Nordics

Tim Lomborg

Managing Director, Awin Nordics

In terms of sales, our program exceeded its overall goal for 2020 way before the year was out. Not only did the affiliate channel boost our online revenue, but it also drove quality traffic while increasing brand awareness. We have to thank Awin for bolstering our presence and growth through a country-specific action plan. The network team demonstrated its agility throughout 2020, which is exactly what we needed to scale our business even further.

Martina Enebrand
Online Marketing Manager, Homeroom

27.1m

Population

Various

Currency

95%

Internet penetration rate

15%

Ecommerce penetration rate
(% of total retail)

92%

Mobile penetration rate

$8.2b

Total ad spend (USD)

$5.3b

Digital ad spend (USD)

$212m

Affiliate ad spend estimate (USD)

6%

Projected ad spend growth 2021

931
Advertisers
4,667
Publishers
Share of sales by device
Share of sales by publisher type
23%
Coupon Code
22%
Loyalty & Cashback
17%
Content
13%
Social
10%
Comparison
7%
Search
3%
Display
3%
Email
2%
Sub Networks

The biggest thing we’ve learned during the last 12 months is that we are much more agile and flexible than we initially thought. COVID-19 required us to build a new set of tools to deal with the ever-changing scenario that made each day completely different from the next. Sticking to the positives, we learned that the ShopAlike platform is able to withstand major changes and turn challenges into opportunities for both our partner shops and us.

Fabian Niemitz
Key Account Manager, ShopAlike

Examining the Nordics

While COVID-19 brought fewer restrictions in key markets like Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, the initial shock to the Nordic affiliate industry required a largely fragmented space to unite as advertisers and publishers headed to the Awin network to share insights and advice on the best course of action. 

More than one-third of the 27.1 million Nordic population is based in Sweden, which managed to resist strict lockdowns until November. Self-policed rules on social distancing and essential trips appeared to be respected by citizens, with in-store foot traffic staying low throughout the year.

The resulting dispersion of revenue from traditional channels to digital services was exemplified on events like Black Friday, where sales volumes increased by 50% year-on-year, vastly overshadowing 2019’s uptick of 25%. Another milestone was reported across mobile, which finally surpassed the magic majority of online transactions by hitting 54% of all sales. 

Mobile finally surpassed the magic majority of online transactions by hitting 54% of all sales.

Nordic markets edging towards the higher end of digital advancement caused advertisers to reevaluate their progress in 2020, sparking calls for improvements across data-led spend and attribution, as well as cost-of-sale debates in response to tighter marketing budgets.

Last year favored high-performing sectors like Health & Beauty, which grew by 50% despite consumers having fewer occasions to dress up for. Sales across Home & Garden and Furniture rose by 90% and 50% respectively - two trends that seemed to feed into homeowners taking a long, hard look at their living spaces - while Fitness gained some financial muscle as everyday rooms became makeshift gyms.

As for the virus’ influence on customer profiles, Swedish pharmaceutical company Kronans Apotek saw a 'clear increase' in males over 65 shopping with its ecommerce business, while groups like Klarna reported similar trends within groceries, drinks and health-related categories. The newfound reliance on ecommerce has also led to shoppers expecting fast or free delivery. There’s every chance of this becoming a new USP, with a recent survey of Nordic shoppers revealing that nearly half (44%) consider free shipping as the most important factor when buying online.

A recent survey of Nordic shoppers revealed that nearly half consider free shipping as the most important factor when buying online.

Reacting to such idiosyncrasies will be vital to success in 2021 as retailers prepare for a post-Amazon future. Prior to the October launch of Amazon in Sweden - its first foray into the Nordics - Awin noticed advertisers tweaking their spend to bolster market share and visibility. Things didn’t quite go to plan – outlets including CNBC picked up on amazon.se’s use of an Argentinian flag instead of the Swedish flag and the listing of a frying pan as a women’s item. It’s a development worth monitoring, though, especially given Amazon’s offering of free shipping to a customer base that has until now paid a premium to order goods from its German and UK websites. 

As for Awin, our strategy has been to offer greater support for small grassroots businesses, helping them grow their ecommerce presence at no initial cost. Results from the first few months have been overwhelmingly positive in terms of feedback and the expansion of our advertiser portfolio. 

We’re also putting more weight behind new and underutilized publisher groups by tasking several of our experts to identify, approach and grow them full time. Having greater support from the likes of Influencers, Podcasts, CSS and closed-user group partners will enable our account managers to more accurately meet their advertisers’ requirements. Head to the Nordics case study for an example of how these new publishers are being engaged.

