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E-commerce had a modest year in 2023, demand grew toward year-end peak season – China is gaining popularity


E-commerce development reached close to the previous year’s level in 2023, according to Posti’s E-Commerce Index. An old trend returned to international e-commerce, and signs of improvement are evident on the market.

The E-Commerce Index is based on Posti’s e-commerce deliveries and continuous measurement in the consumer field. The newest report shows development from the entire year of 2023.

“2023 was a modest year for e-commerce. Economic uncertainty impacted Finns’ purchase behavior and willingness to buy throughout the year. Shopping cart value decreased, and shoppers were more motivated by sales campaigns,” says Kaj Kulp who oversees Posti’s e-commerce services.

Peak season increased parcel volume

We saw once again in 2023 how the peak season boosts e-commerce towards the end of the year. Parcel volumes already started growing on the Monday before Black Friday. In total, Posti delivered nearly seven million parcels during peak weeks.

E-commerce development varied in different product categories. The best performers of 2023 were general goods trade and pharmacy and cosmetics, which increased their parcel volumes from the previous year. When only looking at the peak season, goods trade and DIY increased in volume from the previous year.

China was the most popular country of purchase in 2023

An old trend returned to international e-commerce: the 2021 VAT change reduced shopping from outside the EU, but now China is gaining popularity again. China was Finns’ most popular country of purchase in 2023.

In a study conducted by International Post Corporation, 40% of respondents state that they ordered something from China in the past year. Top countries also include Germany (37%), Sweden (24%), the United Kingdom (16%), and the United States (16%). When ordering from abroad, most popular product categories are clothes and shoes, consumer electronics, and cosmetics.

There are signs of improvement on the market

In the long run, e-commerce will grow. The importance of sustainability in online shopping is also constantly increasing.

“Our belief is that this year’s market growth will fall behind the previously estimated level. However, there are signs of improvement on the market. For example, consumer trust has turned toward growth, and purchase power is believed to improve,” Kaj Kulp says.

E-Commerce Index tracks the development of e-commerce in Finland. You can download the newest report from .