This article is provided by Ecommerce Europe’s National Association – The Chamber of Digital Economy
10 e-years have passed…
The Chamber of Digital Economy (Ecommerce Europe’s Polish national association), the most important organisation dedicated to the e-commerce market, is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2023. For 10 years, the e-Chamber has been supporting Polish e-tailers by providing training, consultancy services, and networking opportunities, as well as working with the state administration to ensure a legal framework for the smooth operation of this fastest-growing branch of the economy. Now, to celebrate its 10th anniversary, the e-Chamber has produced a report entitled “The e-Chamber Report: a Decade of Polish E-commerce” documenting the extremely dynamic digital sales market. Do you remember a time when e-commerce was not yet the obvious choice? You don’t? Well, so much has changed over these 10 years.
An “e” that means a lot
As of the end of 2022, total digital sales to consumers and businesses were likely to break through the 850 billion PLN mark. Consumer-oriented e-commerce alone will have reached 187 billion PLN by 2027, according to PWC forecasts. Such a fast rate of growth in the value of e-sales puts Poland at the forefront of the countries that are most rapidly developing the digital sectors of their economies. Moreover, this dynamic is likely to continue. As many as ¾ of the e-Commerce Directors surveyed in December 2022 by the e-Chamber estimate that the growth rate of e-commerce will reach 15-20% per year in the coming years. Thousands of small, medium, and large businesses work for the success of e-commerce. E-tailers, now over 150,000 entities, sell through their own websites, but also enjoy the benefits of large and popular online platforms and social media. Importantly, online sales are also taking an increasing share of Poland’s total retail sales. And over a decade, this share has increased from around 3.5% in 2013 to an average of 10% in 2021 and 2022. It is also noteworthy that, in some categories, e-commerce is already generating one in every five zlotys earned from sales. This is particularly the case in the clothing market, where e-commerce accounts for 21.7% of all retail sales. As far as the “furniture, electronics, and household appliances” category is concerned, it is 16.4% while in the “press, books, and other sales in specialised shops” sector – as much as 22%.
The power of e-buyers
Eighty-seven per cent of Internet users and 62 per cent of Poles aged 16-75 already shop online. The ratio is twice as much as 10 years ago, in 2013. We buy more often and more varied and expensive products. We spend more, but we also expect more from e-commerce. More than 90 per cent of consumers can state exactly what strengths of e-commerce encourage them to shop in this channel, but e-commerce has had to earn this result by responding efficiently to expectations and growing needs. What has changed? Poles have stopped using cash to pay for their online shopping. Currently, only 13% of Internet users admit that they pay when they collect goods from the parcel delivery company or when picking them up at a dedicated pick-up point. The vast majority pay using the BLIK service or fast transfers, and a significant proportion have become warm to the idea of card payments.
Goods are usually collected at automated parcel machines or brought by a courier. We very seldom use delivery by mail. We want our goods to reach us in no time – ideally in up to three days unless we need them very badly (groceries) – but we also want to be able to return them easily and free of charge. One in three customers buys from foreign platforms and stores. Over half of the online shoppers buy things using their mobile devices. In the time of pandemic, inflation, and economic downturn, e-commerce became even more important, allowing for quick and secure purchases and optimised spending. All this makes e-shopping now the leading method for Poles to cope with the crisis. Among those keen to optimise their spending (70% of Poles), as many as 80% consider e-commerce to be the most attractive shopping channel.
What will the e-future bring?
The momentum seen in e-commerce over the past 10 years is certainly difficult to keep up, but many phenomena can drive and warm up the “digital engine”. The pandemic drove B2C e-sales growth rates in excess of 30%, with B2B digital sales growth rates in the pandemic years estimated at up to 42% per year. The economic downturn is attracting consumers to e-commerce as a place that offers better spend control, attractive bargains, and, on top of that, deferred payments and costless returns. According to Poles, online shopping is also more environmentally friendly than shopping at bricks & mortar outlets, particularly in terms of delivery to pick-up points (thus minimising the so-called “last mile effect”), as well as given the possibility of making better thought-out purchases based on the characteristics and origin of the products and the social responsibility of e-retailers as opposed to buying on impulse. Already one in two Internet users choosing products online is guided by whether they are sustainably produced and offered. One in three consumers also expects the online channel to be the one that is most innovative and trailblazing. So, let it happen. After all, e-commerce is the most rapidly growing branch of the Polish economy and a channel that has saved more than one business in times of pandemonium. For more detailed information on how e-commerce has changed in 10 years, see the report.
The data comes from the e-Chamber Report: “A Decade of Polish E-commerce”. Study conducted by Mobile Institute. The report can be downloaded free of charge from the Chamber of Digital Economy website at: https://eizba.pl/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Decade-of-Polish-e-commerce-e-Chamber-Report_2023.pdf
Sector partner to the publication: Tpay
About the Chamber of Digital Economy
The Chamber of Digital Economy represents and promotes the interests of companies operating in
the digital economy market in Poland, with a particular focus on e-Chamber member companies. The mission of e-Chamber is the development of the Polish digital economy sector through cooperation, exchange of know-how, legislative actions, and strong and effective representation of common interests in the dialogue with the institutions of the Polish government administration, the European Union, as well as non-governmental organisations both in Poland and abroad.
To find out more, please visit www.eizba.pl
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