Breaking into new markets and scaling your online sales is a game of high stakes without a locally adapted delivery strategy and the best carrier services in place. This is when the real magic, or the real challenge, comes into play.
Know your competition and transform your delivery experience — from product consideration to returns — into a solid differentiator where your brand name recognition and customer loyalty are truly won or lost.
Here's your guide to the last-mile delivery solutions and your delivery strategy in Norway — let's dive in.
Table of contents
- E-commerce in Norway — key statistics;
- Norway's online retail landscape — top marketplaces and stores;
- What Norwegian consumers expect from e-commerce deliveries;
- The state of logistics operations and last-mile delivery in Norway;
- Tips for choosing last-mile delivery carriers in Norway;
- Norway's most popular e-commerce last-mile delivery services.
E-commerce in Norway — key statistics
Norway is home to the 30th largest e-commerce market in the world. Between 2022 and 2025, Norwegian online retail is expected to have an annual growth rate over 13 percent.
As many as 98 percent of the population has internet access, and 92 percent are using it for shopping — only Denmark and the Netherlands have a higher e-commerce penetration rate in Europe. Mobile shopping in Scandinavia has gained more prominence over the past few years, with the second-highest share of mobile shoppers found in Norway — it's forecast to exceed 40 percent of e-commerce sales by 2027.
Norway's online retail landscape — top marketplaces and stores
With a market share of nearly 30 percent, fashion reigns as the most popular product category in the country, led by the German marketplace Zalando with a 37 percent market share and the second-largest H&M with 19 percent of Norwegian fashion. Other popular apparel brands in Norway are Nelly, Joom, Nike, Asos, Mango, Zara, Jollyroom and Tights.
Norway’s prices are perceived as relatively high, which prompts more and more cross-border e-commerce purchases and deliveries from Sweden, Denmark, Germany and the UK in Europe.
What Norwegian consumers expect from e-commerce deliveries
As retailers learn more about growing consumer expectations, they need to understand how the geographic location of online shoppers changes their e-commerce behavior and delivery preferences.
Norway has the lowest population density in Europe after Iceland, although more than 80 percent of the population live in urban areas. Remote municipalities have small populations and long distances to other locations and larger urban areas, and many remote, more isolated residential addresses may be hard to find. These could be the reasons why a significant 80 percent of delivery problems in Norway are caused by carrier-related factors, in contrast to 57 percent in the Netherlands and 28 percent in the UK.
Being used to delivery delays due to geographical distances, harsh weather conditions and a relatively less developed transportation network and last-mile logistics, Norwegians learned to expect a slower delivery speed in comparison to their Scandinavian neighbours. In 2022, Norway had a relatively longer average parcel transit time of 2.08 days. In comparison, Belgium, France, and Germany had transit times of 1.06 days, 1.91 days, and 1.22 days respectively.
Nearly half of Norwegian shoppers prefer mailbox deliveries or having their orders dropped at the mail carrier's mailbox. In contrast, only 18% opt for home deliveries or unsupervised deliveries outside their doors. Next in line are pick-up points, favored by 15%. Parcel lockers and in-store pickups are the least popular, with just 3% of consumers choosing each of these options.
The state of e-commerce logistics and last-mile delivery in Norway
According to Gerhard Anthun, General manager at Virke Digitalhandel, there's a great focus on creating a seamless customer journey in Norwegian e-commerce industry — retailers are investing in last-mile delivery solutions and faster delivery times. He also points out that a big national increase in carbon tax and a global fuel price hike led to much higher transport costs for retailers. At the end of 2022, figures from Norway's statistics office showed that the costs of road transport operators increased 17 percent compared to the year before.
Nationwide chains are adopting a hybrid retail model that blends physical and e-commerce elements, Anthun continues. In this trend, physical stores act as frontline logistics points. While many retailers offer the standard click and collect service, some also provide last-mile delivery from the closest physical store instead of centralized warehouses and distribution centers. This micro-fulfillment strategy not only saves time but also leverages the advantage of physical stores for consumer's immediate access to purchased goods.
Tips for choosing last-mile delivery carriers in Norway
Don’t limit yourself to a single carrier, even when it's tempting to lock in a good shipping contract with your day-to-day operations and costs in mind. It's only with a multicarrier delivery strategy that you can boost sales conversions and customer loyalty, beat the competition in the new market and — importantly — achieve scalable business growth.
E-commerce deliveries are highly contextual and dynamic. How consumers want their orders delivered depends on what they’re buying, when and where — as you have just seen with the case of Norway. Shopping habits, seasons, item specifications and estimated delivery times are key to determining which shipping option works for a specific purchase. Besides, carriers commonly work better in some areas than others.
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Norway's most popular e-commerce last-mile delivery services
Posten Bring (formerly Posten Norge)
The national postal service of Norway Posten and its subsidiary Bring are the major players in the Norwegian parcel delivery market. They aim to win online consumers with fossil-free shipping, greater choice and more flexible delivery. In Europe’s largest brand study on sustainability, Sustainable Brand Index, Posten placed 2nd of all 268 brands measured in Norway.
Instabox (part of Instabee)
Instabox offers a hassle-free same-day delivery service through a smart parcel locker network in Norway, as well as home deliveries by bikes and electric vehicles. The company provides smart and fast consumer deliveries for Norway's well-known e-commerce names, such as IKEA, Farmasiet, Lyko and Bik Bok. In early 2022, Instabox entered an acquisition agreement to take control of Porterbuddy — a fast-growing Norwegian shipping service driving innovation and sustainability in Norwegian last-mile logistics.
PostNord is one of the most popular parcel delivery services in Scandinavia, including Norway, trusted by online shoppers from Northern Europe and beyond. Thanks to the most extensive distribution network in the Nordic countries, as well as a wide range of flexible delivery options for consumers to choose from, PostNord brings online retailers and consumers closer together.
Helthjem is the only logistics provider that delivers packages together with magazines and newspapers to every home in Norway before breakfast, including weekends. It has transformed Norwegian last mile by offering express deliveries directly to customers' doorsteps or mailboxes.
Global logistics companies DHL, DPD and UPS have a strong presence in many countries, including Norway.
Delivery experience as a competitive advantage
Entering new markets and scaling your business is a lot easier when you can offer the best carrier services and last-mile delivery options. Your online e-commerce business can't afford lost sales and bad customer reviews. Besides, the delivery costs of retail will only keep growing.
There's plenty of potential for e-commerce businesses entering Norway to offer faster and more flexible delivery experience to exceed consumer expectations, build a competitive advantage in the local market and encourage repeat orders.
To set the right delivery strategy and constantly improve it, integrate with the right technology partner like Ingrid Delivery Platform for suggestions on real-time, most cost-effective and convenient delivery options for every purchase and location.