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

Understanding the Current Global eCommerce Localisation Trends

Understanding the Current Global eCommerce Localisation Trends

Localisation has become key to success online and savvy brands and online retailers have adopted innovative approaches to localisation in order to provide the best experience for their target customers while retaining their brand identity and tone of voice in all of the markets that they operate. So how are retailers applying localisation strategies across the world and how are demands shifting?
How to ship with Fulfilled by Amazon

How to ship with Fulfilled by Amazon

If you shop on Amazon, you may often see the term ‘Fulfilled by Amazon’ meaning that you’re buying a good not from Amazon, but from a third party seller. Fulfilled by Amazon, or FBA, selling is where a third party stores their goods in Amazon warehouses, and Amazon then uses them to fulfil listings. But what does it take to sell your goods as Fulfilled by Amazon?
The legal landscape for online retail in Canada

The legal landscape for online retail in Canada

The legal situation around online retail in Canada is complicated by its general devolution from federal to province / territory level. In theory this means 13 different sets of terms and conditions needed. In practice, there is a very high degree of uniformity. This article looks into Canadas legal system from an online retailers position.
Online retail competition in Canada

Online retail competition in Canada

Canadians are amongst the most prolific cross-border eCommerce purchasers in the world - however, something to think about is that more and more local retailers, who previously were poor at eCommerce, are increasingly now getting better at it. This article looks at some of the top retailers in the Canadian eCommerce market to help you understand the competitive landscape there.
The Size of the Canada Retail Market

The Size of the Canada Retail Market

With the presence of US retailers in Canada unsurprising, some may find it hard to believe that not all northward ventures have ended in success. Therefore, you shouldn’t assume that the presence of a US giant means that other cross-border retail efforts would be hopeless. This article looks at the value of the total retail market in Canada and outlines the current competitive landscape there.
Online retail marketing in Canada

Online retail marketing in Canada

With internet and device penetration significant and online browsing behaviour fairly typical of a developed market, the landscape of online marketing looks very familiar to highly connected countries. However, retailers should be aware of the subtle but significant differences between the Canadian and the UK markets. This article looks at use of marketing methods for online retailers in Canada.
Connectivity and online behaviour in Canada

Connectivity and online behaviour in Canada

With typical online behaviour similar to other western counties, the Canadian eCommerce market can be seen as very appealing to cross-border retail. Exploring its sophisticated infrastructure, this article looks at the details of Canadian shoppers’ behaviour online, and examines some of the demographic nuances in internet access, online activity, and device preferences.
Online retail payment methods in Canada

Online retail payment methods in Canada

In different markets, shoppers can have varying preferences when it comes to making payments for orders on eCommerce sites. Canada is no exception but happily, there is more of an opportunity than a challenge when it comes to online retail payment in Canada. This article looks at the online retail payment methods within the Canadian eCommerce market.
Online shopping behaviour in Canada

Online shopping behaviour in Canada

When Canadian Shoppers buy online, how do they go about it, and what do they buy? With the use of mobile growing and the use of various devices for online shopping looking similar to trends in the UK, Canadian eCommerce has been a sleeping giant, but it’s waking up. And quickly. This article looks at the online shopping behaviour of the Canadian eCommerce market.
Online Retail Logistics in Canada

Online Retail Logistics in Canada

How should you go about planning your logistics strategy for servicing the Canadian eCommerce market and what are the options available? Canada is a spectacular 9,306 km from extreme east to extreme west so for any non-Canadian retailer looking for delivery partners to ship into the country, only large players with the scale to cover such a geography are particularly relevant. This article looks at the online retail logistics within Canada and how this impacts its eCommerce market.

Contact Us

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

Tel: 0203 696 0980
2017© 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