E-commerce in Romania

Romanians have made online purchases worth more than 4.5 billion euros in 2019 and more than 3.5 billion euros in 2018.

According to the statistics offered by the main players of the e-commerce Romanian 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.

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, total value of online purchases would increase considerably.

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

E-commerce in Romania holds 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 the 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 is generated by mobile phone

80% of the online shopping is generated by mobile phone. Romanians often use their mobile phones to browse on Internet and approx. 80% from the traffic is recorded from mobile devices. According to the last rapport of the Romanian National Institute of Statistics, 86% of the internet users connect online from their mobile phones, other statistics showing that the numbers of broadband mobile connections has 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 desktop for most online stores. It means that Romanians prefer using their mobile phones to search 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 in the same day that they asked the question or raised a particular issue.

What are the main advantages of e-commerce compared to the 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, 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 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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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.

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