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Digital Marketing Trends in Sweden 2023

As 2023 opens new possibilities to one and all, digital marketing specialists are identifying the key consumer trends and advertising best practices that can be deployed in the markets in which they are active.

To that end, Sweden is a market like no other. Cosmopolitan and contemporary, yet also steeped in tradition and ethical values, digital marketing trends Sweden has demonstrated have consistently shown that this fascinating country can prove challenging, even to experienced marketers – yet can also prove incredibly lucrative for those able to master its unique idiosyncrasies.

Avid users of social media, yet also proponents of a more easygoing way of life, Swedish consumer trends often have a strong influence on the rest of Europe – and beyond. Yet even with such comprehensive reports on digital marketing trends Sweden demonstrates, the truth is that 2023 is already shaping up to be a year unlike any other.

The consumer trends of modern Sweden

Sweden is one of the most influential countries in the Scandinavia region, yet also holds a national identity all its own. This country is a very powerful influencer in the ‘Scandi Cool’ movement of fashion and interior design, and the people of Sweden know that their social media presences and ecommerce purchasing habits hold quite a lot of sway when it comes to setting new trends in popular culture.

However, any digital marketing trends Sweden gives us as 2023 begins are bound to be affected by the wider social and economic influences that are bearing down on Europe as a whole.

Sweden is relatively close to Russia, connected via the Baltic Sea and buffered from that powerful country only by its neighbour, Finland. As such, not only are the armed conflicts between Russia and the Ukraine a greater source of anxiety for Swedish people – as an escalation of those conflicts would be more dangerous to European countries closest to the action – but they are also more immediately affected by the gas and energy crisis that is affecting all of Europe.

A cautious opening to 2023

Consumer trends in Sweden, despite the technological confidence in the use of social media, mobile devices and ecommerce as seen in the approximately 10 million citizens of this country, cannot help but be negatively affected by these grave sociopolitical concerns. Indeed, Q4 2022 opened with a Swedish consumer confidence indicator of 49.7 – falling almost 10 points in September 2022 from its 57.8 figure of August 2022.

At the time of writing, this downward slope in consumer trends, as far as confidence and sentiment in the average Swedish citizen is concerned, has traced the course of the escalating conflict, energy crisis and cost of living crisis in parallel – and this means that advertising brands taking advantage of digital marketing trends Sweden will benefit from need to enhance their messaging around affordability, value for money and trustworthiness during uncertain times to win big in 2023.

This is especially important thanks to the high level of confidence and capability that Swedish consumers have with technology. In other words, anyone advertising something as one dimensional as having the best deals in town should watch their step – a Swedish individual will simply grab their mobile, browse ecommerce sites, check social media and easily prove any empty boasts wrong.

It’s worth remembering going into 2023 that the more guarded level of consumer sentiment present in Swedish consumer trends today is making people in this country far slower to trust new brands. This is true of both local businesses and global giants – and Swedes still remember the disastrous missteps ecommerce giants have made trying to enter their market before.

Swedish consumer trends emphasise equality and eco-friendliness

While much has been said about the sense of caution affecting the consumer trends and advertising best practices of digital marketing trends Sweden features moving into 2023, the reality is that the purchases that Swedish consumers are making are often costlier today.

While much of this could be attributed to the fact that rising prices worldwide are certain to inflate such statistics accordingly, the reality is that Swedish consumers have enjoyed a healthy rapport with their shopping habits, with consumer spending rising at a healthy rate – despite consumer uncertainty – throughout 2022.

This means that 2023 opens with Swedish consumers who are, yes, more cautious and careful about where their hard earned Krona are going – but also more confident in making larger expenditures, in which greater sums of money change hands, to those brands who best win their trust.

This makes for a dynamic and exciting environment in which to engage in social media advertising and more traditional marketing methods. The stakes of the Swedish market are that much higher, and will reward those businesses best able to take advantage of consumer trends here accordingly.

Encouraging that feeling of being first

The notions of cool, chic and desirable are appealing to Swedish consumers – even when consumer sentiment has been negatively affected by conflicts in Europe and difficulties with rising prices and energy attainability.

To that end, the good news is that Swedish people are not using the recent causes of stress and anxiety to be anything less than their usual and cosmopolitan selves. What this means is that, although Swedish people tend to be proud of the style and culture that defines them, they are both curious about new desirable goods and trends from overseas, and are keen to be among the first in the world to adopt them.

This makes incentives such as FOMO and moving fast to be ahead of the pack a great strategy to mobilise in Swedish advertising – yet it needs to have an undercurrent of authenticity to really win the crowd. While Swedish consumer trends lean towards the stylish, they are likewise not people who want to be regarded as shallow.

The ethical and ecological impact of the brands from which they are buying is likewise very important. It is not only at the heart of much of Swedish politics, with the country targeting a net zero for carbon by the year 2045, but it also forms a big part of how and where Swedish consumers choose to shop.

