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E-commerce

Internet access
Scandinavia is one of the most connected regions in the world. In Sweden, 94.8% of the population is connected to the internet, making it the fifth most connected country in the world. The country has the second fastest average internet connection speed in the world, after South Korea. The Swedish government has established a plan for what they call a "completely connected Sweden", which has as a goal that 100% of the population will have access to broadband connection at home and in the workplace by 2025. Of those broadband connections, 98% should be at a minimum capacity of 1 Gbit/s, the remaining 1,9% at a minimum capacity of 100 mbit/s, and 0,1% at a minimum capacity of 30 mbit/s. For that reason, Sweden is working to develop fast broadband expansion, and it is expected that by 2020, 95% of all households and businesses will have access to broadband at a minimum capacity of 100 mbit/s. Currently, about two thirds of households have access to fast fibre networks. However, in rural areas, three out of four households still rely on out-dated technology to access the internet. Google is by far the most popular search engine in the country. As of July 2018, the leading search engines in Sweden ranked by market share were Google (93.09%), Bing (4.66%), Yahoo! (1.43%), DuckDuckGo (0.53%), YANDEX.RU (0.13%) and MSN (0.08%).
E-commerce market
E-commerce in Sweden is widespread, in part thanks to a mail order tradition in the country, as well as the high connectivity rate. Even though e-commerce is widely distributed throughout the country, the most active online shoppers tend to be in inland municipalities in the north of Sweden. In 2017, e-commerce in Sweden was worth US$16.9 billion and it is expected to continue to grow. According to the Ecommerce Foundation, the e-commerce segment showed a 32.4% growth in the country in 2016. Nevertheless, the next year growth dropped and reached only 4.1%. For 2018, however, growth is expected to increase and reach 15.4%, which would translate to a turnover that would be worth close to US$ 19 billion by the end of 2018. This year will be the first time ever the share of e-commerce visits using desktops is below 30%. And while the percentage of visits from desktop and tablet is expected to decline, smartphones are expected to be used more and more, accounting for 64% of e-commerce traffic in Sweden. They will also be significant in terms of revenue. Mobile devices (both smartphones and tablets) are expected to account for 60% of e-commerce revenue in 2018, with smartphones accounting for almost half (48%) of all e-commerce revenue. According to Statista, the most popular payment methods in the country in 2017, were invoices (37%), debit and credit cards (26%), direct payment via bank (17%), Paypal, Payson and similar (8%) and Swish (8%).
E-commerce sales and customers
E-commerce in Sweden grew by nearly 16% from 2016 to 2017, reaching US$ 7.83 billion by the end of 2017. The growth is expected to continue in 2018 (15%), reaching US$ 9 billion. Currently, e-commerce accounts for 8.7% of total retail sales. Online customers' demands and expectations are increasing, and the market is maturing, which illustrates a shift that has been taking place in the retail industry in the country. One of the main reasons why Swedes buy online rather than in shops is because they can do their shopping at any time. Among other appealing factors of online shopping are a wider and better selection of products and lower prices. An average of 66% of the Swedish population shops online every month, making it the highest of the Nordic countries - 3.6 million consumers. In 2017, each person spent an average of US$ 233 per online purchase. The total sum that was spent online that year was an estimated US$ 10.17 billion, of which 84% was spent on local e-commerce websites and 16% on foreign purchases. Swedes prefer to buy from local websites. However foreign sellers are also popular. One in three online shoppers in Sweden also shop at foreign stores. The UK, Germany, China and the US are popular countries to shop from. The most popular cross-border products bought online in 2017 were clothing and footwear, followed by home electronics, media, sporting goods, and beauty and health care. The most popular products from local websites were consumer electronics, books, clothing and footwear, as well as home furniture. Mobile phones are being used more frequently to shop online. 41% of online shoppers have made at least one purchase on their mobile phone per month, the highest rate in Scandinavia (they use their mobile to shop 21% more than the rest of the people in the Nordic region). Swedish consumers are increasingly turning to social media to look for specific products they wish to buy. Social media has also been playing an important part in cross-boarder e-commerce. For that reason, companies are now focusing their digital marketing strategies on Facebook, Instagram and blogs.
Social media
In 2017, Sweden had the highest number of active social network users in Scandinavia at 6.6 million, with a penetration rate of 67 %. Social media networks are more popular among younger generations. 98% of internet users between 18 and 34 use social media, a percentage that drops to 83% of people aged between 35 and 49. Only half of internet users aged 50 or more are social media users in Sweden.  On average, Swedes spent 5 hours a week on social media, an increase from 2016 when the average was 4.7 hours. According to Statista, even though Facebook is still the most popular social media platform in Sweden, the number of users is dropping. In 2017, 28.09% of social media users were on Facebook (in 2016, that rate was 31.54%). However, other social media networks are growing in popularity, such as YouTube, which was used by 17.33% of social media users in 2017, and Instagram (15.84% of users). As of July 2018, the most popular social media networks in the country ranked by market share were Facebook (65.24%), Twitter (10.05%), Pinterest (8.35%), Instagram (7.09%), YouTube (5.56%) and Tumblr (1.82%).

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Actualitzacions: September 2022

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