online purchases this year. 

Preferred payment methods

The payment methods differ between countries. While the vast majority of Danish and Norwegian shoppers prefer to pay by credit or debit card, only a minority in Finland and Sweden share this preference. 

In both countries, invoicing after delivery is the most popular payment method, followed by direct bank transfers. 

Graham Charlton

Published 5 July, 2012 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is editor in chief at SaleCycle, and former editor at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin.

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Comments (2)


Azam Marketing

Interesting article. As many people in Nordic countries are fluent in English and the UK has a wider selection of shopping websites, I suppose it's not surprising that many Scandinavians buy on British sites.

about 6 years ago


Mashood Hasssan, Marketing at Jumpseller

For doing e-commerce with the nordic countries one platform that can be very useful is Jumpseller ( ), which has full integration with Klarna the popular payment gateway for that market. Do check it out!

over 1 year ago

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