I am occasionally asked whether Nordic consumers order subscription products at all. Fortunately, yes, Nordic consumers in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland are generally receptive to subscription products. Subscription-based services have been gaining popularity in the Nordic countries, especially among younger generations. The convenience and predictability of subscription models have been particularly attractive to consumers in the region.
According to a study by Subscription Economy, 50% of consumers in the Nordics have at least one active subscription, and 66% of consumers are interested in trying new subscription-based services. This trend has been fueled by the growth of e-commerce and the increasing preference for digital products and services.
Nordic consumers are also known for their strong focus on sustainability and environmental responsibility, which has led to the rise of subscription-based services that offer eco-friendly and socially responsible products. This includes services that provide organic and locally sourced food, environmentally friendly personal care products, and sustainable clothing and home goods.
What are the main subscription product types that Nordic consumers buy?
Nordic consumers subscribe to a variety of different types of products and services. Here are some of the most popular subscription product categories in the Nordic countries:
As everywhere else in Western countries, streaming services like Netflix, Viaplay, and HBO Nordic are extremely popular among Nordic consumers. These services offer a wide range of TV shows, movies, and other video content that can be accessed on-demand.
Meal delivery kits
Meal delivery kits, such as Middagsfrid (Sweden) and MatHem (Sweden), and HelloFresh (Denmark)are popular subscription services in the Nordic countries. These services deliver pre-portioned ingredients and recipes to customers, making it easy to prepare home-cooked meals. I remember receiving weekly deliveries from Aarstiderne in Copenhagen already 20 years ago. They offer organic vegetables, also pasta, fish, and fruits. Back then, there we only a few companies offering such vegetable boxes. Now, alone in Denmark consumers can choose between tens of options. I also love the Danish Granola Company boxes.
Beauty and personal care products
I assume that this trend came from Asia - Japan and South Korea. Subscription services that offer beauty and personal care products, such as Goodiebox and Ladybox, are super popular among Nordic women. These services provide customers with a monthly delivery of beauty products, including skincare, makeup, and hair care items. There are also self-care boxes for men, for example, razors.
Music services, such as Spotify and Tidal, are widely used by Nordic consumers. These services provide customers with access to millions of songs and podcasts that can be streamed on-demand.
Health and wellness products
Subscription services that offer health and wellness products, such as Yogaia. These services provide customers with access to fitness classes, yoga sessions, and other wellness-related content.
Craft and hobby products
A craft and hobby subscription is a service that delivers curated DIY project kits and materials on a regular basis, allowing subscribers to indulge in their creative interests and explore new crafting techniques. These subscriptions often include step-by-step instructions and inspiration to help users improve their skills and build their own unique creations. From knitting to scrapbooking to woodworking, craft, and hobby subscriptions offer a convenient way to try new hobbies and enhance existing ones.
Local or international subscription products?
Nordic consumers generally have a preference for local subscription products and services, especially those that cater to their unique cultural and linguistic needs. Nordic countries have distinct cultures and languages, and consumers in the region often prefer products and services that are specifically tailored to their local needs and preferences.
That being said, international subscription products that offer unique value propositions or that align with Nordic values and interests can also be successful in the region. For example, streaming services like Netflix and Spotify, which offer a wide range of international content, have gained a strong following among Nordic consumers. Similarly, meal delivery kits like HelloFresh and Blue Apron, which originated in the United States, have also gained popularity in the Nordic countries.
That said, Nordic consumers are open to both local and international subscription products, and the success of a subscription product in the region will depend on factors such as the product's value proposition, pricing, quality, and relevance to local needs and interests.
As an exporter, your potential might lay in the possibility to get your products included in a suitable subscription offer.
Sustainability when it comes to subscription products
Sustainability is an important consideration for consumers in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, and Finland. The Nordic countries are known for their strong commitment to environmental protection and sustainability, and consumers in the region are increasingly interested in eco-friendly and socially responsible products.
According to a survey conducted by research firm Epinion, 86% of Nordic consumers are concerned about the environment, and 64% are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products. In addition, a study found that 70% of Nordic subscribers consider sustainability to be an important factor when choosing a subscription product.
Subscription-based services that offer sustainable and environmentally friendly products can therefore be particularly successful in the Nordic region. For example, subscription services that offer organic and locally sourced food, eco-friendly cleaning products, and sustainably produced clothing and accessories have gained popularity in the region in recent years. Here is a nice example of a sustainable subscription product: plant-based hygienic pads for women by Mewalii.
The key factors that influence Nordic consumers' decision to subscribe to a product
There are several key factors that influence Nordic consumers' decision to subscribe to a product. Some of the most important factors include:
1.Value: Nordic people are generally price-conscious and are always looking for good value for their money. Subscription products that offer a good value proposition, such as regular discounts, exclusive access to products, or personalized recommendations, are more likely to be successful in the region.
2. Convenience: Nordic consumers value convenience and time-saving solutions. Subscription products that offer easy online ordering, flexible delivery options, and hassle-free cancellation processes are more likely to be popular among Nordic consumers.
3. Quality: Nordic consumers place a high value on quality and are generally willing to pay more for products that are well-made and durable. Subscription products that offer high-quality materials, craftsmanship, and customer service are more likely to be successful in the region.
4. Trust: Transparency and trust are valued in the Nordics in their relationships with brands. Subscription products that are marketed honestly and that offer clear terms and conditions are more likely to gain the trust of Nordic consumers.
5. Local relevance: Nordic consumers have distinct cultural and linguistic needs, and subscription products that cater to these needs are more likely to be successful in the region. Products that are specifically tailored to local tastes and preferences, or that offer unique experiences that are relevant to Nordic consumers, are more likely to be popular.
6. Sustainability: As mentioned earlier, sustainability is an increasingly important factor for Nordic consumers when choosing subscription products. Consumers in the region are interested in eco-friendly and socially responsible products, and subscription-based services that offer these types of products are often popular in the Nordic countries.
Subscription businesses are booming all over the world, growing on average 5-6 times faster than traditional businesses.
Nordic consumers in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland have unique preferences and considerations when it comes to subscription products. These consumers are generally price-conscious, value convenience, quality, and transparency, and have a strong commitment to environmental protection and sustainability. Local relevance and cultural sensitivity are also key factors that businesses should consider when targeting the Nordic market.
To succeed in the Nordic market, subscription businesses should prioritize these factors in their product offerings, marketing, and customer service. By understanding and addressing the needs and preferences of Nordic consumers, businesses can build strong relationships with customers in the region and establish a loyal subscriber base.
Furthermore, as the subscription economy continues to grow, businesses that can adapt to the unique demands of the Nordic market will be well-positioned to succeed in the region and beyond.