People by PostNord

Arne is a trendspotter

What Arne Andersson doesn’t know about e-commerce isn’t worth knowing. He's always on the look out for future trends. Here are three of them.

Any swedish e-retailers who haven’t heard of Arne Andersson have probably been living under a rock for the past few years. Everyone knows who Arne is. He is the father of the E-barometer consumer survey, which has become a Swedish industry mainstay. He has been involved in most aspects of online shopping since its first tentative steps were taken in the late 1990s.

“I’ve been involved since the first home computers and saw the internet’s potential early on. But I could never have imagined the enormous impact it would have on PostNord”, says Arne when talking about e-commerce's explosive growth in the Nordics in recent years.

Today, he knows everything about e-commerce. We asked Arne for examples of trends that will affect it in the future.

1. Second hand is here to stay

Sustainability is the new black. We recycle, patch up and mend and grow produce on our balconies. Teamed with digitalization, this has paved the way for a new popular movement. Second-hand goods are sold online like never before. Either through classic second-hand sites like Blocket and Tradera, upstarts like Sellpy, Trendsales and Reshopper, or buy and sell groups on Facebook. In Sweden, PostNord’s parcel service for individuals “Skicka lätt” soared by 80 percent in 2020. “This will continue to grow and PostNord is an important part of the development by making it easy for people to send and receive parcels.”

2. Directly to consumers without passing Go

Companies that previously sold their products via traditional retailers have discovered that setting up your own webshop and selling directly to the end consumers works just as well. It’s not just about saving time and money, but also about control. “Consumers are becoming more and more selective and demand relevant information. If the products go through a retailer, the company loses some of the control. It’s simply a question of who has the power over customer communications. Anyone who wants to make relevant offers and build loyalty needs to communicate directly with their customers.”

3. Crucial logistics

When e-commerce was in its infancy, people didn’t think much about logistics. Transporting from A to B was required and it could take weeks to get a parcel delivered. Today, logistics are crucial to the customer experience and consumers demand fast, seamless deliveries with plenty of choice. “This has made the world a complex place for both retailers and logistics companies. We need to provide home deliveries, partner outlet deliveries and parcel boxes and we need to maintain incredibly high quality. Every mistake risks turning into a grumpy comment on social media. We have simply become the most important competitive tool for e-retailers.”

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Picture: Arne Andersson is the father of the E-barometer consumer survey.