This week I attended the second edition of Meet Magento Sweden, along with over 200 Magento merchants, developers, ecommerce experts and partners. I was very impressed with the high level of the Swedish ecommerce market.
When you talk about the ecommerce industry in Europe, it’s almost always about industries or certain players from countries like the United Kingdom, France or Germany. But many people forget to mention Sweden. This Northern European country is really a great place to run your ecommerce business. And I’ll explain why.
Forbes says it
Let’s start by rolling over the open door about why Sweden is the best country to do business: because it is. At least, if you attach value to Forbes’ annual list of ‘the best countries for business’. With a GDP growth of 4.2 percent, a GDP of more than $ 50,000 per capita and a trade balance of 5.2 percent, Sweden is doing extremely well. By comparison, the previously mentioned European e-commerce giants UK, Germany and France ended on the fifth, 21st and 26nd place on this list, respectively.
IKEA, H & M and Volvo are all Swedish
Sweden is home to world famous brands. Of course, you do not escape the names of IKEA, Acne Studios, H & M and Volvo, but did you know that the well-known home appliances manufacturer, Electrolux, and telecom company Ericsson also come from this Scandinavian country? And what about Skype and Spotify, two big names in the online world. And if you are one of the many addicted to the Candy Crush app, you should know that it was made by the Swedish company King Digital Entertainment. And also Minecraft, another global game hit, comes from Sweden.
Sweden is rising high on the list
Sweden also does it very well in other lists. Take the Global Competitiveness Report, which has charted the competitive landscape of 138 economies. Despite the fact that Switzerland, Singapore and the US are the world’s most competitive economies, Sweden ended in 2016-2017 in a nice sixth place, just under the Netherlands and Germany. And that was the ninth place last year. The improvement is due to a better macroeconomic environment, a significant decline in its deficit, a high employment rate, with a large proportion of women active in the labor market.
Women are well represented
And if we talk about women: Sweden scores good about gender equality. It is one of the top countries on the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Index. This index looks at the relative gap between men and women in four different categories: health, education, economics and politics. Sweden has bridged more than 81 percent of the overall gender gap, partly due to an increase in the number of female lawmakers, senior officials and managers.
Sweden takes m-commerce very seriously
This is, for a mobile enthusiast like me, one of my favorite reasons why Sweden is so cool. It takes mobile ecommerce very seriously, as was evident from the fact that mobile was such a popular subject during Meet Magento Sweden. One of the keynotes that inspired me most was that of PJ Utsi, the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Viamo. It is one of the largest Magento Solution Partners in Sweden, and it helps international brands like Filippa K, Bjorn Borg and Gant to grow their business. To hear PJ say that still many retailers make the mistake of seeing mobile as a separate channel, that sounded like music in my ears!
During his presentation of current trends and tactics in the Swedish and international ecommerce market, he named the top three trends:
To me, one of the most important findings was that PJ said that many retailers still underestimate mobile, even though we always have our mobile phone with us and it is fully integrated into our lives. It’s when we get up and it’s there when we go to bed. You will find the mobile and use in shops, at your desk, by bus and on the beach. Either way, we’ll take the phone with us wherever we go. That means that the mobile is the device that connects to each other throughout the customer journey. Any online retailer looking at his statistics and seeing that the mobile phone is well over 20 percent needs to respond.
According to PJ, a responsive website is ideal for branding, attracting people to your website and ensuring that they can easily view and order the products they like. But a well-designed native mobile app ensures that these first time buyers also become customers for the long term. Push-off options have 90 percent open ratio and ensure that customers return to your mobile website twice within 30 days. And, thanks to an easier checkout, mobile apps push more consumers through the purchase funnel. Investing in both a mobile website and a mobile app is therefore one of the most important to-do’s for 2017!
Retailers must look at their omniscannel, which clarifies what happens between the different devices. And these metrics should use retailers again to allow shoppers to convert. All devices – desktop, tablet, smartphone – are equally important and are all part of one purchase process.
Back to Sweden …
Okay, just about mobile and let’s focus on Sweden again. Because there are still more reasons why you should do business in this beautiful country. Because if you do business, you often have to deal with government agencies. And then it is nice to know that Sweden knows a low level of corruption and that it has even ended on the Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International.
Still not enough lists in which Sweden scores well? Well, I have one for you. According to the European Commission, Sweden is one of the leaders in Europe when it comes to innovation. Sweden is well above the European average and leads the way to human resources and the quality of academic research.
As you may have noticed, Sweden is a great place for your business. What also helps is the fact that Sweden has one of the strongest passports in the world. Only in Germany, residents have access to more countries. And Sweden finished third on the Global AgeWatch Index of 2015, which measures the quality of life for the elderly. Sweden is also another great place to grow old if you have successfully sold your business!
All in all, it seems clear to me that Sweden is great for women, for entrepreneurs, for the elderly and for mobile enthusiasts! Hello Sweden!