E-commerce in Romania

Romanians online purchases hit 7 billion Euros in 2020, 2.5 billion more than in 2019 when the Romanian e-commerce market reached 4.5 million Euros, and the prediction for 2021 is even better.

E-commerce in Romania 2021

The e-commerce market in Romania has tremendous potential. The optimism of the specialists working in the industry is genuine and the e-commerce market in Romania has grown year after year.

For 2021 there is an estimated 25% increase in the number of online transactions and there is expected a penetration rate of online card payment that reaches the threshold of 39%.

In the next years, we’ll certainly witness e-commerce in Romania becoming a 10 Billion EUR market.

E-commerce in Romania 2020

According to statistics, the Romanian e-commerce sector reached €7 billion in 2020, an increase of 36% over the previous year

Romania has one of the biggest e-commerce markets in Southeastern Europe.
In 2020, Romania remains a country that registered some of the best developments regarding the e-commerce market.

The major breakthrough comes in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, therefore, e-commerce has kept the Romanian economy open and moving throughout the pandemic.

Many Romanian companies, but also many Romanian entrepreneurs who relied exclusively on a physical presence, realized the advantages of the online sector, so they shifted to e-commerce during this year.

The penetration rate of online card payment has increased by 50%, reaching 36% in 2020, with a maximum reported by some merchants of over 50%.

The market’s largest segment is Fashion, with a projected market volume of $943 million in 2020. Electronics, toys, furniture, and food & personal care account for the other major industries.

These figures are also the result of factors such as the fact that many buyers make an online payment for the first time online; even one of the top local banks announced that in the first months during the pandemic over 300,000 Romanians paid online for the first time. The one-click payment facility makes the customer experience extremely simple, secure, and fast, as confirmed by the 117% annual increase in transactions paid with this option, accounting for 38% of total payments with cards made in 2020.

E-commerce in Romania 2019

According to the ARMO (Romanian Association of Online Stores), the Romanian e-commerce market reached 4.3 billion euros at the end of 2019, 20-22% more than in 2018 when the value of online commerce was estimated at approx. 3.6 billion euros.

2019 vs. 2018 rate of growth was lower compared to 2018 vs. 2017 when the rate of growth from one year to another was approx. 30%.
So, if we calculate an average, it means that Romanians have spent around 12 million euros every day of last year, rising from 9,86 million euros (the daily average recorded in 2018). More than that, the value of over a 43billion euros refers to all transactions generated in Romania both to local traders and to international online stores.

The value of 4.3 billion euros refers strictly to the e-tail segment, the tangible products that have been purchased through the Internet. Services, air tickets, holidays and trips, hotel reservations, tickets to shows or various events, payment of utility bills, downloadable content, etc. are not included.

Black Friday 2019: Online Sales of over 283 million Euros

Romanians made online purchases worth 253 million Euros.  According to the estimates of the specialists, online commerce will continue to grow in 2020, most likely to exceed the threshold of 5 billion euros by the end of this year.
Black Friday 2019 brought two more awards for online commerce in Romania: over 42% of orders were paid online by card, an increase of 34% over last year, and the traffic generated exceeded 10 million visits, with almost 1 million more than in 2018. Also, over 76% of site visits were made from mobile devices. Another novelty was the availability of 250 Easybox lockers for deliveries, in addition to the classic solutions: showrooms and courier.

Here is another series of Black Friday 2019 data on online payments:

– 499,632 transactions were generated in the PayU Romania system, increasing by 33% compared to last year. Also, 80% of the total amount collected was registered on Friday.
– the Top 3 countries by the number of online payments registered in the PayU platform is Great Britain – 6.8%, Hungary – 3.7%, USA – 0.5%.
– around 10% of the total online payments of Black Friday 2019 were made with cards issued in another country (increasing by 71%).

Also, 56,000 customers ordered for the first time from eMAG, being attracted by the store’s offers.

Here’s what eMAG customers ordered for Black Friday 2019:

  • 147,000 household products;
  • 100,000 small appliances;
  • 79,000 personal care products;
  • 67,000 fashion items;
    60,000 televisions;
  • 49,000 toys;
  • 48,000 phones;
  • 24,000 laptops;
  • 14,000 refrigerators.

E-commerce in Romania 2018

According to the statistics offered by the main players of the Romanian e-commerce market, the value of online shopping exceeded 3.5 billion Euros in 2018, with approx. 30% more than in 2017 when it reached 2,8 billion Euros. Also, the 2019 figures already show the e-commerce industry in Romania will exceed 4.5 billion Euros.

