Slovakia is a member of the European Union since 2004, and, geographically speaking, is literally at the center of it. The country is a regional champion for direct foreign investment, thanks to its inexpensive and technologically skilled workforce, an advantageous tax system, a low cost of living, several financial incentives for foreign investors, and a large growth potential. With a stable economic and political environment, Slovakia is a small but open economy located between East and West with great export potential.
Slovakia’s business practices and standards are those of the European Union, but the country is still dealing with corruption, and investors could face some administrative and technological barriers. Nevertheless, current major investors in Slovakia continue to invest in their production facilities. Slovakia’s banking system is sound, with a deep financial and economic integration into the European’s market.
Slovakia is home to the highest number of castles in the world, but the country lacks new infrastructure and is looking for investors to help. Don’t miss that opportunity! In this guide, we will guide you through the process of reaching Slovakia’s consumers, successfully making sales on e-commerce channels, and getting your products to reach the desired consumers.
Many younger Slovaks speak English, and the general population is highly interested in American entertainment products. Many consumers who have already purchased fiber optic connections belong to a market segment that is receptive to cutting-edge technology.
Slovakia’s Social Media Penetration is 45% accounting for 2.46 million people in 2017, with this expected to reach 2.63 million people by 2021. Facebook is by far the leading social network. Twitter and LinkedIn are also popular.
The most commonly purchased products are consumer goods, electronics, software, voice, data and TV services, household appliances, furniture, hobbies, music, video on demand, cosmetics, toys, airline tickets, holiday trips, tickets for cultural events, and clothes.
76% of shoppers used mobile payments when shopping online, and a further 33% used prepaid cards. Credit cards were also used online accounting for 17% of purchases.
Smartphone penetration is 54% and is projected to grow to 62% by 2021. 90% of online shoppers in Slovakia shop online via desktop. 4% of shoppers make purchases via smartphone, and 3% made their most recent purchase via tablet.
Consumers in Slovakia do not use loans to finance their shopping needs as is the habit in most Western economies, which is why stable incomes are essential to local consumers.
Online payments from mobile phones are not very popular as consumers rely more on other mobile devices, such as tablets. The ability to pay with smartphones in selected stores will be available in Slovakia only from mid-2013.
Slovakia has two major ports on the Danube river, in Bratislava and Komarno. Both ports are operated by the Slovak Shipping and Ports company.
Shipments from countries that are not part of the EU with a value of up to EUR 22 are exempted from customs duty and VAT. Shipments with a value of up to EUR 150 are exempted from customs duty except for perfumes and toilet waters, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco and tobacco products purchased in e-shops.