Posti has published the International Post Corporation’s (IPC) annual Cross-Border E-Commerce Shopper Survey results regarding Finland. Below are the most significant lessons and observations regarding Finland.1. Eagerness to shop online is gradually increasing in Finland, too
At the moment, Finns do not shop online as eagerly as consumers in more developed online shopping markets. Only 5% of Finnish online shoppers buy products online at least once a week. The share of consumers who make online purchases weekly was 13% in Sweden, 23% in Germany, 34% in the United States and up to 54% in China.
However, the share of consumers who shop online at least once a month grew by 5 percentage point in Finland from last year. The percentage is currently 59% in Finland, while in Sweden, for example, it is 67%.
2. Shopping using a mobile phone is increasing
Finns seem to like big screens. Most online purchases are made using a laptop (41%) or a traditional desktop computer (31%). However, the use of smartphones for online shopping has increased significantly. Last year, 20% of Finns used a smartphone to buy goods from foreign online stores, which is twice as many as in 2016.
Globally, people most commonly make their online purchases using a mobile phone (33%).
3. Chinese online stores have strengthened their position
Of all foreign online stores, Finnish consumers specifically favor Chinese ones. A total of 53% of cross-border online shoppers report to have bought items from China in the past 12 months.
Other popular online stores by country among Finnish consumers are Germany (36%), Great Britain (26%), Sweden (21%) and the United States (18%).
4. Cross-border purchases are typically cheap and small in size
Finns mostly buy clothes and shoes (31%), electronics (13%) and beauty and health products (12%) from foreign online stores. The majority of products acquired from foreign online stores are inexpensive and small in size. According to the ICP survey, a total of 64% of the items delivered to Finland cost less than EUR 50 and 41% less than EUR 25. A total of 84% of cross-border parcel deliveries weighed less than 2 kg and 56% weighed no more than 0.5 kg. Approximately half of the parcels (44%) would have fit in a regular mailbox.
Delivering more online purchases to a mailbox or mail slot is a prospect worth considering in Finnish e-commerce, too. Delivering small parcels to mailboxes has become common globally.
5. Popularity expands the parcel locker network in Finland
On a European scale, Finland is a forerunner in using parcel lockers to deliver online shopping. Relative to population size, Posti has the most dense parcel locker network in Europe and coverage is increasing at a rapid rate.
The network is expanding fast due to its popularity among Finnish consumers. A total of 40% of Finns prefer to pick up their parcel from a parcel locker. The corresponding figure among foreign consumers is less than 10%.
6. Fast deliveries are an asset for Finnish online stores
From a logistic perspective, Finland is like an island. This means that foreign competitors may not have the resources to deliver parcels to Finland as fast as Finnish online stores that maintain a warehouse in Finland. According to the IPC survey, 43% Finnish consumers have come across at least one challenge when online shopping across the border. The delivery period being too long was clearly the most common challenge. Finnish online stores have a significant competitive advantage in being able to deliver products the same or the following day.
According to the survey, the average delivery time for online shopping in Finland is 3.1 days. Most of that time goes toward collecting and shipping the items.
7. The environmental perspective is increasingly important
Finnish online shoppers are increasingly environmentally conscious. The majority of Finns would like carbon neutral online store delivery and are prepared to pay a little extra for the service. Consumers were asked whether they would be willing to pay EUR 0.10 for carbon neutral delivery. A total of 60% of the Finnish respondents said yes. Only 17% of the respondents disagreed at least slightly. At the moment, Posti is the only operator in the market providing customers with entirely carbon neutral services.
Finns feel even more strongly about responsible packaging materials. Approximately four out of five (79%) consumers would like environmentally friendly packaging for their online purchases; 66% would be willing to pay EUR 0.10 extra for the service.
The latest Cross-Border Online Shopper Survey by the International Post Corporation (IPC) received 33,589 responses from online store customers in 41 countries. For Finland, the number of respondents was 1,005.