Norwegian e-commerce giant Komplett is going to morph from an online shop to become a marketplace launching in first half of 2017 with the aim of becoming (in their own words) ‘The Amazon of the Nordics’.
Komplett was established in 1996 in Norway, and has since grown into Sweden and Denmark and has acquired a number of online shops.
Today they run 18 online shops in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany, employ more than 800 people and turnover in 2015 was 7.3 billion NOK (about £7 billion). They ship over 6 millions products a year spread over around 2 million parcels, which suggests customers make multiple item purchases, another point in their favour. It’s safe to say that Komplett have got the ecommerce experience, finance and resources to fund a marketplace expansion.
Ole Vinje, Komplett CEO, lays out the opportunity saying “The Nordics need an online marketplace like Amazon, but with a strong and regional e-commerce actor who knows the market and the Nordic consumers. Komplett does this. The new thing for Komplett is that we open our platform to external partners or vendors in the marketplace, and give them access to our brand and our customers. This provides our customers with an even wider range of exciting products.”
Komplett’s products range from computer equipment and insurances to cars and beauty products. Products for the marketplace will be chosen based on their relevance to the customers, which is crucial for future acquisitions and partnerships with merchants whereby the products live up to Komplett’s reputation. If they’re putting their name behind your goods and services they want to know you can work to their standards.
With the aim to become the marketplace of choice in the Nordic countries, that’s where Komplett aim to put their focus. They’ll be competing in territories largely ignored by Amazon and eBay. The first question we had to ask of course was would UK and EU retailers be able to get in on the action and target Nordic customers and the good news is that the answer is yes. The Komplett marketplace will accept retailers from outside the Nordics.
The Nordics aren’t a free ride for Komplett though, Elkjøp Nordic (part of Dixons Carphone) have also announced plans to open a marketplace in the region. Ole Vinje isn’t that worried though, he’s more than happy to compete saying “Competition is good for the consumers and helps to keep us on our toes. We want to be the obvious choice among customers, but it is ultimately the customer who determines whether it is Komplett or Elkjøp who wins the title as the Amazon of the Nordics. Whoever is best at customer experience and to deliver on expectations, becomes the leading marketplace.”
We’ll be watching the Nordics with interest this year. As a fairly affluent area of Europe, and largely ignored by the incumbent EU marketplaces, with two new entrants it could become a profitable area for expansion for 2017. We’ll report back as soon as we hear how you can open an account on the new marketplace.