The volume of retail e-commerce grew significantly during the first half of 2014. On the other hand, Finnish consumers purchased fewer services online, which reduced the overall volume of e-commerce. In four years, the total volume of e-commerce has grown by 12 per cent.

According to 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 4.9 billion during the first half of 2014. This is about 4% less than the year-on-year figure. The reduction was caused by the fact that consumers purchased services online less than before. The largest sector of e-commerce, travel services, saw a reduction of 9% compared to last year.

Furthermore, e-commerce of financial services fell as much as 60%. Last year, financial services amounted to 5% of all e-commerce, but now their share is only 2%.

Nevertheless, online gambling was still popular in the first half of 2014. Gambling surpassed electronics as the second largest group of e-commerce already during the first months of 2014. Gambling now amounts to 11% of all e-commerce.

“E-commerce is a commonplace activity for most Finns. Up to 60% of Internet users visit an online store every week. Knowing consumers’ purchasing motives and responding to them help companies find growth. Properly targeted marketing has a great effect on attracting customers to visit an online store and, most importantly, having them make a purchase,” says Ville Wikström, Development Manager of TNS Gallup.

“During a downturn, customer retention and delighting customers are core skills. The most customer-centered online stores do not have to compete fiercely for customers, and such stores are able to reap the benefits of growth,” emphasises Jari Perko, Managing Director of Finnish Direct Marketing Association.

Retail e-commerce keeps growing

In spite of the downturn, people purchase more and more goods online. Data from E-Commerce Statistics indicates that retail product purchases online amounted to a total of EUR 1.7 billion, which is 9% more than the year-on-year figure. Meanwhile, data from Statistics Finland shows that the retail trade sector as a whole lost 0.5% of turnover.

“The growth of retail trade online is a prime indicator of how consumers are switching from one channel to another. Part of this growth has also flowed to foreign online stores. For example, in the hardware store sector, online purchases drove the growth of e-commerce, but this did not increase the turnover of the sector as a whole,” says Jaana Kurjenoja, Chief Economist of the Finnish Commerce Federation.

In comparison, consumers are already familiar with purchasing electronics online. Thus, e-commerce of electronics grew a moderate 2% from last year. Strong growth was seen in the e-commerce of pet and animal supplies, where investments to multi-channel presence have been made. As a result, e-commerce of pet and animal supplies was one of the highest-growing sectors in retail trade. The growth in the first half of 2014 was over 30%.

E-Commerce Statistics, compiled since 2010, indicate that the value of goods, services and content purchased by Finnish consumers is now 12% higher than four years ago. The fastest growing sector during these four years has been retail trade, with growth figures of almost 30%. During the same time, e-commerce of services has grown by 7%.

Online purchases of foodstuffs have increased by over 60% in two years. This huge growth is partly due to online purchases and orders of alcohol, which are also placed abroad. In spite of the rapid growth, foodstuffs purchased online by consumers only amount to 0.5% of the entire Finnish daily consumer goods trade.

Finnish e-commerce 2014 / H1

Background information: 

E-Commerce Statistics is based on a consumer survey, during which almost 6,000 consumers were interviewed. A total of 12,000 interviews are conducted annually. As part of the survey, consumers are asked quarterly to give details of their online purchases, including the value of the purchases and the language in which they were made, during the last three months.

E-Commerce Statistics by TNS Gallup covers the sales of both products and services as well as services 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 Director, 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