16 April 2020

A view from Norway on how Covid-19 is impacting online shopping in the region

The Norwegian eCommerce market is booming. Stats from Statista show that this year’s revenue for the sector amounts to US$5,693m. Moreover, revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate of 5.6%, resulting in a market volume of US$7,074m by 2024.

But given the current global crisis there’s been many questions asked about how this will affect Norwegian retail trade and how shopping habits may change once the pandemic is over.

Unsurprisingly, there’s been a huge decline in people heading to shopping malls and many physical stores have introduced reduced opening hours or closed, reporting very low, or no turnover. Simultaneously, online stores are experiencing strong sales growth, with some reporting a tenfold or more increase, compared to the same period last year.

For example, the Norwegian online retailer, MyMuse, reported nearly a 700% increase in sales of loungewear whilst the Norwegian postal service has increased its parcel shipments by 150%. Looking forward, we’d expect that online shopping will continue to increase at a rapid pace.

However, it’s not just a change in shopping patterns that we expect to see.  Many of us also believe that we will work “remotely” to a greater extent even if we are not required to do so after the Covid-19 crisis. If so, it will be exciting to see to what extent our behaviour and search habits will also change.

In Norway, Google Trends has confirmed that home isolation has changed our search behaviour significantly in relation to products and services that we typically consume outside the home.

The search volume associated with the search terms “exercise equipment” and “hair colour” is the highest ever, and the average search volume for “exercise equipment” in the last two weeks of March was 942% higher compared to the average for the last five years. Similarly, on National Waffle Day (25th March) “waffle iron” received the highest demand in five years, with many shops running out.

It has therefore never been more important for businesses to ensure they have a clear eCommerce strategy in place, especially in a time when innovation has never been more powerful. For example, consumer electronics retailer, Elkjøp, has introduced “Live Shopping” where shoppers can book a Microsoft Teams Meeting for instant assistance and be virtually shown around the physical store with an expert.

For advertisers unsure of where to start our advice would be to conduct an audit to understand which channels will be most appropriate to drive traffic to your site.

There are of course also several businesses who will still need to optimize their eCommerce platform. But there are some relatively simple steps that can be taken for a smoother navigation and purchasing process. The key is to ensure there are clear ordering, payment and delivery options in place.

The future belongs to those who prepare best for it! Get in touch today if you want to find out more or how we can help grow your business online.

This article originally appeared in full on Kampanje here

Ina Iverson, Head of eCommerce, Norway, OMG Transact & Espen Klepper, CEO, Omnicom Media Group, Norway

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