This year Black Friday, America’s busiest shopping day, fell on November 25. Not that I need to tell you that. There’s no avoiding it in Sweden or the rest of Scandinavia either. My inbox was flooded with offers, as was everyone else’s by the sound of it. Some thought it a bit much and wondered why everybody was jumping on the same bandwagon at the risk of being drowned out.
However, as I sifted through my inbox, I noted with interest that many of these offers were from non-Swedish brands such as Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, Air Berlin, Wiggle and The Cloakroom. Web shops that I have probably bought from or at least given my e-mail address to at some point. And it didn’t feel odd or strange at all: an American retail phenomenon filling my inbox with offers from both American and local e-retailers.
Black Friday is not unique in that sense; e-commerce is becoming more and more international. Consumers are looking beyond their own borders to find new products at lower prices. And that means e-retailers can reach a much bigger audience.
PostNord publishes many insightful e-commerce reports, for instance E-Commerce in the Nordics (you can download the full report here in Swedish). The report is based on online surveys carried out by TNS Sifo in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. It shows that a quarter of all e-commerce in the Nordics is done abroad, mainly in web shops in the UK and then Germany, the US and China. The report also shows that Finns and Norwegians are most likely to shop outside their home countries, with almost half of respondents saying they have shopped abroad.
The more global e-commerce becomes, the more opportunities for Nordic companies to attract new customers and increase sales. Today roughly 4 out of 10 Swedish online merchants sell cross border, often to Norway or some other Nordic country – so the potential to expand to the rest of Europe or beyond is enormous.
At Arvato we like to make it as easy and convenient as possible for our clients to expand to other markets. For instance, our pay-after-delivery solution, AfterPay, works just as well in northern Europe as in the Nordics, and we have offices in all our markets to be able to provide the best local service possible.
So, to wrap it all up: if you are looking to expand your e-commerce operation your first stop should be Arvato.
– Christer Pettersson
Head of E-commerce Sweden, Arvato Financial Solutions
PS Check out our list of 10 things you should keep in mind when expanding abroad.