Online shopping is on the rise internationally, and this trend shows no signs of slowing. It’s picking up more speed and generating larger revenues each year.

Sweden is a business-friendly, modern country, and currently has one of the most successful and stable economies in Europe. Though not at the top of these trends, eCommerce in Sweden has increased significantly over the last decade.

With this in mind, we’ll look at some of the key trends for online shopping in Sweden. We’ll explore the behavior and preferences of Swedish shoppers, as well as some of the most important features needed to make your Swedish online store successful.

In addition to market trends and hot product categories, we’ll have a look at preferred payment types and overall shopper activity. This will give you all the information you need to create a profitable eCommerce website in Sweden, or to refine your existing site to get the most of it.

Online Shopping Statistics by Country

Before we will be looking into the specifics of online shopping in Sweden, let’s go into some of the stats. According to Statista research, China stands at the top of the list with $740 million. The US is a relatively close second at $560 billion. Sweden is significantly lower on the scale, with nearly $12 billion spent on eCommerce purchases per year projected for 2019.

Besides, this annual revenue for eCommerce shopping in Sweden is growing at a rate of 6.3% per year.

By 2023, this is projected to amount to over $15 billion for online purchases alone. When breaking this down by the user, we look at the ARPU, or average revenue per user. This presently stands at $1355.70 per year for Swedish buyers. The fashion industry is strongest for online purchases. Below you can see the number of dollars spent on the most popular goods in Sweden.

Most Purchased Categories of Goods in Sweden

Economic Trends

To make the most out of your Scandinavian online store, you’ll need to understand the economic trends of the Scandinavian countries and Sweden in particular. In addition to having some of the strongest economies in Europe, the distinction between physical sales and online purchases is rapidly disappearing. Nordic shoppers are more receptive than most to expansion in the online market.

In 2016, online purchases in the Nordic countries amounted to nearly 22 billion Euros.

  • Finland accounted for the lowest proportion of these sales. 49% of the population, about 1.9 million people, purchased on average of 135 Euros per person per month.
  • Norway has the highest per capita sales on average at 173 Euros per month. 65% of the population reported that they had purchased online, about 2.4 million people.
  • Denmark has 2.6 million people made online purchases in 2016. It is about 63% of the population and at an average of 162 Euros per person per month?
  • Sweden is the 14th wealthiest country in the world with currently $51,209 dollar per capita. Estimates for 2021 increase the numbers to 7.2 million online shoppers, an additional 900,000 in two years alone.

Scandinavian eCommerce Market - Online Purchases' VolumeOne important trend to take note of is the fact that the percentage of purchases from abroad has dropped. The most popular nations to buy from are Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, and China. As of 2012, 40% of eCommerce purchases were made from countries abroad. By 2016, this had dropped to 25%, even though overall revenues from online purchases had risen steadily over the period. This suggests that Swedish eCommerce is trending in favor of local sites.

The Most Popular Product Categories

It’s important to remember that the Swedish online market is steadily becoming stronger. One of the best questions to ask when planning your Swedish eCommerce site is, “what is famous in Sweden for shopping?” Online purchases in Sweden and internationally are weighed most heavily towards fashion. Swedish online clothing stores will account for $2.6 billion in 2019.

Purchases are divided equally amongst men and women. The most popular product categories for online purchases are divided by age group. The younger age groups will tend to buy health and beauty products and clothing. The older age groups primarily buy books. Those in the middle age groups will tend to purchase products intended for children.

Sweden eCommerce Consumers' StatsPreferred Payment Types

As of 2016, the preferred method of payment for Swedish online shoppers was by invoice. Nearly 37% of sales were made via invoice, reflecting the appeal of this method in traditional purchasing. It’s projected that in 2019, 49% of online payments will be made with credit and debit cards. 20% of sales were made through PayPal and other online wallets. However, the landscape changed significantly over the next few years.

Current projections show that this percentage will increase over the coming years as well. This means that purely online methods of payment will increase significantly, while invoices are almost a thing of the past. Another surprising shift over the next few years is an increasing reliance upon payment on delivery. While this is expected to rise only to 1% by 2021, it suggests an increased trust in online purchase methods.

Customers’ Activity and Preferences

One of the benefits of establishing a Swedish online store is that the Swedes tend to be confident in online purchases. Nearly three-quarters of the population are reported to have purchased online at least once during the year, and 30% have ordered online at least once a month.

As indicated above, fashion purchases are the most popular.

As of 2017, the greatest bulk of online Swedish purchases – 57% – were done through a laptop. Smartphone and desktop purchases were close behind, with 34% of purchases made with desktops and 37% made via smartphone. Tablets were the devices least used, accounting for only 19% of online purchases. The use of smartphones and laptops for online purchasing has been steadily increasing since 2016.

Features of the Successful Swedish Online Store

One of the most important features for successful Swedish eCommerce sites is delivery.

Delivery satisfaction is key to retain customers and encourage future purchases. Clear delivery information is absolutely essential. 89% of Swedish online shoppers require this before they feel confident making a purchase.

Choices in delivery are important as well. About 67% of shoppers report that they prefer to have a choice in the delivery day, and 55% would feel more comfortable purchasing if they have the opportunity to choose same day delivery. Furthermore, 60% of online shoppers prefer home delivery over other options. Finally, it’s crucial to use delivery services that your customers know and have confidence in.

Other ways to increase customer trust include free refunds, and, if possible, free delivery.

Tracking options are expected by 78% of Swedish shoppers, so this is a key feature for the successful Swedish online store.

The second key is payment options.

This goes for all online stores, but it’s a major selling point. If a customer goes through the process of browsing and selection, only to find that they can’t purchase with their preferred method, you’ll have abandoned carts, and worse, they’ll not be likely to visit your site again. So, make sure to include payment by card, e-invoice, e-wallet, and bank transfer.

Another important feature is to provide a means for your customers to contact you.

Old methods include feedback and testimonials. However, one of the best methods is to use live chats. Customers will be able to reach you live and at the moment, and this increases customer trust.

Summary

eCommerce in Sweden is a burgeoning market. It’s liberal, business-friendly, and open to trade. It’s one of the best countries to set up a new online endeavor, especially if you are working on a local market. If you have a strong understanding of customer preferences with delivery, payment options, and hot product categories, then you can bring a new eCommerce website to the top of the game and keep it there. If you’d like any help to launch a new website for the Swedish market or refine your existing website, feel free to contact us.
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