MENU

Excellent English, high internet connectivity: understanding the Nordic region

LinkedIn Twitter Facebook

 

Author: Greig Holbrook, Founder, Oban Digital

The Nordics is often a region overlooked by retailers in favour of our near neighbours in Western Europe or across the pond in North America.

However, combined the countries of Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland are worth around USD $50bn annually, with growth on-top of this ranging from 2.7% per year (Finland) up to 8.1% per year (Norway). This means the Nordic market as a whole is about two-thirds the size of the UK market which is estimated at USD $73bn: significant numbers considering the relative importance of the UK market.

 

In a region where winters are long and harsh, and the mainly socialist governments prioritise internet infrastructure projects it is perhaps unsurprising that the Nordic countries are leading the world in online connectivity. Finland may be the least connected in the region, but it still has 93% of its population online (Iceland tops the international list with 98% and is joined in the top 10 by Norway, Sweden and Denmark).

Excellent English

Although we might think of the Swedes, Finns, Norwegians and Danes as speaking excellent English, this does not mean that they want to engage online in a non-native language. The majority of successful local eCommerce sites use the native language of the Nordic country they are targeting.

 

Although some multinational brands do offer a range of language options this is still not the norm. Many are falling well short of fully localising content across their eCommerce and social media platforms. Social media conversations for non-Nordic brands are often not conducted in local languages and of those that are, very few offer full localisation of content such as the use of local celebrities.

 

Localisation into Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish will be a key differentiator for international brands.

 

Understanding the Nordic Region

Spotlight on Finland: where broadband access is a democratic right

Talking to our Local In-Market Experts (LIME) in Finland, they suggest that, in general, there is huge enthusiasm for Finnish eCommerce, but online stores could be doing more to attract customers and drive conversions.

 

Although eCommerce is developing at a slower rate than in other Nordic countries, it should not be overlooked. This is a market where mobile phone ownership stands at 10 million in a population of 5 million and broadband access has been enshrined as a legal right since 2010.

 

The Finnish marketing press has discussed this phenomenon in great depth – concerned that the Finnish economy is losing on eCommerce, as customers are looking abroad. “The domestic online stores are either not there or they’re not being properly marketed, offering opportunities for international brands to meet unserved consumer demand.”

 

Finland is a bilingual country, and by law a customer can demand service in Finnish or Swedish. Although execution of this right can sometimes be difficult, because actually not every Finnish person is bilingual. However, there is still a legal expectation. Despite this, many Finnish online stores offer only a Finnish site with only a few sites providing Swedish and in some cases, English options. Around 95% of the market can be reached with Finnish alone, so if budgets are limited marketers could consider a phased approach to localising for both languages. Some international brands with a presence in Finland are successfully localising their eCommerce offering, but failing to localise across all their channels. Social media conversations are conducted in English or followers are directed to non-native content featuring non-local celebrities and events.

 

Collectively, the Nordics offer a sizeable eCommerce opportunity. Understanding the individual countries within the region, their cultural differences, online preferences and the trends that are driving purchasing will enable businesses to successfully make their move into the Nordics.

For more information, please consult our The Nordics ‘passport’ trading guide.

LinkedIn Twitter Facebook

Building an eCommerce fraud prevention strategy for Germany

Building an eCommerce fraud prevention strategy for Germany

Being the world’s fifth largest eCommerce market, Germany has become an exceptionally popular destination for online merchants looking to sell their goods and services. However, retailers should still be aware of the high levels of fraud to do with their number one payment method. Therefore, what do you need to know about building an eCommerce fraud prevention strategy for Germany?
Interview with Kai Li, Vice President of International at Revolve

Interview with Kai Li, Vice President of International at Revolve

eCommerce Worldwide Cross-Border Summit 2017 - Ahead of our annual event on 24th May, we interview Kai Li, Vice President of International at Revolve Clothing, to learn from his experience and knowledge in cross-border trading.
How does device usage differ in France, Germany, and the UK?

How does device usage differ in France, Germany, and the UK?

It is well known that the use of smartphones and tablets has grown rapidly but which device dominates the traffic and at what time of day across France, Germany and UK? And how does device usage differ between these Countries?
Delivery into Russia: what you need to know

Delivery into Russia: what you need to know

Online retailers know the opportunities that comes with expansion into Russia but entering this massive market comes with its delivery challenges. However, what do you need to know about trading and delivery into Russia?
Using non-commercial organisations to grow your online retail business in Russia

Using non-commercial organisations to grow your online retail business in Russia

Russia is frequently perceived by foreign retailers as a complicated and risky environment but there are a number of organisations in Russia that can help you understand this market environment and the rules by which the market plays. But who are they?
Agenda Announced for eCommerce Worldwide Cross-Border Summit 2017

Agenda Announced for eCommerce Worldwide Cross-Border Summit 2017

The agenda has been announced for the eCommerce Worldwide Cross-Border Summit and it boasts a wealth of retail experts with years of experience between them in expanding their brands overseas.
What can UK online retailers learn from major sales events in China?

What can UK online retailers learn from major sales events in China?

By cleverly orchestrating a string of headline-grabbing shopping holidays throughout the year, China is reinventing retail. But why are Chinese consumers embracing these shopping frenzies so readily and offers and how can overseas retailers learn from this to gain and maintain the competitive edge?
How WeChat is used for Business

How WeChat is used for Business

WeChat has been a hot topic for many marketers for a long time. However, how much do we really know about the most used social network in China? And how is WeChat used for business?
Ecommerce in Australasia

Ecommerce in Australasia

The New Zealand and Australia cross-border eCommerce markets are booming and it is looking to continue this way for the coming years. With almost 17 million savvy and highly engaged online shoppers in the region, what do you need to know about these eCommerce markets and which are the most successful retail sites there?
Ecommerce shipping to Australia

Ecommerce shipping to Australia

It’s easy for any retailer to be attracted to the impressive digital adoption Australia has taken with online retail sales of USD $9.5 bn last year. However, this success is not without its challenges as shipping into this widely fragmented country can affect your business - but how?

Contact Us

eCommerce Worldwide
2 Ching Court
49-53 Monmouth St
London
WC2H 9EY

Tel: 0203 696 0980
2016© eCommerce Worldwide

Keep In Touch

powered by Affino

About eCommerce Worldwide

eCommerce Worldwide provides online retailers with all the information, and resources, they need to develop cross-border strategies for entering new markets around the world
Read More