It is worth mentioning that these 3.5 billion Euros represent just the segment of e-commerce – the tangible products that were bought over the Internet. It doesn’t include services, air tickets, holidays and travels, hotel bookings, so if they were added, the total value of online purchases would increase considerably.

E-commerce in Romania holds an 8% share of the total retail market

E-commerce in Romania holds an 8% share of the total retail market. The entire retail market from Romania is estimated at about 45 billion Euros, which means that the e-commerce market represents approx. 8% of total retail, rising significantly from 5.6% in 2017 and approx. 4% in 2016.

The Romanian figures for e-commerce are a little lower than the percentage of other developed countries. However, it shows the huge potential of growth of the Romanian e-commerce market in the next few years.

80% of the online shopping in Romania is generated by mobile phone

80% of online shopping is generated by mobile phones. Romanians often use their mobile phones to browse on Internet and approx. 80% of the traffic is recorded from mobile devices. According to the last rapport of the Romanian National Institute of Statistics, 86% of internet users connect online from their mobile phones, other statistics showing that the numbers of broadband mobile connections have increased considerably from 16.6 million in 2017 to 19,3 million in 2018. It is huge, having in mind that the entire Romania’s population has barely exceeded 19 million.

Nevertheless, the conversion rate on mobile devices is still half of the conversion rate recorded on desktops for most online stores. It means that Romanians prefer using their mobile phones to search for information about the products, but they choose to complete the online transactions using a computer.

Mistrust and transport taxes – the main impediments in online shopping

The main reasons put forward by those who didn’t buy online are:

  • The mistrust that the products presented on the online store websites correspond exactly to the reality: 65% in 2018 compared to 68% in 2017.
  • Failure to see and test the products: 58% in 2018 compared to 53%in 2017.
  • The distrust/ the fear of not being cheated: 46% in 2018 compared to 51% in 2017.
  • Payment of shipping charges in addition to the price of the product: 33% in 2018 compared to 30% in 2017.

The most important arguments that would convince non-buyers to take the step towards online purchases are:

  • Product prices are lower than in classic stores: 65% in 2018 vs. 54% in 2017;
  • Delivering products as fast as possible: 38% in 2018 vs. 27% in 2017;
  • 38% of all online buyers have become more impatient in 2018 compared to 2017, wanting shorter delivery times, ideally the same day they placed the order.

Also, not only quick deliveries are desired by customers, but also quick answers from the online stores’ representatives to different consumer issues or questions. Thus, the customers expect an answer from online stores in real times – 23%, in minutes – 20%, in a few hours – 16%, on the same day – 31%, anytime – 4%. So, the vast majority of online buyers want feedback on the same day that they asked the question or raised a particular issue.

What are the main advantages of e-commerce compared to classic shops?

Those who choose to buy from the Internet to the detriment of classic stores identify as the main advantages of e-commerce:

  • e-commerce is time-saving;
  • there are much more products online than offline;
  • the prices are lower than in traditional trade;
  • the convenience of online shopping.

Black Friday – November 2018

Online sales of over 250 million euros

In the Black Friday campaign of 2018, Romanians made online purchases of over 250 million euros. Black Friday sales have increased significantly from one year to the next if we relate to the past year’s values, respectively 130 million euros in 2016 and 100 million euros in 2015. It demonstrates that the notoriety of the largest discount event in Romania has risen considerably over the last couple of years.

According to eMAG studies, the biggest e-commerce platform in Romania, the consumers’ buying intention during Black Friday has increased from 44% in 2017 to 51% in 2018, and the national notoriety of the event has also increased from 79% in 2017 to 88% in 2018.

15.000 online merchants in Romania

The number of online stores has doubled from approx. 7.000 online stores in 2017 to 15.000 traders in 2018. The growth is very spectacular if we consider the fact that in 2016 there were approx. 5000 online stores.

Much of the online merchants start their business directly in the Marketplace, without necessarily having an individual online presence (a website of their own).

83% of Romanians choose to pay cash on delivery

The preferred method of payment for Romanians remains the cash on delivery. According to NETOPIA Payments, the average percentage of online card payments is around 15%. The difference of 2 percentage points to 100% is given by other payment methods, such as online banking, payment via SMS, and so on.

This is a sign that the Romanian e-commerce market has a huge potential to grow and people start preferring it to the traditional methods.


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E-commerce in Romania – Q&A:

How much of the total Romanian Retail market does e-commerce holds?

E-commerce in Romania holds 8% share of the total retail market.

Do Romanians use their mobile phones for online shopping?

80% of the online shopping is generated by mobile phone.

What are the main advantages of e-commerce?

Time saving, more products online than offline, prices are lower, the convenience of online shopping.