Describes how widely e-Commerce is used, the primary sectors that sell through e-commerce, and how much product/service in each sector is sold through e-commerce versus brick-and-mortar retail. Includes what a company needs to know to take advantage of e-commerce in the local market and , reputable, prominent B2B websites.
Last Published: 2/4/2019
  • E-commerce has been and continues to be a growing market in Denmark. The Danish e-commerce market have successfully applied domestic trends into practice by improving online shops on tablets and smartphones, expanded pick-up options and optimized and recognized issues through big data.
  • As part of the European Union, Denmark is part of the legal framework which includes a single taxation system as well as a demand on improving security, in the shape of privacy shield.
  • In 2016, 97 percent of the population aged 15 years or more used the internet, 80 percent of that population (3.7 million people) shopped online, and ecommerce has a 20% share of private Danish consumption. The largest e-commerce markets are travels, clothing, media and entertainment, shoes and lifestyle, and information technology. The average spending per e-shopper was USD 3,320 in 2015, and from 2016 to 2017 ecommerce has gone up by DKK 13.9 billion.
  • Smartphone-owners purchases more frequently, but not through the mobile phone. The m-commerce is growing, but it is still through pc and tablets, that see the largest turnover. Owners of smartphones and tablets purchases online more frequently than other users.  Dankort and Visa/Dankort is the most used payment system with approx. 85 percent of the online purchases.  MasterCard/Eurocard is used in 10 percent of all purchases, but we see a quick uptake with the introduction of app-based payment systems, such as Danske Bank’s “MobilePay”.
  • The upcoming launch of Amazon in the Nordic countries will most likely enhance the B2C e-commerce in the following years. US sales channels will benefit through this expansion by getting easier access to Danish consumers. 
  • There are multiple guides aimed at helping independent sellers on the market go online, and plenty of both B2B and B2C service providers with paid services, introducing private companies to go online and expand business in e-commerce. Services include web-design, booking systems, apps, hosting, context marketing etc.
  • Social media platforms and streaming services such as Facebook, Spotify and YouTube are becoming increasingly popular in advertisement, mainly aimed towards younger consumers.
  • Top countries that the Danish market purchases from online is Sweden and Germany both with a 28 % share, followed by Great Britain (13%), China (12%) and the US (9%).
  • There have been no recent regulations that affect domestic and/or cross-border e-commerce.
  • The most common products/services that consumers purchase online are cultural experiences and vacations. Two out of three of the online consumers bought tickets for the theater, concerts or cinema, hotel accommodations, clothes, sports equipment and travel tickets.  On the other hand, few people buy medicine or groceries online, even though the trend for online purchase of groceries is growing rapidly with the introduction of new and flexible delivery solutions.  In general, female online shoppers buy more clothes, books, cultural experiences, food and groceries, whereas male online shoppers tend to buy computer hardware, games and electronics.  Only four percent of citizens in the EU gamble online, but that number is significantly higher in Denmark, where 18% of the population gambles online. 
  • The Danish government is seeking to implement online services that are simpler and more effective and is seeking to discontinue paper applications submitted by regular mail.  Citizens of Denmark will each have a digital mailbox and will receive communication from the government through this.  In the near future it will be mandatory for businesses to access government services online, including payment transactions with the government.  Public schools, hospitals, nursing homes, etc. will be given subsidies to procure electronic applications that increase transparency and efficiency.  Patient data is soon to be shared amongst doctors and hospitals and there will be increased focus on home treatment of patients with chronic diseases.  The initiatives are intended to ensure that digitization efforts in the public sector will be coordinated and prioritized through wider and binding cross-governmental collaboration at all levels.

The European Union’s Digital Single Market Initiative
  • Creating a Digital Single Market (DSM) is one of the ten priorities of the European Commission (EC).  The overall objective is to bring down barriers, regulatory or otherwise, and to unlock online opportunities in Europe, from e-commerce to e-government.  By doing so, the EU hopes to do away with the current fragmented national markets and create one borderless market with harmonized legislation and rules for the benefit of businesses and consumers alike throughout Europe.
  • The EC set out its vision in its May 6, 2015 DSM Strategy which has been followed by a number of concrete legislative proposals and policy actions.  They are broad reaching and include reforming e-commerce sector, VAT, copyright, audio-visual media services, consumer protection, and telecommunications laws.  New legislation has already been finalized on portability of online content and geo-blocking.
  • Many DSM proposals are still going through the legislative process.   DSM-related legislation will have a broad impact on U.S. companies doing business in Europe.
  • In addition, a new data protection legislation, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) enters into force on 25 May 2018 (see separate section in this report).
The three main pillars of the strategy are:
  • Pillar I: Better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services across Europe
    • Better access for consumers and businesses to online goods and services across Europe
    • Remove key differences between the online and offline worlds to break down barriers to cross-border online activity.
  • Pillar II: Shaping the right environment for digital networks and services to flourish
    • Achieve high-speed, secure and trustworthy infrastructures and content services
    • Set the right regulatory conditions for innovation, investment, fair competition and a level playing field.
  • Pillar III: Creating a European Digital Economy and society with growth potential
    • Invest in technologies such as cloud computing and Big Data, and in research and innovation to boost industrial competitiveness and skills
    • Increase interoperability and standardization.
  • The Electronic Commerce Directive (2000/31/EC) provides rules for online services in the EU.  It requires providers to abide by rules in the country where they are established (country of origin).  Online providers must respect consumer protection rules such as indicating contact details on their website, clearly identifying advertising and protecting against spam.  The Directive also grants exemptions to liability for intermediaries that transmit illegal content by third parties and for unknowingly hosting content.
Comprehensive Market Research on e-commerce in the EU is available upon request.

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