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: 8/15/2017

Overview

According to Euromonitor International, the internet penetration in Finland was 93.7 percent in 2016. The precentage of households with access to internet was 90.3 percent. These were both an increase from the previous years. There has been a steady increase in internet subscribers, internet users, and house hold accessibility to broadband internet. Finns were estimated to have spent approximately $5.09 billion online on retail goods from Finland and abroad. The two largest incentives for Finns to shop online are the greater variety of goods and lower prices. Finns spend the most money on home technology and clothing purchases. Electronics are popular products to be bought online. Finns rely heavily on foreign retailers for online purchases.

In 2015, it was estimated that an average of $2,408 was spent from each individual shopping online in Finland. 78 percent of Finns were shopping online. The total sale of both online goods and services was $7.9 billion and estimated to be $8.8 billion in 2016. There is still room for extensive growth for eCommerce in Finland. Last year, the consumer good and alcohol orders made in Finland constituted about 0.4 percent of the overall turnover of grocery trade subject to VAT.

On 1 January 2015, a reform of the Finnish regulation on information society was put into effect. The Information Society Code sets regulations on e-privacy, consumer protection, communications networks, and data security. It aims to promote consumer protection, data security, simplified procedures, and equal opportunities for service providers in the market.

 

Current Market Trends

There has been a rise of C2C sales of consumer goods and online services. C2C online services are relatively new and growing in popularity. In 2015, the most popular platforms for C2C eCommerce were online marketplaces such as Tori.fi and Huuto.net, but various Facebook groups are also popular.  It appears that consumption is becoming increasingly focused on online stores outside Finland as well as the C2C eCommerce sector, out of the reach of the tax authorities and regulation.

Mobile devices are utilized for researching and price comparison but three out of four online purchases in Finland are still made with a computer. Smartphone applicable websites have become extremely important for retailers. While the use of mobile devices for purchasing is still low, trends show an increase in mobile commerce, especially amongst millennials. Millennials make up a large portion of people contributing to eCommerce and customers under the age of 25 especially use mobile devices for purchases. Future trends are predicted to be a wider range of goods provided and an outbreak of new eCommerce concepts such as online grocery shopping.

 

Domestic eCommerce (B2C)

In 2016, Finns spent the most money on home technology and clothing purchases. Most of the home technology was purchased from Finland, other than mobile phones and related accessories. In addition to home technology, gardening products are primarily purchased from domestic online shops. While women’s clothing is mostly purchased abroad, men’s and children’s clothing are still purchased from Finland. Price and range are important, which is why many Finns shop from foreign retailers instead of domestically.
 

Cross-Border eCommerce

Finland is very dependent on foreign players in eCommerce. Almost 50 percent of online shoppers have made purchases abroad. There is a large eCommerce market in Finland. In 2016, the top 3 product categories purchased from international retailers were clothing and footwear, home electronics, and media. 34 percent of clothing and footwear purchased online were from international retailers. Approximately $3.5 billion was spent on online purchases with 38 percent of purchases coming from abroad.

From a Postnord survey, the five most popular countries from which to buy are Germany, China, United Kingdom, Sweden and the US. Foreign online shops are used, in particular, to buy women's clothing and accessories, more than half of which now come from outside the borders of Finland. Finland’s eCommerce market has catching up to do. They consistently shop online less than their neighbors and lag behind in eCommerce.

 

B2B eCommerce

B2B eCommerce is an attractive market in Finland because it is quickly growing. B2B companies in Finland have fallen behind B2C companies in active social media engagement. Customers’ experience has become an important factor in B2B ecommerce sites along with omni-channel management and exploiting customers’ purchasing behavior. Customers are now more concerned about privacy, security, and trust issues related to online stores in the field of B2B eCommerce.
 

eCommerce Services

In 2016, Finns spent a total of $3.9 billion on B2C services purchased online. The most popular services were travel tickets, package tours, and accommodations. 40 percent of the total services purchased online were travel tickets (airline, ship, train, and bus). Only 2 percent order meals online, a more common practice in the metropolitan area.
 

eCommerce Intellectual Property Rights

The U.S. International Trade Administration states that enforcing intellectual property rights (IPR) violations on immaterial products has been less of a priority for police and customs in the Nordic countries, and the laws are currently being rewritten to reflect the digital reality. Like all markets of the world, manufacturers need to make sure their intellectual property is protected, whether they produce a physical product or something more immaterial   such as software, code, art, or music.  IPR considerations are regulated nationally with the official patent offices.
 

Popular eCommerce Sites

The top sites for online shopping in Finland are tori.fi, verkkokauppa.com, Ebay, oikotie.fi, and kela.fi. The overall top 5 websites accessed in Finland were google.fi, YouTube, Facebook, google.com, and iltalehti.fi. Internet and telecom sites are the most popular categories.
 

Online Payment

The four most popular eCommerce payment methods are debit or credit cards, direct payment via bank, invoice, and PayPal or similar online payment options. The Finns find it important to offer a range of different payment options but especially the option to use a debit/credit card or direct payment via bank. They are extremely concerned about the safety of their card information.
 

Mobile eCommerce

Only 12 percent of Finns have reported using a cell phone to purchase products and 15 percent have reported using a tablet. Mobile use for online purchasing has been increasing due to a growing trust in mobile payments. There is a large opportunity for growth in mobile eCommerce and mobile payments. Consumers under the age of 25 especially use mobile devices for purchases.
 

Digital Marketing

Companies in Finland have been slow to utilize digital marketing. Domestic firms have been edged out by U.S. firms. Facebook and Google established a strong position in Finland, accounting for approximately half of the digital marketing in Finland. Search engine marketing and display advertising are the most utilized digital marketing. The best performing Finnish company is Sonera and the strongest industry is telecom. In 2014, only 23 percent of all media marketing was digital advertising.
 

Major Buying Holidays

December is the most popular month for online sales. In 2015, the Monday after tax returns was the busiest day for payment traffic. The day that tax returns are released was the second busiest day with Cyber Monday coming in third.
 

Social Media

In 2016, 88 percent of Finns used the Internet with 56 percent using social media. For those among the ages of 16-34 years old, 88-89 percent followed a social media service. Overall, the most used social media platform is Facebook. Amongst young people, the most popular social media service was WhatsApp followed by YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, and Snapchat.

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.



Finland eCommerce Industry Trade Development and Promotion eCommerce