Swedish Startup Space

New Report: Every Fifth Purchase Is Now Made Through E-commerce

Written by on November 12, 2015

E-commerce grew 16 percent in Sweden during the third quarter. Furniture and food are among the products that are gaining pace now.

That number is presented by logistics giant Postnord’s e-commerce barometer which is done in collaboration with organization Svensk Digital Handel (Swedish Digital Commerce) and HUI Research.

The rise means that Postnord now values the total turnover for Swedish e-commerce at $6 billion this year.

Within the entire group “seldom purchased” – which is almost everything not purchased in a grocery store – the e-commerce share is up to 22 percent. In other words, every fifth such purchase during the period was made on the internet.

“This is a very good quarter. What we see now is many more categories than previously, adding to growth. It is beginning to make much lesser difference what kind of items we are talking about, people are so used to buying online that they make a purchase anyway”, Postnord’s e-commerce expert Arne Andersson says.

Noticeable among the merchandise with most growth is food, building supply and furnishing. Building supply, for instance, grew with 39 percent during the third quarter.

Neither food nor furnishing has been particularly large within the e-commerce sector previously – as opposed to books and clothes for example.

However, it’s not all good news for e-commerce in Sweden. Arne Andersson explains that many e-merchants face tough competition from abroad.

“To be able to meet this, they must learn how to use their data related to customers better, and personalize more in their marketing, but many have a tough time converting their data and use it in a efficient way. It is a great challenge”, Arne Andersson says.

He also believes that more minor e-commerce stores will be acquired by greater players.

“There is still a lack of capital which e-merchants need to market themselves. They have growing pains and want to raise more money in order to reach out and grow faster. But since there is a lack of venture capital, it is probable that we will see more consolidations. They will increase”, he says.

Arne Andersson thinks that it is quite possible for e-commerce to gain a 30 percent share within a ten year period, counting all trade in Sweden. It is presently at about 7 percent.

“At the same time, it will be less clear how we are to decide what is e-commerce and what is a physical store. We already have examples of e-traders, like Adibris recently, who started with physical stores as well while the traditional merchants grow within e-commerce and want to merge their complete offering”, he says.

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