eCommerce in Europe – Central Europe

by Daniella DeLea

eCommerce is a rising force in Central Europe.  While many people may not think of central Europe as a place to export their goods to, it is worth considering targeting specific countries since in recent years Central European governments have put an emphasis on developing both high-speed internet access as well as eCommerce sectors.  This has resulted in a major upswing in sales and expansion for these nations.  

Some countries which have experienced major growth in eCommerce in 2020 include Romania (30% increase from the previous year) theUkraine (26% increase form the previous year) and Estonia (with a 20% increase).  While the share is not as high as some countries in Western Europe (such as France or Spain) these regions are projected to continue to grow as their economies expand.  Each region within Europe has its own role in the growing ecommerce marketplace of $757 billion (2020) In some European countries such as Bulgaria, the tendency is for customers to pay with cash on delivery.  So this is important to know and consider when setting up an ecommerce store to target customers in select parts of central and even eastern Europe.  

To reach buyers in Romania one should consider Emag.  Emag is the largest ecommerce site in Romania with 500,000 customers each day.  There are over 1600 categories that sellers can list in and 1.4 million+ products on the site.  (https://www.emag.ro/)  Another popular Central European marketplace is Allegro (originating in Poland) and is one of Europe’s most visited.  It is used for B2C brands as well as professional re-sellers and has 13 million users.  To use this platform, you would need to localize it, since it is entirely in polish.  However, it is the biggest shopping mall in Poland, selling everything from electronics, home and garden, to fashion.  (https://allegro.pl/ ) Other notable marketplaces include Asos (fashion retailer that is online only) which targets young sellers to sell up and coming clothing and boutique fashion).  There are 80,000 products and 7,000 new products added per week.  Internet growth and penetration in these markets is upwards of 70%.  Russia is a great example of how eCommerce has growth (20% in each year for the past seven years). 

Learning about these markets, and how you can export to them, could be a great asset to grow your business as the world is becoming more interconnected every day.