E-commerce of goods in retail trade continued to grow last year while the e-commerce of services decreased. During the last five years, online shopping in Finland has increased by nearly a fifth.

According to recent E-Commerce Statistics by TNS Gallup, the Finnish Commerce Federation and the Finnish Direct Marketing Association, Finnish consumers’ online purchases of products, services and content totalled EUR 10.5 billion in 2014. That is slightly more than the year before.

However, e-commerce of services suffered a noticeable decrease. Last year, Finns bought services online for EUR 5.7 billion, which is five per cent less than in the previous year.

The drop is largely caused by the downturn taken by tourism, which is the largest e-commerce segment. For example, last year’s online sales of package holidays and flights decreased noticeably compared to the previous year. The number of buyers has dropped in particular. The average purchase in euros has decreased by only about five per cent.

Online retail sales of goods has been increasing. According to the E-Commerce Statistics, people bought products online for EUR 3.6 billion last year. The year-on-year growth rate was seven per cent. The development of e-commerce has been quite the opposite to the rest of the retail trade. According to Statistics Finland, last year’s retail business shrunk by one per cent year-on-year.

“In many retail product segments the growth of online sales, in euros, continues despite the poor market situation. However, this growth is what we call structural growth, in other words, consumption stays the same but people buy more online. Online shopping is popular because it is easy, the prices are good and the range of products is wide,” says Ville Wikström, Development Manager, TNS Gallup.

As regards the most popular products bought online, no change was to be seen from the previous year. Women shopped online especially for women’s clothing, books, online betting and lotteries and train tickets. Men used their money for online betting and lotteries, men’s clothing and DVDs, for example.

E-commerce has grown by nearly one fifth in five years

The E-Commerce Statistics, compiled since 2010, reveal that the online sales of foodstuffs and alcohol has increased more than by 500 per cent in five years. This growth is explained by the increase in online supply, as, despite the rapid growth, online shopping only amounts to less than 0.5% of the entire Finnish daily consumer goods trade.

A large proportion of all household goods purchased is already now purchased online. The online sales of household goods, in relation to the entire specialty and department store business, has increased from 12 per cent to 15 per cent in five years.

All in all, the online sales of retail products has increased by 34 per cent since 2010. It is, however, the number of online shoppers which has grown more than the amount of money consumed in online shopping.

The online sales of services has increased by 13 per cent since 2010. Altogether, the online sales of goods and services has increased by 18 per cent in five years.

“Finnish commerce competes for consumers in an international environment. If our operating environment and costs are disadvantageous, the commerce sector will be worse equipped to create jobs and make investments in Finland. It is high time our policy-makers understood this,” says Jaana Kurjenoja, Chief Economist at the Finnish Commerce Federation.

“Tailored services, omnichannel retailing and targeted communication are closely related to e-commerce’s ability to utilise data to the full,” says Jari Perko, Managing Director of the Finnish Direct Marketing Association, commenting on the potential for success of Finnish e-commerce.

Background information:

E-Commerce Statistics is based on a consumer survey, during which almost 11,500 consumers have been interviewed. As part of the survey, consumers are asked quarterly to give details of their online purchases for the last three months, including the value of the purchases and the language in which they were made.

The survey carried out by TNS Gallup covers the sales of both goods and services as well as online bookings. A total of 30 product categories and approximately 70 sub-categories are included in the survey. The statistics have been compiled since 2010.

For further information, please contact:

Ville Wikström, Development Manager, TNS Gallup, tel: +358 (0)9 6135 0674, ville.wikstrom(at)tnsglobal.com

Jaana Kurjenoja, Chief Economist, Finnish Commerce Federation, tel: +358 (0)9 1728 5134, jaana.kurjenoja(at)kauppa.fi

Jari Perko, Managing Director, Finnish Direct Marketing Association, tel: +358 (0)40 565 9700, jari(at)asml.fi

Attachment:

E-Commerce Statistics 2014

The Finnish Commerce Federation represents commerce – the largest sector of economic life. Commerce employs around 300,000 people in Finland. The Federation has around 7,000 member companies and represents both retail and wholesale commerce in industry policy and labour market lobbying. www.kauppa.fi