Cross-border e-commerce in the CEE region: lack of budget and expertise are main issues for merchants


This article has been provided by Ecommerce Europe’s national association in Bulgaria: Bulgarian E-commerce Association

Key Findings from the CEE Ecommerce Survey Report 2022 Organized by Mediapost Hit Mail

Since 2020 cross-border ecommerce has seen strong positive growth. Markets worldwide were rebounding and even exceeding pre-pandemic figures, after slight downturns in sales following the COVID-19 outbreak. Of course, there was a shift in consumption too. Consumers diverted budgets. Some product categories were outstanding winners since other struggled and had to reframe the way they do business online.

This is where the potential of international online trading to weather the COVID-19 storm was revealed. It became obvious that being active in just one market in times when selling online cross-border have never been easier is a waste of time and potential profits. Of course, it takes time and resources. However, it also opens almost endless possibilities for ecommerce brands to reach more people.

In the last two years everybody from well-established and popular brand owners to small startups had to quickly re-consider their ecommerce strategy. In this context, in August-September 2022 Mediapost Hit Mail launched an international ecommerce survey. Almost 850 companies from countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) took part. Merchants answered many questions and made the survey one of the most detailed private market research activities in the region. The primary goal was to understand better the main challenges merchants have while selling their products online.

The key findings of the survey reveal that almost 10% of participating businesses sell online only on marketplaces, without having their own ecommerce website. 13% of respondents have both ecommerce website and marketplaces as sales channels. This gives them additional opportunities for growth. Good quality traffic of the marketplace ranks highest when it comes to benefits for merchants using this channel. It is followed by the fact they have to pay only when they have a sale, without big upfront investment.

Whenever products are suitable to be sold online, lack of budget and expertise are the main reasons why respondents don’t do it. While budget constraints can be avoided via popular marketplaces, lack of knowledge could only be compensated by outsourcing some activities.

Almost one-third of merchants selling online in the CEE region expected up to 20% growth in revenue in 2022 compared to 2021. One quarter saw no difference, and almost 17% expected to have their revenue down by up to 20% compared to the previous year.

Download the free report and learn more about what the online survey revealed.

 About Mediapost Hit Mail Bulgaria

Mediapost Hit Mail Bulgaria was founded in 2005 as a specialized agency for direct marketing. In 2009 it was acquired by the French group La Poste. Since 2010 several new services were added to the portfolio: email marketing, PPC, landing pages optimization etc.

Today Mediapost Hit Mail is offering services for clients in more than 10 markets in the EU, in three main divisions: digital marketing, promotional campaigns, and cross-border ecommerce. The Mediapost Cross-border division helps local ecommerce companies grow their business internationally at scale.

Mediapost Hit Mail is a member of the Bulgarian E-commerce Association.