22. January 2013

Missing in Sweden: Amazon

Strange but true: there is no Amazon in Sweden. I conceive this country as very eager to adapt new concepts and cutting-edge technology. Connectivity to the Web is ubiquituous. However, to my big surprise, there is no www.amazon.se. I could not find a matching Swedish counterpart either. Why?

There are a couple of aspects that are particularly good about online shopping. First, instead of having to move yourself to different shops in order to do market research, product selection, and price comparison, you can do all of this conveniently and cheaply online. This lets you concentrate on the research on which product to buy rather than having to accept what is available. Second, if you have a specific product in mind, then walking to different shops seems to be a total waste of efforts. Third, as soon as one has a need that is off the mainstream, then you are looking for a needle in the haystack – which is much easier on the Web with the full power of search engines and other information retrieval systems.

Sweden seems to be a country, where new technology and other inventions are quickly tested and adopted. I am still wondering why online shopping in the scale of Amazon has not yet been established in Sweden. Clearly, logistics are more complicated in a large European country with small population. But logistics should pose no problems in urban areas such as Malmö, Göteborg, and Stockholm. The question remains: why not?