Lately, there’s quite some buzz around e-commerce market in Poland. We could read some news and statistics on such portals as e-commercefacts.com or internetretailer.com and also there was a nice compilation of the news on our blog. The point is that all of them lead to a conclusion that Poles are increasingly shopping online. How was that possible? And more interestingly, what are the perspectives?
Polish ecommerce history 101
In the span of 2000-2005 Poland had still rather poorly developed infrastructure and consequently rather low percentage of Internet users. The issue was also the legislative side of online shopping and low level of user’s knowledge concerning the security and mechanisms of online transactions. Nevertheless, the attitudes of Polish shoppers about ecommerce were already positive. It’s especially visible through the history of the most popular Polish ecommerce portal Allegro. The company was founded in 1999 and according to Allegro’s announcements site, it reached 1 000 000 000 sales by the year 2010. A significant moment, also for the Polish e-commerce market, was joining the European Union in May 2004.
As just mentioned, thanks to joining European Union, Polish customers and eshop’s owners could use the following advantages:
1. Clear prices
2. Trade without transborder barriers
3. Equal conditions of contract withdrawal
4. Elimination of credit cards use, customer service call centers charges
5. Elimination of automatic field marking in the ordering process at websites
6. Foreign languages selection
7. Company maintenance cost escalation
It seems like the benefits came only for the end-clients, but what is not so obvious it that through those changes the end-clients had a possibility to give credit to e-retailers and consequently purchase enough to generate extra income. The Polish e-shop owner also gained an opportunity to attract foreign customers.
One of the best examples of success in Polish e-shops abroad is gog.com. The shop was launched in 2008 by a Polish video game publisher CD Projekt RED S.A. To illustrate its global success let’s take a look at a few statistics from alexa.com:
1. Global reach
2. Traffic rank
The statistics look very positive for gog.com, which is nowadays a well-known name among computer games enthusiasts.
Recently a fair amount of already globally popular e-retailers decided to enter the Polish market with their online shop.
1. On 6th of March Polish e-commerce welcomed Stradivarius online, a Spanish clothes retailer that has been present on a Polish market with brick and mortar shops.
2. Later, on 5th of March Poland welcomed shoe online e-shop by German company Deichmann.
3. And on 7th of March came also extremely popular Zara with their e-commerce website.
There were of course many more, but those mentioned seem to represent the development of Polish e-commerce market the most, since all of them were already successful in Poland with their offline shops. Thus, their online ventures may suggest that there is now a must to have also an e-shop in Poland.
According to Polish news portal gazeta.pl, 70% of Poles admit they’re shopping online and the value of Polish e-trade increased by 17,5 mld PLN in 2011, that is an increase of over 32% in one year. In all of those statistics and facts regarding decent conditions for companies to develop, I personally believe it’s a market worth consideration. That’s especially because there is still a lot to do and a lot of blank spaces to fill.