Thursday, May 02, 2013

The Swedish Consumer Report 2013

Credit: Konsumentverket, KO

The Swedish Consumer Report 2013 (Konsumentrapporten) is the first of its kind for the Swedish Consumer Agency, Konsumentverket, KO,  and was commissioned by the Government. The objective is to highlight markets that create problems for consumers and describe the most important conditions that enable consumers to act. The report is primarily based on consumer perceptions of how easy or difficult it is to be a consumer in 45 markets. KO has investigated consumer perceptions using a specifically designed survey – the so-called Consumer Market Survey (kmu). The results provide a comparative picture of consumer experiences across a wide range of markets; for example when buying a holiday, taking a car to be fixed or when hiring a tradesman. The comparison is made on the basis of factors such as access to information, choice and the extent to which consumers have trust in the laws that protect them from being cheated.

Problematic consumer markets

Most markets have both their strengths and weaknesses. Of course, a positive assessment of the level of choice within a market does not imply that the trustworthiness of advertising and marketing is high.
There are also markets that characterise themselves by their low ranking scores in several areas – whether it concerns formal complaints, the ease of comparing products, trustworthiness of businesses or the range and choice available.
The markets judged to pose the most problems for consumers are telecommunications services (internet, television, landline and mobile contracts), insurance (life, home and vehicle insurance), banking and financial services (investments/pensions, personal loans/credit, mortgages and current accounts), travel by rail and local public transport, electricity, tradesmen, vehicle maintenance services, estate agents, clothing and footwear and second-hand cars.

Opportunities for business

The Consumer Report highlights opportunities for businesses to improve consumer conditions, thereby also becoming more attractive to consumers. In some cases a combined initiative by both the public and private sectors may be needed to improve an entire branch.

Highly recommended source for in-depth analysis of Swedish consumer markets and development of competitive multi-channel concepts.


Facebook 2013, Q1 results


Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) today reported financial results for the first quarter, which ended March 31, 2013.

  • Daily active users (DAUs) were 665 million on average for March 2013, an increase of 26% year-over-year. 
  • Monthly active users (MAUs) were 1.11 billion as of March 31, 2013, an increase of 23% year-over-year. 
  • Mobile MAUs were 751 million as of March 31, 2013, an increase of 54% year-over-year.
  • Revenue for the first quarter totaled $1.46 billion, an increase of 38%, compared with $1.06 billion in the first quarter of 2012. 
  • Revenue from advertising was $1.25 billion, representing 85% of total revenue and a 43% increase from the same quarter last year. 
  • Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 30% of advertising revenue for the first quarter of 2013. 
  • Payments and other fees revenue was $213 million for the first quarter of 2013. 

High profit margins for Swedish C2C companies

According to a new study of Swedish Retail Research Institute (HUI) based on data from C2C market place Blocket, the Swedish market for second hand goods increased 4 percent in Q3 2012 compared with Q3 2011. Excluding vehicles the market increased with 7 percent. Second hand fashion increased with 23 percent, while furniture was the largest category with 22 percent of all private classified advertisements.

While more and more Swedish consumers recognize second hand marketplaces to buy and sell second hand items or to check before buying new products, Swedish C2C companies continue to cash in big money.

High profit margins 

The leader in Swedish C2C is Blocket.se, founded in 1996 by Henrik Nordström. Blocket.se has over 4.5 million unique visitors a week (KIA-index), and has become a cash machine for its owner, Norwegian Schibsted.
In 2011, Blocket.se generated 621 million SEK in revenue, a growth with 17 percent compared with 2010. Net income of 230 million SEK represents a profit margin of 38 percent. In 2011 Blocket employed 57 people at a cost of 1,1 million SEK each.

Competitor Tradera.com, founded in 1999, has over 2,5 million members and about one million listings. Tradera was  acquired by eBay Inc. in 2006 for 365 million SEK. Originally based completely on private auctions today visitors can purchase both new and second hand items through auctions as well as fixed price listings.
In 2011, e-Bay Sweden generated 159 million SEK in revenue, a 4,32 percent decrease compared with 2010. The net income of 22 million SEK represents a profit margin of 22 percent.  In 2011 Tradera employed 47 people at a cost of 1,1 million SEK each.