Finally, we’re happy to announce that Awin has collaborated with the UK’s Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) among other partners to create the Nordic region’s first-ever industry focus group. This move will help us bring new standards to the space and lay the foundation for its prosperity.

Mobile finally surpassed the magic majority of online transactions by hitting 54% of all sales.

Nordic markets edging towards the higher end of digital advancement caused advertisers to reevaluate their progress in 2020, sparking calls for improvements across data-led spend and attribution, as well as cost-of-sale debates in response to tighter marketing budgets.

Last year favored high-performing sectors like Health & Beauty, which grew by 50% despite consumers having fewer occasions to dress up for. Sales across Home & Garden and Furniture rose by 90% and 50% respectively - two trends that seemed to feed into homeowners taking a long, hard look at their living spaces - while Fitness gained some financial muscle as everyday rooms became makeshift gyms.

As for the virus’ influence on customer profiles, Swedish pharmaceutical company Kronans Apotek saw a 'clear increase' in males over 65 shopping with its ecommerce business, while groups like Klarna reported similar trends within groceries, drinks and health-related categories. The newfound reliance on ecommerce has also led to shoppers expecting fast or free delivery. There’s every chance of this becoming a new USP, with a recent survey of Nordic shoppers revealing that nearly half (44%) consider free shipping as the most important factor when buying online.

A recent survey of Nordic shoppers revealed that nearly half consider free shipping as the most important factor when buying online.

Reacting to such idiosyncrasies will be vital to success in 2021 as retailers prepare for a post-Amazon future. Prior to the October launch of Amazon in Sweden - its first foray into the Nordics - Awin noticed advertisers tweaking their spend to bolster market share and visibility. Things didn’t quite go to plan – outlets including CNBC picked up on amazon.se’s use of an Argentinian flag instead of the Swedish flag and the listing of a frying pan as a women’s item. It’s a development worth monitoring, though, especially given Amazon’s offering of free shipping to a customer base that has until now paid a premium to order goods from its German and UK websites. 

As for Awin, our strategy has been to offer greater support for small grassroots businesses, helping them grow their ecommerce presence at no initial cost. Results from the first few months have been overwhelmingly positive in terms of feedback and the expansion of our advertiser portfolio. 

We’re also putting more weight behind new and underutilized publisher groups by tasking several of our experts to identify, approach and grow them full time. Having greater support from the likes of Influencers, Podcasts, CSS and closed-user group partners will enable our account managers to more accurately meet their advertisers’ requirements. Head to the Nordics case study for an example of how these new publishers are being engaged.

Finally, we’re happy to announce that Awin has collaborated with the UK’s Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) among other partners to create the Nordic region’s first-ever industry focus group. This move will help us bring new standards to the space and lay the foundation for its prosperity.

Awin Talks
Meet the market
Benjamin Mullen, Client Strategy Manager at Awin Nordics, speaks to Awin Talks host Kevin Edwards about what distinguishes the Nordics in terms of its digital and affiliate marketing trends. Recorded in December 2020.

The biggest change we saw in 2020 was undoubtedly the shift in buying from in-store to online. While delivering clear benefits for our ecommerce division, it brought challenges for a company like ours with a brick-and-mortar offering. We see online building even greater momentum in 2021, solidifying the way we buy certain products both during and post-COVID-19.

Jonathan Segerberg
Social Media Specialist, MediaMarkt
100+
sales
1,900+
clicks
$8,500+
revenue
Figure 1

Awin Nordics breaks new ground with podcast campaigns

100+
sales
1,900+
clicks
$8,500+
revenue
Figure 1

Podcasts are one of the fastest-growing media formats and gaining momentum as a must-have affiliate partner.

Awin wanted to prove the viability of Podcast partnerships and saw ideal alignment between Influencer Podcasts and global luxury beauty brand Lookfantastic.

Lookfantastic’s first-ever Podcast campaign defied the odds, generating immediate results, and the retailer is planning to run a second series of Podcast promotions.

2020 taught us that we could achieve a lot more than we ever imagined. Our business had to adapt quickly to a variety of new consumer habits, particularly online. We've seen an increase in popularity for live-shopping during the last 12 months and video overall has become super important for businesses seeking to reach their customers.

Sofia Flobrant
Performance Marketing Manager, Nordic Nest
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