Remember, this is a highly connected and talkative nation, too. Brands who misstep or misrepresent their climate activism or ethical credentials here will be lambasted on social media and mobile news in no time flat – and bad news travels fast.

However, advertising in Sweden often does well by unlocking the inner curiosity found in many Swedish people. Things that are new and innovative greatly excite this market, providing they are not flash in the pan fads or centre around cheaply made and disposable products.

Digital marketing trends Sweden ecommerce players need to know

Sweden enjoys a confident and mature ecommerce market. What this means is that people here are well versed in online shopping, their rights during transactions, which brands are the most trustworthy to buy from, and are happy to use mobile devices to handle sensitive financial information while shopping.

The ecommerce market in Sweden, bolstered by the consumer trends shaping this country’s market dynamics, has made this nation a US$18 billion ecommerce market as 2022 closed – with forecasts that it will surpass US$20 billion in 2023.

Understanding the purchases being made on mobile and ecommerce desktop websites by Swedish consumers can help shape which products you intend to give the most advertising during 2023. While the people of this country enjoy a healthy level of variety when it comes to which products they enjoy buying online the most, the reality is that some products are more appealing than others.

Much of this has to do with social media advertising and influencers. Swedish people actively use the likes of Facebook, Instagram and TikTok – as well as LinkedIn in their professional lives – and they can be encouraged towards certain purchasing habits with the right advertising approach. This is especially the case for products that offer convenience, efficiency, environmentally friendly features or a cool level of hi-tech functionality that also looks appealing.

What are Swedish consumer trends showing us?

However, the expenditures being made among various Swedish consumer trends showcase some surprising statistics. For example, while technology and consumer electronics are a popular kind of purchase in Sweden, as they are in any European country, they seem to have hit a plateau of around US$870 per average Swedish consumer per year during 2022, and are expected to decline further going into 2023 and beyond.

Similarly, toys, hobby and DIY products have hit a plateau when it comes to average annual ecommerce expenditures among Swedish consumers, with around US$550 per shopper per year both leading into 2022 and 2023, but also projected to remain at this level going forward. For stable and repeatable business, this could be a good ecommerce market to enter, yet it does not show promising indicators of growth.

Therefore, what are the best vectors for growth as far as ecommerce and consumer trends in Sweden are concerned? The classic desirably of electronics and technology has given way to the evergreen desirability of fashion products, projected to rise from approximately US$820 per Swedish ecommerce consumer per year in 2022, up to around US$900 per consumer per year in 2023, and US$920 per Swedish ecommerce consumer per year in 2024 and so forth. It’s a dependable upwards trend, but remember – Swedish consumers are ethically minded and ecologically conscious, so fast fashion will not go far in this kind of conscientious market.

Furniture is enjoying a healthy and sustainable upswing as far as Swedish consumer trends are concerned – particularly when said furniture purchases are sustainable themselves too. The average Swedish person using ecommerce spent just shy of US$1,000 per year on furniture products, and 2023 is projected to see this surpass US$1,100 per shopper.

However, one of the most striking upswings in consumer trends as far as ecommerce purchases are concerned speaks to the attitude of ‘back to basics’ gripping many shoppers worldwide as the cost of living crisis bites deep into our wallets. In Sweden, this is seen in the trend for ecommerce purchases of food and FMCG – sweeping up from US$450 per consumer per year in 2022 to a projected US$640 per shopper per year in 2023, with plenty more of an uptick to go.

It seems that the convenience and reliability of buying food via ecommerce is something that meshes well with consumer trends in Sweden today – especially specialist cuisine for selective diet types.

Social media advertising remains effective in Sweden

Swedish people have no problems with technology, and actively use it in their everyday lives. Mobile penetration is strong among the population – 97% of Swedish people have a mobile phone, and there is a slight preference for Apple over Android in this country.

Social media remains a highly effective way for Swedish people to not only communicate and shape consumer trends organically, but also to find new trends and desirable purchases via influencers or effective advertising. This is true of Facebook and Instagram, increasingly of TikTok, and even on professional social media networks like LinkedIn.

However, it is vital that advertising and social media professionals recognise one of the key digital marketing trends Sweden demonstrates – and that is a robust commitment to data privacy. Not only was Sweden the first in the world to adopt data privacy laws, but they are consistently amended for the protection of its people. It’s vital that a business follows these best practices in all social media and advertising activities, as the fines and negative reputation that come from breaches can be severe.

Of course, partnering with an organisation well versed in helping you navigate new markets with the same expertise of a local player can work wonders in letting you grow your business in harmony with digital marketing trends Sweden can offer you.

For SMEs especially, we have a wealth of experience in helping you to make that happen – get in touch today to see how we can best move forward.