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Survey: More than one in five Swedes are boycotting Amazon

Amazon launched its Swedish website last October. Our recent survey reveals that the e-commerce giant’s arrival has raised more than a few heckles among Swedish consumers.

Amazon launched its Swedish website last October. Our recent survey reveals that the e-commerce giant’s arrival has raised more than a few heckles among Swedish consumers.

According to our nation-wide survey conducted in Sweden in March, more than a fifth (21.3 percent) of Swedes had boycotted Amazon because it crowds local companies out of the market.

“Other interesting phenomena can also be identified in the data. More than one in ten Swedish consumers—14 percent to be precise—have consciously increased their patronage of local stores to keep Amazon from shutting them down”, says Jesse Vartiainen, head of Qvik Sweden.

Many Swedes went back to their familiar online stores

Amazon’s advantages over local competitors are usually selection, prices, fast deliveries and a big marketing budget.

“At its best, Amazon can deliver products to consumers in one day. The online giant uses its efficient marketing machine to ensure that it doesn’t even occur to consumers to look elsewhere for the products they want. But according to our survey, the company has not fully succeeded in this in Sweden”, Vartiainen continues.

“Nordic e-commerce was highly local before Amazon’s takeover: only about 20 percent of all online commerce in the region was cross-border.”

Nearly a fifth or 16.3 percent of our survey’s respondents had tried Amazon once, but returned to the familiar online stores that they had been using until then.

Over a quarter want convenience and low prices

Amazon’s entry into the Nordic market caused anxiety, especially about price competition. The global giant stocks more or less the same products as everybody else, only at slightly lower prices. Aggressive price competition can be a deathblow to many companies in a market with high overhead costs in retail.

“Our survey shows that Amazon is an attractive option for price-conscious Swedish consumers. More than four in ten Swedes, that is 40.8 percent, put price and convenience first in their online shopping”, Vartiainen says.

Over three in five respondents (67.2 percent) to Qvik’s survey said that Amazon’s arrival on the Swedish market has not affected them in any way. Slightly under five percent of the respondents did not shop online at all.

Not everyone is interested in local

Many Swedes don’t care whether an online store is local or not. Nearly a fifth (19 percent) of Swedes don’t know which online stores are local, and almost as many (18 percent) are not interested.

In Finland, on the other hand, the coronavirus pandemic has spurred consumers to support-shop online.

“According to a survey we commissioned last April, nearly half of Finnish consumers had decided to support their favorite store, brand or hobby through online shopping. On the other hand, the Finns aren’t especially interested in the origin of online stores either. Only 15 percent value Finnish origin in online stores”, Vartiainen says.

Qvik charted the Swedes’ attitudes to e-commerce with a nation-wide survey in mid-March. The electronic survey was taken by 1,000 people aged 18–75. Half of the respondents were men and half women, and the sample was representative of Sweden’s adult population. The margin of error of the survey is 3.1 percent. The survey was carried out by Bilendi, one of the leading research service companies in the Nordics.