How to Absolutely Thrive in the Romanian eCommerce Market

Romanian eCommerce market – where are you heading to in 2017? If you’re selling online, or plan on starting soon, you’ll want to pay attention to all the juicy events currently shaping your industry so you can build the best strategy for your business.
To clear the skies out for you, here are some eCommerce facts, figures and best case practices from specialists in the field.

A report published by GPeC paints an interesting picture of last year’s Romanian eCommerce market. First of all, market size reached a new high of over 1.8 billion euros in tangible goods sold online. That’s an impressive increase of approximately 30% compared to 2015.

The most popular product categories are still electronics & IT, fashion & beauty, home & deco and toys for both babies & kids.

And here’s the highlight – are you ready? On average, Romanians spent almost 5 million EUR online. Daily! And, no, airline tickets, vacations, hotel reservations, and bills are not included here.

We’re entering a new era, indeed. One in which consumers not only know best but call all the shot. It’s a hint shop owners would better get that they need to pay more and more attention to online consumer behavior and decision factors.

On a related note, mobile purchases continued their unimpeded growth from last year. If 2015 mobile shopping accounted for 25% – 30% of the entire online shopping value, in 2016, over 40% of all online orders came from a mobile device. It seems eShop owners have heard our responsiveness related cries from last year and directed the eCommerce market towards instant and convenient purchases. 😉 Way to go, guys!

At the same time, value wise, there’s been a 45% increase in online card payments, from 514 million EUR in 2015 to 745 million EUR last year. Yet, in specific figures, 90% of online orders still account for COD and only 6,7% for card payments.
This may be due to the mistrust Romanians still show online transactions. Truth is, it’s not an easy change, nor a simple shift.

Dear shop owners, earning customers’ trust takes time, effort and being there over and over again. We weren’t expecting overnight boosts, so we’re still optimistic and pretty enthusiastic about this slight increase in card payments.

Another interesting fact on the Romanian eCommerce market is that of value versus frequency. In 2016, we’ve been spending less per online transaction, but we’ve been deploying significantly more transactions.
For example, in terms of products eCommerce, 2016’s Black Friday registered a total of 130 million EUR, compared with 2015 when we only spent around 100 million EUR.

As we mentioned in our previous article cited above, there are a few over 5000 registered and functional online shops in Romania. At the same time, though, approximately 20 000 websites have active add-to-cart buttons. That points to an increasing desire to expand the Romanian eCommerce market. So, let’s keep that in mind, as well.

To top that off, since we’re Magento developers, there this other figure that caught our eye: 1 in 5 eShops are using Magento as their eCommerce platform. That’s 20% of the entire market and still consistent with the Magento overall statistics.

The same GPec report shows that the three main factors contributing to this eCommerce market growth are:

  • An average wage increase
  • The highly awaited VAT decrease
  • A decrease in the average prices index

At the same time, Statista predicts some pretty outstanding figures for the Romanian eCommerce market:

  • Total Revenue – $2,020 millions of EUR in 2017.
  • An annual revenue growth rate of 14.1%
  • The segment with the largest growth – Electronics & Media – registering a 650 million EUR increase in 2017
  • The 2017 user penetration rate will reach 56.9% and it’s expected to hit 77.2% by 2021.

Revenue in the eCommerce market amounts to 2,020 million in 2017
Revenue in the eCommerce market amounts to 2,020 million in 2017- Source

The Hottest 2017 Romanian eCommerce market Trends: mobile, omnichannel, automation, personalization.

More focus on educational content – Alin Vlad, Heimdal Security
“We’re witnessing the agglomeration of many niches. This will lead to more noise on some of the channels, but also a number of marketing messages used. If the basics were enough to survive till now, shop owners will need to up their game in order to differentiate themselves. Marketers will need to take more risks. We’ll see more focus on video (Live Streaming, vlogging etc.), but also educational content that will increase consumer confidence.”

Using marketing automation to measure converting content – Andreea Moisa, Beans United
“Lately, Romanian companies have been using content marketing to attract potential customers. So far, we’ve been doing this shyly and with a poor understanding of how to actually turn words into results. In 2017 more companies will be measuring content marketing results and implementing marketing automation that will allow you to recognize a visitor who read a blog post 4 months ago and returned to your eShop to buy today.”

Customization will be key this year – Cristian Ignat, Canopy
“I firmly believe that 2017 will belong to specialists. Real specialists will make the difference in the digital environment and many of them will begin to assert this year.”

Video ads will explode in 2017 – Ionuț Munteanu, WebDigital
“Considering the increasing consumption of video content, in 2017 we expect the number of ads with the same format to go through the roof. Estimations show that we consume all traffic, through video, at a rate of 74%. Therefore, it’s an area brands will rush to either with advertisements or branded content.”

Customer Experience, a new challenge – Eugen Potlog, Conversion
“Digital marketers have focused on bringing relevant customers and increasing ROI. In 2017, though, the focus shifts to an integrative component. One that gathers all areas of the customer – brand interaction. An improved customer experience contributes significantly to customer loyalty. We should treat customers’ expectations and the promises we make on any channel with great care.”

So, we’re witnessing an eCommerce market boost like no other. A real explosion, worthy to be named a phenomenon. Together with an increase in the internet penetration rate, we’re also expecting a dramatic growth of the eCommerce market. If you own an online store you’ll want to invest in building a solid foundation and prepare for what’s next.

Main key learning points in terms of the Romanian eCommerce Market

Talking about trends, there’s no major news there. We’re used to these Romanian eCommerce market behaviors. What’s noticeable, though, it’s their increasing intensity.

In other words, shop owners know where they’re heading and they’ve started racing there. Being left behind is the exact reason why we must pay attention to the latest trends and implement them.

Building more user-friendly platforms where customers can easily navigate and have their needs met will play a crucial role in the eCommerce market of 2017.

Author avatar
Emilian Alexandru

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