Posti’s survey: Nearly 60% of Finns buy online on a monthly basis – domestic online stores are becoming more popular


Nearly 60% (57%) of Finns buy online on a monthly basis, whereas nearly a third (29%) make online purchases every week.  Nearly 30% of Finns have increased online shopping as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of online shoppers estimate that they will make more online purchases in the future than they do now. This is evident based on Kantar TNS’s 2020 online shopping survey commissioned by Posti, which provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of online shopping in Finland. 

According to Tommi Kässi, Vice President, Parcel and eCommerce, Posti, the exceptional period last spring affected the way Finns buy online in many ways. 

There has been a sharp increase in the online shopping activity of Finns, partly due to COVID-19. Finnish online stores have done better than last year, with 75% of online shoppers feeling it important to buy Finnish products,” says Kässi.

Food, groceries and takeout meals were also bought online more than before. Considering the big picture, online food sales are still clearly below the Central European level but the percentage of online shopping in the food category has shown a clear increase from last year here, too.”

The ease of buying is clearly a contributing factor to the increase of online shopping. When it comes to the delivery of online purchases, the factors that increase online shopping include, for example, free delivery (65%), parcel tracking and control (37%) as well as predictive notices of delivery (35%).

Online shopping is on the rise in all customer groups

In total, 20% of Finns aged 18–79 are forerunners of online shopping. The forerunners are eagerly waiting for the new opportunities provided by online shopping. They estimate doing more than 60% of their shopping online by 2025.  38% of the users, basic users find shopping online easy. This group estimates doing 30% of their shopping online by 2025. As occasional users still testing out the system, the skeptics and experimenters (41%) estimate that they will buy three times the current amount (9%) by 2025.

Fashion and electronics lead the trend

The most popular products ordered online include clothes, shoes and accessories (27%) as well as home electronics, computers, phones, devices and equipment (17%). Online shoppers estimate the average value of their purchase at EUR 100, depending on the product category. In the fashion category, for example, the average value of a purchase is approximately EUR 81. The same figure in home electronics is EUR 199.

Features that consumers consider important in online stores include clearly stated delivery costs (93%), accurate product descriptions and images (92%) as well as low delivery fees (91%). Up to a third of consumers make online purchases on their smartphone.

The majority (80%) of online shoppers added more items to their shopping cart in order to get a free delivery.

During the first COVID-19 wave, many brands offered free deliveries for their products. As a result of this, many online stores reached incredible sales figures. This trade practice, which is common around the world, will also become more popular in Finland,” says Sami Finne, Vice President, International eCommerce, Posti.

The popularity of shopping days is on the rise

Online shopping during the fall and Christmas season has shown considerable growth compared to last year. More than one third of online shoppers have made purchases during Black Friday (36%) and Christmas (31%). One in ten online shoppers takes advantage of Cyber Monday campaigns (10%), with the Singles Day in November also slightly increasing its share (5%). One in ten go shopping during the January sales.

This year, the global online shopping season kicks off next week with Amazon Prime Day.  The best online stores are savvy enough to bring the season significantly forward. I’m also delighted that consumers have discovered the Finnish online stores’ own campaigns,” says Finne.

Online shopping on solid ground compared to more developed online retail markets

Compared to last year, the number of returned online purchases has remained at the same level. One in ten online shoppers have returned an item either completely or partially. Consumers aged 18–34 are the most likely to return a product, and the product category with the most returns is fashion.

According to a new survey by the International Post Corporation, IPC*, the percentage of returned items is 18% in the United States and 12% in Germany. 

Of online shoppers, clearly more than half (66%) find environmentally friendly packing materials important or fairly important and more than half (55%) find carbon neutral deliveries important or fairly important.

Popularity of Parcel Lockers is growing, with Posti as the most popular delivery company

The popularity of Parcel Lockers for receiving online purchases has risen from last year. More than 40% of consumers prefer to use a Parcel Locker to receive their online purchases (+8%). More than half of consumers (57%) prefer to use Posti for deliveries. The corresponding figures are 14% for Matkahuolto and 6% for DHL.

Online retail markets in the Baltic countries developing rapidly

The popularity of Parcel Lockers is increasing rapidly in all Baltic countries, faster than in Finland. In Estonia, already 73% prefer to pick up their online purchases from a Parcel Locker.

“At Posti, we have materially expanded our Parcel Locker network in the Baltic countries and the progress will be fast also next year. Consumers have just chosen us as the most popular delivery method in Estonia. In October, we started deliveries on every weekday in the major cities, including Sundays. The Baltic countries are also an interesting market for many Finnish companies,” adds Finne.

This year’s best online stores

For the second year running, consumers have selected Finnish and German Zalando as the best online stores. The third spot was claimed by Amazon, while Adlibris and CDON.COM completed the top 5.

Posti’s 2020 online shopping survey

The data was collected via the Kantar TNS Forum online panel in July 2020. The target group for the study consisted of Finnish Internet users between the ages of 18 and 79. The total number of respondents in Finland was 2,380. The survey was also partially conducted in the Baltic countries: 526 respondents in Estonia, 566 respondents in Latvia and 522 respondents in Lithuania.

*International Post Corporation “2020 IPC Domestic E-Commerce Shopper Survey”