When Swedish media company Aller media recently acquired My Perfect Day, the country’s largest online seller of wedding, baby shower and party merchandise, it was a match made in heaven. Aller media reaches three million women in Sweden through its brands, influencers and channels so tying the knot with an e-commerce company that has built up its own loyal female following just makes sense. It’s a union that is set to drive Aller media’s already impressive e-commerce figures into the stratosphere.
“E-commerce is our fastest growing business area and grew by about 70 per cent last year,” says Fredrik Blomqvist, Head of e-commerce at Aller media. “And it has continued this year. The growth has been partly down to the pandemic, with people staying home and ordering more online, but it’s also because of the wide reach Aller media has and the relationship we have built up with readers by providing them with great content and relevant products.
“A key part of our success has been a strong correlation between our readers’ interests and our e-commerce businesses. In My Perfect Day we have an amazing new partner who has a strong brand, loyal customers and a wide assortment of products. Their customer base consists of 92 per cent women so there is a really strong synergy there when it comes to our target groups. It’s such a good fit.”
My Perfect Day’s rise to the top over the last seven years has been extraordinary with founder Pauline Grindvall, who is staying on as CEO, originally running the company from her bedroom. In the years leading up to the Covid-19 outbreak the business grew by almost 70 per cent per year without external capital. Becoming part of Aller media means that My Perfect Day’s expansion plans will gather pace.
“Being part of this growth journey and now selling to Aller media feels a bit like a fairy tale,” said Grindvall when the acquisition was announced. “My vision has always been for the company to be the largest in the Nordic region in its niche.
“With Aller media as owner, we are now definitely ready to make that vision a reality. They already have the Nordic presence, lots of expertise and insights that will take My Perfect Day to new heights.”
According to Blomqvist, Aller media is keen to leverage its Nordic footprint to aid in My Perfect Day’s growth. “We will support them in their geographical expansion into Norway, Denmark and additional countries,” he says.
“They will continue to be a standalone company based in Kalstad but we will add valuable resources and experience in order to grow the business. We have lots of good ideas on how to make the most of opportunities going forward.”
A major player
When Blomqvist says Aller media brings experience to the table, it’s not an idle boast. Started in 1894, the company is the market leader in popular press in Sweden with a share of 51.2 per cent.
Driven by a mission to “create and sell entertainment and inspiration to women through strong editorial content” Aller media publishes some of the country’s most well-known brands including ELLE, MåBra, Svensk Damtidning, ELLE Decoration, Allers, Hemmets Veckotidning, Hänt i Veckan, Femina and Residence.
Media companies should be able to leverage all the relationships they have and expand through e-commerceFredrik Blomqvist, Head of e-commerce, Aller media
It’s a newsstand dominance that’s allowed the company to really get to know its readers. “The fact that we reach so many women across Sweden has given us an opportunity to be close to them, to know their habits and motivations,” says Blomqvist.
“We have a department that does research and is integrated with the whole organisation. We speak to our users via social media and follow their behaviour online. It allows us to understand our users, and women in particular.”
When it comes to e-commerce, Aller media has kept a close eye on how demand has changed since the Covid-19 outbreak. While there has been no blanket lockdown in Sweden, there has been a slight shift in behavioural patterns.
“The habits and needs of our customers have changed but the basic motivations remain,” says Blomqvist. “We see that women tend to spend more time at home during the pandemic.
“They are spending more time on self care and spending more money shopping online. While they are spending time at home they want to be inspired and find joy. They want to try out new recipes, purchase new products.”
By aligning with My Perfect Day, Aller media is in an ideal position to ride a wave of post-pandemic euphoria as couples go ahead with delayed weddings and people celebrate the end of restrictions.
“We realise, of course, that parties have been put on pause for now and we follow all the Covid recommendations,” says Blomqvist. “But once restrictions have eased, we certainly want to be there to support our readers. We can help them celebrate life.”
A strong e-commerce business will be even more important for media companies than ever before.Fredrik Blomqvist, Head of e-commerce, Aller media
The future of e-commerce
Looking at e-commerce globally, Blomqvist believes the pandemic has given companies a larger target group, with older people increasingly doing their shopping online. Aller media are also market leaders in influencer marketing while good customer care is another area that will be crucial in the years ahead.
“Customer service and the relationship with the customer will be even more important in the future,” says Blomqvist. “You have to offer good logistics solutions, fast deliveries and strong customer support.”
With Covid-19 cutting off a number of trusted revenue streams of publishers, a robust e-commerce strategy will have to be part of any future business plans drawn up by media companies, says Blomqvist.
“I think a strong e-commerce business will be even more important for media companies than ever before,” he says. “The reach and relationship media companies usually have with readers are really valuable assets.
“Within e-commerce business that provides multiple opportunities to expand relationships, not only through high quality content but also products in an adjacent area – with a connection between the content and the products.
“Media companies should be able to leverage all the relationships they have and expand through e-commerce. I think Aller media’s e-commerce success can certainly be recreated around the world.”