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Sneak Peek: Nets’ Swedish consumer insights at D-Congress March 8-9

Published on 20 Mar 2023

Contributors

Patrik Müller is a widely employed lecturer, advisor and future scout in Nordic e-commerce. He works as an e-commerce expert at Nets and also comments on e-commerce issues in the press and on television. Patrik has carefully followed the development of e-commerce since 2000.

The whole e-commerce ecosystem

D-Congress is the annual gathering place for everyone who works in the small Swedish duck pond that can perhaps be called the e-commerce branch. There you meet everyone who has anything to do with “e” at all. Large and small online stores, the retail chains, new and old suppliers of everything an online store could need in the form of payment solutions, translations, PIM systems and other stands where you can’t even guess what is being sold behind all buzzwords.

And we at Nets were there. Before I tell you about the event, it is important to understand its background and origins.

The story behind the event began in 1978 when Stora Postorderdagen (i.e., “The Big Mail Order Day”) premiered in Borås. The focus was, as the name suggests, on the mail order industry. As early as 1997, there was talk of the Internet as a possible solution, even if it was with some local skepticism. “This internet thing is Stockholm style” was the (dismissive and derogatory) general attitude at the time. As more and more online stores and providers of e-commerce solutions invaded the event, the day in Borås began to be dominated by more and more e-commerce. It changed its name in 2006 to the slightly more neutral “Distance Shopping Day.”

Fast forward to Borås’ annus horribilis, 2015, when the event celebrated 35 years by leaving Borås in favor of Gothenburg— and with a name change to D-Congress. And despite the protests, it was a successful move by Freddy Sobin and Jonas Ogvall at the organisation called Svensk Digital Handel (translated to mean: Swedish e-Commerce.)

 

2023’s theme: “Profitable Creativity”

According to D-Congress, “Profitable Creativity” is defined as being able to use creative thinking to drive better results.

“After the pandemic. War in Ukraine. Climate crisis. The world is changing. Even in e-commerce there is stormy weather. Previous truths and strategies no longer seem to apply. In addition to strong growth, good profitability is also expected. You have to be more creative than ever before. Be creative in your choices of sales channels. In developing your business model. In how and where you engage your customers. How you build your brand. And in your leadership. It’s complex.”

During March 8-9, 2023, the D-Congress community met at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Center in Gothenburg on the west coast of Sweden. With 7 stages, 100+ speakers, 2000+ participants and 100+ exhibitors, it is the Nordics’ largest e-commerce event.

 

Patrik Muller presenting at D Congress Sweden

Sneak peak of Nets’ consumer research study

At this year’s event, I had a speaking slot called: E-commerce consumers’ new demands in a tough economy – trends and advice from the recent report Swedish E-commerce. I gave a sneak peak from Net’s upcoming consumer survey called the Swedish E-commerce Report. We have released this report every year since 2007. In it, we measure how the entire Swedish e-commerce industry is developing, and we also take a closer look at consumer behaviour.

In 2022, e-commerce in Sweden actually managed to grow by a whopping 17%, but there are big differences between the various industries. Compared to 2021, e-commerce of products decreased by 7% while purchases of services such as event tickets and streaming increased by 10%. The travel sector, which after the pandemic lost an unimaginable +100 billion sek, is struggling to get back to the glory days of yesteryear. They are on their way – with a whopping 87% increase – but still have a long way to go.

Much data also indicates that the challenges for at least the physical products segment will remain in 2023. Inflation, a weak currency, a sales-focus among consumers, and a general awareness of crisis means that reduction – at least if we are talking about inflation-adjusted turnover – is in the cards.

For the travel sector, it could possibly look a little brighter, mostly due to an incredibly depressed situation in 2020 and 2021. The starting situation is simply so bad that it is impossible to fail with growth. The Swedes’ thirst for travel has been on hold for too long, and finally – flying shame or not – it’s taking its toll.

 

Patrik D Congress Sweden presen

"It would be at least an OK year"

Growth in e-commerce has been strong in recent years, and after the pandemic, new consumer groups have started shopping online. But a grim economic climate and tougher competition will place new demands on online stores in 2023.

I provided some insight into what is required to meet consumers’ demands and what opportunities open up for Swedish e-retailers.

Most people I spoke to during the D-Congress expressed concern about 2023 but hoped it would be at least an OK year. I, myself am the same, although I think it is mostly the heart that speaks then.

So far during the year, quite a lot of indicators point to the fact that this could be a tough year. And not just for e-commerce, but actually commerce in general. At the same time, it is during times like these that we see the visionaries and optimists—that is: who sees the possibilities in a tough economic reality.

 

Contact sales

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Our turnover increased by 21.5%. Additionally, we have 28% more transactions – and 49% more orders from mobile.

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Jon-Inge Heldal

CEO Parkett.no

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Our conversion rate increased from three to four percent, a very big change that resulted in an increase in completed purchases by 30%.

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Per Erik Raune – Norsk Bildelsenter

Per Erik Kirkaune

Marketing Manager at Norsk Bildelsenter

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Previous payment solutions have given us lots of manual work. We had to log into several portals to manage transactions, and there was much fraud. With Nets Easy none of that is an issue anymore.

Cecilie Ciekals

Performance Marketing
Manager at Lampehuset

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FAQ

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