E-commerce declines while nicotine increases, according to e-commerce report
The Swedish Retail Federation's (Svensk Handel) E-commerce Indicator report for August shows a decline in e-commerce turnover. However, nicotine and tobacco products showed a growth in turnover compared to the same period last year, a trend that has continued for eight consecutive months.
According to the report, E-commerce turnover, measured in terms of Swedish consumers' e-commerce from only Swedish operators, decreased by 1 per cent compared with the same month last year and increased by 3 per cent if e-commerce from abroad is also included.
The number of online shoppers increased for the fourth consecutive month compared to last year. Still, according to the report, the average purchase amount has decreased significantly this year compared to 2022.
"Whilst many consumers continue to chase the lowest price online, they are also increasingly turning to strong brands with which they have a relationship and manage to provide the right kind of offer at the right time", says Per Ljungberg, Chief Innovation Officer at Svensk Handel.
E-commerce turnover has decreased in six out of eight months this year. Accumulated so far this year, most of the major product categories in e-commerce have declined in turnover. The most apparent exception is nicotine and tobacco products.
Only four categories showed growth in domestic e-commerce turnover from January to August 2023 compared with the same period 2022: nicotine and tobacco products (41 per cent), pharmaceuticals (11 per cent), clothing and footwear (9 per cent), and car, boat or motorbike accessories (5 per cent).
There are discussions within the e-commerce sector on why the nicotine and tobacco segment is growing so much.
Ljungberg points out that some e-commerce companies are making a good impact, exemplified by Haypp Group, while emphasising that it should be remembered that the increase is from a very low level.
"The increase has been sustained for eight consecutive months, emphasising the countercyclical nature of nicotine and tobacco products. The increase is from low levels. However, that means the growth potential is massive through accelerated online penetration. We will continue to convert smokers to safer nicotine alternatives", says Markus Lindblad, Head of Legal & External Affairs at Haypp Group.
Access the full report (in Swedish) here.