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Ecommerce Sweden grows to 4.17 billion euros

The ecommerce industry in Sweden has increased significantly last year, and it now accounts for a respectable part of all Swedish retail sales. The growth of Swedish ecommerce in 2013 has been the largest since 2007. Last year this business increased with 17 percent to 37 billion Swedish kronor, eg. 4.17 billion euros.

This can be read in E-barometern 2013, a study from PostNord in collaboration with Svensk Digital Handel and HUI Research. In this report we also see that growth in the fourth quarter of 2013 was 18 percent, a huge improvement from the 13 percent in the quarter before that.

Ecommerce Sweden numbers of 2013

Most popular product categories in Swedish ecommerce
With 0.99 billion euros worth of sales, the most popular product category in Sweden is consumer electronics. It currently accounts for about twenty percent of total industry sales. Other popular product categories in Swedish ecommerce are clothes & shoes (€813mn), books & media (€372m), home furniture (€135mn) and sports & leisure (€113mn). In the fourth quarter of 2013, it was the sports branche and industries like toys and cosmetics that showed the strongest growth.

When asked the question “what have you purchased online in 2013”, the most respondents answered “books”, followed by clothing, consumer electronics, computers and computer accessoiries, films, cosmetics, video games, cd’s and furniture. Almost three in ten online consumers purchases goods on the internet at least once a month.

Active customers in upper north of Sweden
According to the researchers, ecommerce is widely distributed throughout Sweden, but the most active ecommerce customers can be found beyond the country’s biggest cities. It is mainly households in Norrland’s inland municipalities that most frequently order goods online. The list is topped by the municipality of Storuman, where an average household got 12 packets delivered to them last year. Big municipalities like Malmö and Stockholm can be found at the bottom of the list with respectively 5.9 and 6.2 packages per household.

Mcommerce Sweden is gaining more and more ground
Approximately one in ten consumers bought something online by using their mobile devices. Among the more frequent online shoppers, those who order something online at least once a months, this percentage was about 22 percent. Clothes were clearly the most popular product category to shop for using a smartphone or tablet.

In the second quarter of 2013 it seemed that 73 percent of consumers owned a smartphone. In August of that year 17 percent of those smartphone owners used their mobile device to buy something online. Nearly seven out of ten have used their smartphone to find information about a product while they were in a physical store. Half of all smartphone owners used their phone to visit a comparison site while they were in the store.

Eight out of ten online shoppers answered that it is very important it’s clear what the total price will be, in order for them to shop at an online store. Order important reasons for Swedish consumers to buy something at an online store are clear product information and the fact goods are easy to find on the site.

Preferred delivery options in Sweden
When asked the question how consumers would like to get the goods they ordered online, 53% answered they want to get it delivered at home. Four in ten consumers would like to pick it up at a nearby postal service and only 2 percent would like to pick it up in a physical store. Slightly more, 3 percent, said they would like to have it delivered in the evening, even it if costs them extra.

One in four consumers have at some point over the past year returned an item they bought online. Among those who shop online at least once per month, this percentage is even higher: 41 percent. Especially clothes get returned a lot, that is also why there are more women than men returning goods they bought online.

The study also looked at foreign consumers. It turns out that last year nearly three percent of Britons (1.5 million consumers) have every shopped online from a Swedish online store, making them on top of the list, that is followed by Germans (1 million) and Norwegians (0.6 million).

Alltogether, ecommerce now accounts for 6 percent of total retail sales in Sweden. When the grocery industry is left out of the calculation, the ecommerce share is about 10 percent.

In September 2013 we wrote an article about how Swedish ecommerce continues to grow. In this, we wrote: “Ecommerce in Sweden could face a total growth of 18 percent and a turnover of 37,3 billion Swedish Kronor ((€4,3bn) this year.” And yes, that actually happened.