Nordic eCommerce trends and insights - Presented by Thomas and Daniel

May 25, 2023

Read our interview with Nordic eCommerce experts Thomas Wilson and Daniel Ridley as they discuss the expanding agency scope, profitable channels, quality ads, and adaptable strategies in digital advertising. Discover active verticals, factors influencing eCommerce profitability, effective strategies in the Nordic market, and more. Now, let’s jump into the interview.

MarketplacesFeed managementElectronicsSocial mediaGooglePPCComparison websitesEcommerceShopping campaignsAgencies

Reading Time - 8 min

Nordic eCommerce trends and insights - Presented by Thomas and Daniel

Which Nordic industry predominantly relies on the utilization of agencies, in your observation?

Thomas: The scope for digital marketing agencies is getting increasingly broad. Where it used to be primarily B2C companies selling physical products who had the biggest need for an online presence, we are now seeing more and more diverse companies venturing towards agencies for help.

This stretches out to service providers, and even to B2B sellers who are acknowledging that even professionals start their search for new suppliers on Google.

For these B2B companies, digital marketing was never a main area of focus, meaning they now often need to seek help from the agencies who deal with this stuff on a daily basis.

Daniel: Among industries that rely on digital marketing agencies, eCommerce stands out. The constantly changing eCommerce landscape requires businesses to tap into the specialized knowledge of these agencies, focusing on data feed optimization and PPC management, allowing them to flourish in the intensely competitive online environment and boost visibility, customer interaction, and in the end, increased revenue.

What vertical do you see most of our Nordic agencies active in?

Thomas:If I would highlight a specific vertical as a Nordic trend, it would be Consumer Electronics. Advertisers in the Consumer Electronics vertical tend to be selling the exact same products as their competitors, so just being present online is no longer enough to properly stand out from the crowd.

For these companies, the quality of ads has become increasingly important to get ahead of the competition, and this is often where agencies are able to step in and assist.

Daniel: When looking at different verticals, the Retail Fashion sector is definitely unique. It has a lot of seasonal changes and trends that are always moving.

This makes it important for Nordic fashion brands to stay updated and be ready for what's next. Working with skilled professionals helps these businesses make sure their advertising strategies match the latest styles and changes in the market. This way, they can keep attracting customers and stay successful in a world that changes with the seasons.

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What advertising formats/channels do you see most Nordic agencies using via Channable?

Thomas: Google Shopping is by far the most utilized channel by agencies. This is maybe a bold statement, but anybody with even a basic understanding of online marketing can create a simple Google Shopping feed - But it takes an expert to create a great one!

In an industry where quality is often the determining factor for whether your ad is shown or not, a simple feed is not enough anymore… A great feed is a must!

Daniel:I would say that price comparison sites such as Prisjakt and Pricerunner are particularly popular. These sites enable businesses to display their products in direct comparison with competitors, allowing customers to easily evaluate prices and features.

To efficiently manage multiple clients and feeds across these platforms, utilizing a tool is essential. By leveraging these tools, agencies can streamline their clients' advertising efforts and keep them happy.

What are the most profitable Nordic eCommerce channels according to you?

Thomas: I believe any channel could be profitable if it is done in the right way, and as long as the quality of the data you are pushing out is up to par.

In the Nordic market, I would consider Google Shopping to be one of the most effective channels to be on because this is where the majority of consumers are.

If we were looking towards a different market such as Benelux, then I think online marketplaces become a lot more relevant, with being one of the best channels to achieve success.

Daniel: It's tough to pinpoint the most profitable Nordic eCommerce channels, as it really depends on each client's unique situation. However, any channel can be a winner if it's tailored for your business.

That being said, I do notice that Google Shopping and price comparison sites tend to be successful for many businesses across the board. So, while it's important to look at individual needs, these channels are worth considering as they've proven to be effective for a wide range of companies.

Thomas: The most popular social media channels for advertising are difficult to pinpoint because it all comes down to the persona you are chasing.

