Poland : a new horizon for e-businesses

By - January 9, 2013

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Continuing our overview of European e-commerce, today we examine Poland.

So what does e-commerce in Poland look like ?

Polish e-commerce : the figures

Poland is experiencing high growth levels : 24% in 2012, with Internet sales at 4.50 billion euros compared with 1.86 billion in 2008..

The number of websites in Poland is exploding – more than 3000 domain names are created each day. By our count, there are around 10,000 e-stores in existence. An estimated 70% or more Poles make purchases online, which is equal to about 13 million Polish consumers.

But what’s behind this spectacular growth ? It’s the fruit of a burgeoning economy and widespread access to the Internet. Indeed, according European Union statistics, 67% of Polish homes have Internet access.

Lets take a closer look at the specifics of this exciting new market.

Mobile purchases struggle to take hold

Poland hasn’t been particularly enthusiastic regarding mobile e-commerce – the result of an offer that is inferior to that of other European countries. Very few e-stores are accessible by mobile.
You should therefore take this into account if you’re hoping to set up a mobile application in Poland, and carefully study the realities of this sector before launching.

E-commerce focused on Warsaw

Polish e-commerce is characterised by significant geographic disparities ; most of the action is concentrated in the capital. This is where you’ll find at least 1 cyberseller in 5.
One of the challenges will be to balance out these differences, in order to make e-commerce more equal across Polish territory.

Social networks have a serious presence

A whopping 39% of adults regularly consulting community sites like Facebook and Twitter, well above the international average.
So don’t overlook your viral communication channels !

Female clientele

Before launching your e-commerce site, it’s crucial to include a definition of key market targets in your market study.

You might be interested to know that Polish women have a heavy Internet presence – more than 60%. This trend has not escaped the notice of cyber sellers and web marketers, with more and more online stores targeting women consumers.

Women shoppers’ average basket exceeds that of their male counterparts, and women tend to be more regular shoppers, staying more faithful to their choice of stores than men too.
Which products ?

Electronic equipment, cosmetics and multimedia accessories (including books and video games) have had the biggest success in Poland. Clothes and food shops, on the other hand, have had a bit of trouble gaining a foothold.

A varied offer reinforced by a key trend : group purchasing

More than 30% of stores offer between 1,000 and 5,000 articles. We have observed a noticable development in group purchasing (Groupon.pl, Citeam.pl, Gruper.pl) which help sellers to sell more merchandise / services, with consumers getting the deals they’re looking for.
If this type of e-commerce interests you, then you’ll be delighted to know that the Polish market for it is flourishing.

Distribution networks

Today’s market for e-logistic services is facing the results of the ongoing privatization of postal services; a reform that is scheduled for completion by the end of January 2013. By then, all services will be open to free competition. Within this context, we’ll be seeing a significant increase in the number of private companies offering electronic distribution services.

Around 10 foreign companies represent 90% of the market, and they are currently grappling with the challenge of increases in fuel prices.
Nevertheless, delivery networks are making daily advances.

Still fairly far behind its European neighbors, Poland clearly represents a genuine Eldorado for e-businesses.
Recently, 33% of stores have increased their profits and 40% their turnover ! The time is ripe – Poland is waiting with open arms !

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