More than half of Finns (57%) made online purchases once a month or more often last year. Only 7% of online shoppers in Finland buy online once a week on average, while the corresponding figure in more developed online shopping countries is, for example, in Germany 15% and in the United Kingdom 23%. A third of online shoppers in the United States (33%) and nearly half of Chinese online shoppers (49%) make online purchases weekly. This information was taken from the e-commerce shopper survey published by the International Post Corporation (IPC). Posti published the results of the survey that are related to Finland today.

The annual Cross-Border E-Commerce Shopper Survey by the International Post Corporation (IPC) received approximately 35,737 responses from online store customers in 41 countries. For Finland, the number of respondents was 1,054.

"The share of active online shopping in Finland may double or triple once we reach the current level, for example, of Germany and the United Kingdom. International e-commerce is boosted by the wide range of products, affordable prices and free deliveries,” says Sami Finne, Vice President, International eCommerce at Posti.

China has the lead; affordable prices and extensive assortments draw customers to foreign online stores

More than half of Finns covered by the survey has made online purchases in Chinese online stores (54%). Among Finns who had ordered goods from foreign online stores, one third (33%) had ordered from a store in Germany, nearly one quarter (23%) from a store in the United Kingdom and one fifth (21%) from a store in Sweden. The share of online purchases from the United States was 17%.

Cost-consciousness of consumers is highlighted online; more than half of online shoppers (60%) shop in foreign online stores due to more affordable prices. More than one third (36%) of online shoppers told that the product is not available in Finland and one fifth (20%) of online shoppers were attracted to the online store by an affordable delivery.

Nearly half of Finns (46%) got free delivery for their online purchases, which is a clearly lower figure than in other countries (63%).

"On the most active e-commerce markets, many consumer goods are ordered through mobile devices. The consumer goods deliveries include free delivery within 24–48 hours or the delivery is included in a monthly price. Delivery times are getting shorter and an increasing number of products are purchased online, which will speed up the growth of this market also in Finland. We believe that active online shopping will multiply in the coming years,” says Sami Finne.

Clothes and shoes are the most common articles bought online – purchases are rarely returned and packaging is recycled

Consumers in Finland, as well as in other countries, most commonly buy clothes, shoes and accessories (31%) from foreign online stores. The percentage of electronics (16%) and beauty and health products (13%) bought from foreign online stores by Finns is significantly below average.

Only 2% (-2%) of Finns who purchased from foreign online stores returned their purchases, while the corresponding global figure is 6% on average. More than half of Finns (52%) recycle the packaging material of their purchases, which is more than the average in other countries (42%).

Wish, eBay and Amazon are the most popular online shopping platforms of Finns

The most important foreign online store shopping platforms of Finns are: Wish (20%), eBay (17%), Amazon (9%). AliExpress (8%) and Zalando (7%) are also commonly used shopping platforms.

"Market platforms are growing rapidly and Wish and eBay continued their growth as the favorite shopping platforms of Finns. Alibaba (AliExpress) and Amazon are significant platforms in many other European countries and may grow rapidly also in Finland. Global market platforms create excellent opportunities to increase the sales of Finnish brands and products abroad,” says Sami Finne.

Parcel Lockers are popular in Finland and Estonia

Finns and Estonians favor Parcel Lockers for receiving parcels more than consumers in other countries. Up to 71% of Finns and 92% of Estonians told that Parcel Lockers are among the desired pick-up locations. The corresponding figure in other countries is 10% on average. Finland and Estonia are the global pioneers in Parcel Locker use in relation to their population.

Environmentally friendly packaging and willingness to pay for deliveries in the future

Of the Finnish online shoppers, 2% have paid for the environmental friendly packaging of their online purchases and one percent for a more ecological delivery. Consumers want to increase their responsibility role in the future: more than one quarter of online shoppers are willing to pay more for environmentally friendly packaging (28%) and ecological delivery (26%).

Facts about the international e-commerce:

Posti is the most common deliverer of international items (54%)
Nearly half (47%) of the international online purchases made would have fit into a mailbox
The parcel delivery is tracked on the transport company’s and online store’s website, but the use of mobile solutions (e.g. OmaPosti) is increasing fastest
In the free deliveries of online stores, the transport costs are practically taken into account in the price of the goods.
IPC Cross-Border E-Commerce Shopper Survey

Data was collected in Research Now’s e-NOA online panel in October 2019. The total number of respondents in 41 countries was 35,737 and in Finland 1,054. Responses were received around the country.

Source: Posti