For this research, we looked at a total of 27.7 million active websites. Of these, 12.8 million can be allocated to Sweden, 7.2 to Denmark, 4.4 to Norway and 3.4 to Finland. We allocate a website to a country based on a range of factors such as, for example, the language on the site, an address, the country top-level domain and other sources of information.
But, obviously, not all these sites are business related, so the total number of commercially focused sites is much lower. For the entire region, we classify 8.6 million as Business or e-commerce sites. Then, we have a look at which country has the highest number of these sites per capita. Here, Denmark comes out on top with 4,257 Business and e-commerce sites per 100,000 in the population, followed by Finland (3,168), Sweden (2,880) and Norway (2,449).
However, the overall share says little about developments over time, so we also take a look at all those Business and e-commerce sites that have appeared since January 2021. Here we see that in the last 18 months Business and e-commerce sites in Sweden and Denmark have been growing at a faster rate than in Finland and Norway. And even though Denmark has the highest number of Business and e-commerce sites per capita, there’s no indication that this trend is slowing down. This also suggests that Norway has the greatest opportunity to “catch-up” to its neighbors.
Among EU countries, Denmark (38%) ranks highest in the number of e-sales conducted by businesses (Eurostast, 2021) and the number of people shopping online in all four Nordic countries is well above the region’s average (Eurostat, 2021).
Online sales and purchases require services that enable financial transactions but what are the most commonly offered payment methods in these countries?
Not surprisingly, credit card companies Visa and Mastercard are among the top three in all four countries. However, in Denmark local debit card payment Dankort ranks third. Swedish company Klarna has a share as large as Mastercard at home and ranks third in Norway. PayPal is popular in Finland, being offered on nearly 30% of all business and e-commerce websites.
As the Nordic countries are among the most advanced digitally and lead the way in other aspects such as sustainability and equality, a better understanding of what’s happening online in these countries can be indicative of what other, less developed nations may experience in the future.