What do I need to know when targeting Swedish customers digitally?

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Author: Becca McDonald, Business Development Executive, eCommerce Worldwide

 

Sweden is the most populous country in the Nordic region with 9.6 million inhabitants and a staggering 93% online penetration1. Often seen as a test hub for companies entering Scandinavia, Sweden could be the perfect place to launch your eCommerce store, with PostNord reporting that 32% of Swedes have made a cross-border purchase.2

 

It is possible that the high proportion of cross-border purchases may be attributed in part to the success companies have had when localising their sites for the Swedish market. Oban Digital reports that PostNord found 7% of Swedes who reported not making a cross-border purchase had in fact bought from German site Zalando, believing it to be a Swedish company due to its local domain, domestic customer service information and fully translated interface.3

 

Zolando - Europe eCommerce business

 

One of the most commonly asked questions with regards to trading into Sweden, is the extent to which foreign retailers should localise and / or translate their site for Swedish consumers. A Eurobarometer report on European online language present found that “although 9 in 10 internet users in the EU said that, when given a choice of languages, they always visited a website in their own language, a slim majority (53%) would accept using an English version of a website if it was not available in their own language”. To compare attitudes in different countries, only 22% of users in France agreed with this statement in comparison to 66% in Sweden.4 It appears that an English site may convert to more sales with Swedish customers compared to those in France, but it would still be preferable to translate for the Swedish market, if resources allow.

 

With a youth-driven eCommerce and technology market5, Sweden has the highest number of teen Snapchatters per capita, second only to Ireland 6. Similarly to many countries, Facebook still dominates with 4.1m unique daily visits, Twitter attracting 75,000 and YouTube, 1.6 million. LinkedIn trails the pack with 100,000 although should still be taken into consideration, particularly for B2B eCommerce.7

 

The majority of these social media users are in the 16-25 age bracket although significantly over 88% of children own a phone, with average age for owning one, just 8.7 years old. It is vitally important to make sure that your social media channels, particularly Facebook are keep up to date, that your site is mobile-friendly and search engine optimised and that your content is appropriately targeted, particularly for young digitally savvy Swedes.5

 

eCommerce in Sweden - Digital landscape

 

A quick tip for ROI on email marketing would be to pay attention to dates - for example, all Swedes have their salaries paid on the 25th of each month, which is different to other Nordic countries. Child benefits are also paid monthly, rather than quarterly.8

 

It’s also worth keeping a note of national holidays such as Midsummer, where online retailers tend to discount products one-two weeks before the date which tends to fall on a Friday between the 19th and 22nd of June. Oban Digital suggest that retailers send push notifications and targeted email campaigns to keep their customers informed of their promotions. This offers a two pronged approach to customer acquisition, as many Swedes take holidays and travel to their summer house during this period of time.9

 

 

1 - Internet Live Stats
2 - PostNord Report - eCommerce in the Nordics
3 - Oban Digital - eCommerce opportunities in Sweden
4 - Choice Translation Services
5 - Oban Digital - eCommerce Landscape in Sweden
6 - Statista - Leading Snapchat Market
7 - MVF Global - Swedish and the Internet Article
8 - Makes You Local Article - Swedish and Danish Shoppers
9 - Oban Digital - eCommerce opportunities in Sweden

 

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