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5 Key Insights into Finnish Online Shoppers

Changing Behaviour

For Finns, online shopping is an increasingly essential part of everyday life and way of buying. Posti is actively studying the trends of ecommerce and here are five of the most interesting insights we have identified. What, where and when are people in Finland buying, and how does that inform ecommerce businesses on what to do next?
1. Ecommerce impacts all age groups

Millennials and digital natives are obvious ‘ecommerce heavy users’, but online buying is growing its significance for people in basically all age groups. Even though most money is used by people at ages 18–35, the fastest growing group of customers are older than 56 years old. In Finland, women make most of the online purchases, but men’s payments per one purchase are one third bigger than women’s.

Key insight #1: Digital sales channels are not just a young person’s game – remember to include all age groups in your ecommerce marketing.

2. Finns are starting to buy almost everything online

A growing number of Finns prefer online shopping over traditional sales channels such as buying at stores and shopping centres. More than half of Finns shop online at least once a month. One in ten say they buy everything or almost everything online. The percentage of those buying everything online is growing, as almost one in five expect to do so in 2025. The biggest shopping seasons are Black Friday and Christmas, but now, the summer season sale is going strong as well. Even though the actual purchase wouldn’t happen online, web shops serve as a place to look for products and study their qualities, which then feeds foot traffic into the brick and mortar shops.

Key insight #2: Ecommerce is becoming the way to shop. Make sure your sales strategy has enough emphasis on growing and developing your digital sales channels.

3. Price conscious consumers look for ways to shave costs off their orders

Price conscious Finnish consumers prefer low prices in products, deliveries and returns. The most important factors in online buying are affordable prices and clearly expressed costs of delivery. For example free returns are among the ten most important online shopping policies for consumers. More than 60 percent have decided to buy more to make their total to a specific sum that enables free delivery. Free returns were also assumed to augment the amount of online buying in the future.

Key insight #3: Excellent customer experience, ease of shopping and removing friction from the buying process are very important tools for staying in the online shopping competition.

4. Not everything is bought overseas

More than half of the products Finns order are shipped from Finland. The most popular international webshops operate in China, Germany and the UK. Wish, eBay and Amazon are the favorite international online shop platforms. Especially low prices are making people choose international web stores. Another main reason to opt for an international store is that the product is not available in Finland or shipping from abroad is cheap. The most popular product groups are clothing, shoes and accessories. A major part of purchasing music, movies, games, computers, home electronics, books and magazines is done online. However, a growing number of Finns tried buying daily consumer goods online in 2019, and during the coronavirus pandemic in spring 2020, interest in online grocery shopping soared.

Key insight #4: It may be difficult to compete globally with large-scale ecommerce, but as long as your product selection is large enough, prices low enough and offer local (and especially perishable) products, competing even in smaller local markets such as Finland is possible.

5. Smooth, simple and responsible online shopping

Finns expect the shopping experience to be smooth and return process simple. They appreciate being able to shop when and where they choose to. A nifty search function, broad selection, and precise product descriptions are important. When it comes to delivery options, Finns are eager to use Posti parcel lockers and track the order via a carrier or webstore. Interest for carbon neutral deliveries and packaging is increasing. More than one in four consumers are willing to pay more for climate friendly services in the future. 

Key insight #5: Develop your ecommerce experience in a way that matches your customers’ values. Consumer trends are constantly evolving so it is up to ecommerce businesses to offer the services, delivery methods and processes that make it easy for consumers to match their values with what they are buying.

Want to know more about global trends in ecommerce? Check out a recent study made by the International Post Corporation (IPC).

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