If I look at advertisers in the fashion industry, then we are primarily looking towards channels like Instagram and TikTok, where the visual aspect plays a big part in making the sale.

If you are appealing to a younger generation, then perhaps Snapchat is the best approach to take. If you are looking to target women in particular, I would recommend Pinterest.

Daniel: Determining the most popular social media advertising channels is challenging because the right choice depends on your target audience. In the past, Facebook and Instagram have worked well for a lot of businesses.

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Lately, we're seeing platforms like TikTok making a big splash in advertising. So, it's important for businesses to think about who they want to connect with and choose the social media channels that work best for their audience in order to get the best results.

What surprised you the most recently in the Nordic digital advertising sector?

Thomas: In conversations I have with Nordic agency specialists, it is becoming more and more likely that the conversation is about a B2B advertiser who is finally acknowledging that Digital Marketing is the way forward for them.

This trend of B2B companies steering towards eCommerce is definitely caused by the Covid pandemic, but I am positive that it will never revert fully to the now outdated method of bulky catalogs in the mail.

Daniel: I've noticed a shift in focus among agencies and advertisers. Instead of primarily concentrating on Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), there's a growing trend toward emphasizing Profit on Ad Spend (POAS).

This change is surprising because it indicates a shift in mindset from simply measuring top-line revenue to evaluating the actual impact on the bottom line. It highlights the importance of considering not just the revenue generated by ads but also the profitability of those campaigns.

What is your top learning from last year within the Nordics eCommerce industry in terms of channels and formats?

Thomas: Quality is so important when it comes to top-performing ads in the Nordics. Anybody can be present online, but it is the high-quality ads that really stand out in the crowd.

Daniel: It's really interesting to see how businesses are changing their strategies to better match their overall goals and financial objectives, taking a more well-rounded approach to measuring their advertising success.

When I think about the top lesson from last year, I'd say the importance of diversification and flexibility really stands out. Businesses that can adapt and try out different channels and formats have a better chance of succeeding.

By using a variety of advertising channels and formats, companies can reach their target audiences and stay strong in a world where market conditions and customer preferences are always changing.

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Key takeaways from the Nordic eCommerce industry

  • The scope for Nordic digital marketing agencies has broadened, with diverse companies, including service providers and B2B sellers, seeking help from agencies.
  • eCommerce is a prominent industry that relies heavily on digital marketing agencies for specialized knowledge in areas such as data feed optimization and PPC management.
  • Consumer Electronics and Retail Fashion are verticals where Nordic agencies are active, emphasizing the importance of high-quality ads to differentiate from competitors.
  • Google Shopping is the most utilized channel by Nordic agencies, highlighting the importance of creating high-quality feeds for better visibility and ad performance.
  • Price comparison sites, such as Prisjakt and Pricerunner, are popular channels for Nordic agencies to manage clients' product displays and optimize pricing and features.
  • The profitability of eCommerce channels depends on factors like market-specific channels, quality of data, and tailored strategies that align with business needs.
  • Social media advertising channels vary based on target audience and industry, with Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat being popular for fashion and younger audiences, and Pinterest.
  • The Nordic digital advertising sector has witnessed B2B companies recognizing the significance of digital marketing and eCommerce, likely due to the impact of the Covid pandemic.
  • There is a shift from focusing solely on Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) to emphasizing Profit on Ad Spend (POAS), indicating a greater focus on bottom-line impact and profitability.
  • Quality is crucial for top-performing ads, and Nordic businesses need to prioritize high-quality ads to stand out in the competitive online landscape.
  • Diversification and flexibility are key lessons from the previous year, as Nordic businesses need to adapt, try different channels and formats, and remain agile in response to changing market conditions and customer preferences.

Want to read more eCommerce insights and trends from the Nordics as well as other regions? Then sign up to our newsletter by filling out the form down below. Also, don’t forget to check out our recent report:

Report: State of eCommerce for agencies - Building a better Marketing Strategy

Jacob JørgensenTeam Lead Country Marketing

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