How has Covid-19 affected eCommerce retailers in Sweden?

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How has Covid-19 affected eCommerce retailers in Sweden?

March 11, 2020, the day that the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic. On the same day, the first deaths from the disease were reported in Sweden. Since then, everyday life for many Swedes has been turned upside down. Job situations have changed, social distancing and the constant worry that oneself or someone close to oneself will be infected.

With the new everyday life comes new consumer behaviours, both in physical stores and online. If there is something we all can agree on, it is that Covid-19 has had a huge effect on our consumer behaviour. No previous occurrence has caused eCommerce to grow as strongly as the Coronavirus crisis. It has truly been a very interesting and educational year for online and eCommerce retailers.

2020 was the year when everything went digital. Family meetings, job meetings and classes were replaced with facetime and zoom meetings. Netflix has replaced cinema visits. Physical stores got replaced by eCommerce.

woman having digital meeting

It’s more important than ever to have a functional eCommerce site.

Clas Ohlson chooses eSales to improve the customer experience online. 

The last quarter, our online sales increased by 63%”, says Peder Apelgren, CDO, Clas Ohlson.

Covid 19 is one major reason why eCommerce has increased so significantly. The development is completely in line with Clas Ohlson’s strategy, but much, much faster. As more and more people are turning to eCommerce, it is imperative that the experience is as smooth as possible for the visitors.

Apptus eSales offers automated product exposure and optimizes eCommerce via search, navigation, and recommendations. Before eSales, it has been both difficult and time-consuming for Clas Ohlson to administer a range of approximately 15,000 products. Now, everything is done by automation with eSales and thanks to this service, they have experienced an increased order value. These are signs that we are more relevant, says Peder Apelgren.

Ecommerce is no longer just a fun thing, it is a necessary function of society.” Michael Mokhberi, CEO and Co-founder of Apptus.

The distribution of the Swedish eCommerce market changed in 2020.

According to the Nordic payment provider Nets annual report, the travel sector (airline tickets, charters and hotels) was the industry that was hit the hardest during 2020. Services also decreased due to cancelled events, mainly because Swedes didn’t buy event tickets.

Netflix, HBO, C-More and other streaming services noted their best year ever. Different types of streaming services were the largest sub-category in 2020, with just over 777 975 120,00 Euro (8 billion SEK).

Consumers around the world have embraced eCommerce in 2020. The future has never been so bright for online stores.

airplane and sunset

Which industries have increased their sales the most in 2020?

In 2015, 78% of the internet users in Sweden shopped online. In 2020, five years later, this had increased to as much as 86%.

In fact, eCommerce growth up 40% in 2020, compared to 2019. The industries that grew the most during the year were groceries with +95%, furniture / home decoration with +63% and beauty / health with +59%.

These statistics are quite logical when you consider how the pandemic has affected everyday life. Instead of shopping for groceries in physical stores, many choose to order from home and get the order delivered directly to the door or pick them up outside the store.

88% of Swedes state that they spend more time at home now, compared to before the pandemic. With that said, there are many who want a nice atmosphere at home and that’s one reason why the sales of furniture / home decoration and DIY  have increased so much during the past year.

sales statistics for industries affected by covid-19

Different delivery options

It’s important to have an easy way to deliver/return packages. If it is not simple enough, it will probably not result in a purchase in the first place.

According to Postnord, home deliveries are more popular than ever. More and more people choose to have their package delivered directly to their door, instead of picking it up at a parcel agent.

Click and collect/store pickup has grown a lot during the pandemic. This is a perfect option for you who have both a physical store and an online store. Customers can easily place their orders online, to then be able to pick up the package outside/inside the store a few hours later.

Packages

Payment methods

The more payment options you offer, the more likely you are to appeal to a wider audience. The easier you make it for people to pay you, the more likely it is that you will have more money coming in.

Did you know that 12% of online shoppers state that they cancelled their last purchase due to the fact that it was not possible to pay in the way they wanted to?

More and more companies are offering payment via swish. Swish is one of the fastest-growing payment methods in Sweden and in the ages 18-40, and Swish is the favoured online payment method. Swish currently has 7.000.000 users and saw growth of as much as 100% in 2020.

Klarna, a Swedish payment and shopping service for eCommerce sites, online businesses and stores increased its gross merchandise volume by 46% to $56 billion in 2020.

The popular checkout alternative that Klarna is offering, will connect to Swish in 2021. That way eCommerce consumers can choose to Swish via Klarna Checkout or in Klarna’s app when they order their products online.

woman shopping online

Don’t forget the mobile

It is extremely important that your eCommerce website is working for smartphones. Nearly 50% of online purchases are now made from a mobile device.

2020 was the year when older people started shopping online

Social distancing and urges not to go shopping in physical stores have led to an increasing number of older generations starting to shop online.

The online sales in the age group 60-79 are the one that has increased the most during the year, primarily online pharmacy shopping. In December, 40,7% stated that they bought pharmacy products online, this is an increase of more than 15% compared to January. If the elderly’s online shopping continues on this trend as during the pandemic, there is reason to believe that eCommerce and eCommerce merchandising will be a very important part of the pharmaceuticals industry growth in the future.

older woman shopping online

Travel and events have been exchanged

Events and holidays abroad have been cancelled and instead, Swedes have appreciated what is nearby on a whole new level. People are spending more time in nature. Trips to hiking trails and forests have reached new records, despite limited tourism from abroad. Restaurant visits have been replaced with portable camping kitchens and meals out in nature. This was something that was noticed during the Holiday Shopping 2020. The camp kitchen was named the Christmas gift of the year. This will most likely continue like this in 2021 as well.

storm kitchen: christmas gift of the year 2020