Sweden’s socially driven technology prowess could soon yield an e-commerce unicorn digitising direct to customers


Matthew Staff

Published: 09 Sep 2022 8:37

In an era when people are craving personalisation, digitisation and trust from the brands they use, the direct-to-consumer (D2C) proposition makes perfect sense. And for Swedish technology companies, those three characteristics just happen to be three of their most prized assets, too.  

D2C’s rise to the fore over the past two years is no secret. With consumers living almost exclusively online during the pandemic, they were forced to establish new relationships with brands that could ensure product or service availability, a personalised offering off the back of any purchases and subscriptions, and more variety when it came to deliveries and fulfilment. 

In this regard, D2C is now a preferred method to form relationships for both providers and customers. And relationships are formed out of trust – trust in what is being offered, trust that shared data will be used for good, and trust that their loyalty will continue to be rewarded. 

This is where Sweden’s e-commerce offering has struck a chord, as an instinctively social-leaning country with a strong emphasis on democratisation, accessibility, equality, health and innovation. The result is a host of tech startups from the country adopting the D2C model as a way to better engage with consumers, and meet their current needs. 

Amid this perfect blend of industry trend and ecosystem offering, there is every possibility that Sweden will be responsible for a future D2C unicorn.  

Merging the physical and the digital 
Health and fitness may not be the first sector that comes to mind when considering e-commerce opportunity, but it is in this space that Sweden has been able to flex its social muscles and its penchant for tech. 

For Boxbollen, the offering initially appears in the simple form of a ball on the end of a string which users attach to themselves before seeing how many times they can pat or punch the ball before it “falls”. It is a concept that has captured the imagination of Swedes, as well as in the UK and Germany, and a US takeover is also now imminent. 

“For us, our initial drivers were fitness and fun, creating a piece of hardware that could be used by absolutely everyone in a gamified way,” said co-founder Jacob Eriksson.  

Jacob and his brother, Victor, b
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