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Development of Romanian e-commerce as an opportunity for Polish entrepreneurs

  • Published: 04.08.2022
  • Updated: 29.11.2022

Polish entrepreneurs running online shops are becoming increasingly keen to open up sales abroad, not only to the neighbouring countries, but also to markets further afield.

Romanian e-commerce development

The one market that seems to spark the most interest among Polish entrepreneurs is the Romanian market. But what is most eye-catching are the figures indicating the dynamic growth of e-commerce as a sales channel and the promise of higher margins, linked to the difference in end-user product prices between the Polish and Romanian markets. On top of this, the availability of key services such as efficient logistics or the possibility to provide customer service in Romanian in an outsourced model provides an answer to the question of why so many Polish online shops are interested in the Romanian market, and why a large number of them are already successfully operating on this market.

This is how quickly Romanian e-commerce is growing

The estimates regarding the Romanian e-commerce market, provided on a regular basis by the Romanian Association of Online Shops (ARMO), allow us to take a closer look at the dynamic development that is taking place in the country bordering the Danube. Although the Romanian e-commerce market is smaller than the Polish one, it is rapidly growing. With a population of 19 million, one in ten consumers in Romania regularly shop online. However, the latter’s share of e-commerce is growing rapidly and this growth is now estimated at a staggering 30% year-on-year. According to forecasts, the fastest-growing categories will include home décor, pharmaceuticals and fashion. For more interesting statistics related to the Romanian market, I would like to refer you to this continuously updated article, published on the Expandeco blog.

So what else has recently changed?

Over the last few years, the share of cash-on-delivery payments has decreased significantly. Romania is still one of the market leaders in this category, as half of the users continue to opt for this payment method, but at the same time the other half already rely on credit cards when shopping online. The popularity of plastic money is bound to grow at the expense of using cash, and one of the reasons for this trend is the pandemic, which encouraged adapting solutions that facilitate social distance. This is good news for the e-commerce industry, as reduced cash circulation means lower costs while the availability of easier payment methods encourages purchasing decisions.

What are Romanian customers worried about?

Some reasons behind the attachment to traditional payment methods still reside in the low confidence towards e-commerce as a sales channel. When asked about the main reasons for not shopping online, Romanian shoppers listed the following. distrust towards sellers and fear of becoming victims of fraud. Therefore, as early as the launch of sales in Romania, it is advisable to establish a reputation as a reliable seller by providing customer service in Romanian accessible via a local telephone number. From experience working with customers in this market, it is quite common for a potential customer to call the helpline just to make sure the shop exists and can be reached. Such contact, prior to placing an order, helps to dispel any concerns regarding the safety of the transaction.

Paweł Bilczyński A few years ago, during the first campaign for the Czech market, he saw how many nuances must be taken into account in order to communicate effectively with customers on the other side of the border. Now, together with the Expandeco team, he helps clients overcome the challenges they face during cross-border activities.