Forecasts for Polish e-commerce market in 2013 – the market’s value may grow by over 20% y/y to PLN 26 blnPublished: 07.03.2013
Polish e-commerce market is growing at a fast pace, developing in spite of the current slowdown in the real economy.
In 2012, it likely grew by nearly 23% y/y and was worth PLN 21.5 bln, according to estimates by internet economy researchers SMB, Kelkoo and Forrester Research as presented in the report E-commerce by internet business portal Interaktywnie.com. Just to get the feel of the scale of the growth: ten years ago the e-commerce market in Poland was worth PLN 0.33 bln (some 1.5% of the 2012 value), while five years ago it was worth PLN 5 bln (some 23% of its last-year worth).
2013 is expected to be yet another year of a double-digit percentage growth of the Polish e-commerce market: it may grow by 21.4% y/y to PLN 26.1 bln, Interaktywnie.com writes citing the mean of experts’ forecasts it collected.
The pace of e-commerce market growth in Poland seems to be similar to that recorded worldwide: according to the newest global estimates by researcher eMarketer, B2C (business-to-client) e-commerce sales worldwide grew 21.1% y/y in 2012, to top USD 1 trillion for the first time. This year, global sales will likely grow 18.3% to USD 1.298 trillion worldwide, eMarketer estimates.
Interestingly, as in so many other areas, the drivers of global e-commerce industry are shifting towards the East: in 2013, Asia-Pacific is to surpass North America “to become the world's No. 1 market for B2C e-commerce sales,” eMarketer forecasts.
Polish e-commerce market value to exceed 4% of the country’s total retail sales in 2013
Internet-mediated sales are becoming a more and more important branch of the Polish retail sector: in 2012, e-commerce share in the total retail value likely amounted to 3.8%, up from 3.1% in 2011, according to data an estimates by SMB, Kelkoo and Forrester as quoted in the report E-commerce. The trend should be continued in 2013: the e-commerce market’s share in total retail sales should easily exceed 4% , strategy director at agency Bold Brand Commerce Marcin Piwowarczyk said quoted by Interaktywnie.com.
The value of the Polish e-commerce market in the years 2001-2011 and estimate for 2012 (with a division between e-shops and online auction platforms) (in PLN mld) (source: Polskie Badania Internetu (PBI); E-commerce w Polsce. Rynek. Nabywcy. Trendy; based on data from SMG, Kelkoo, Forrester Research)
And there is still much room for further growth here: already in 2010, the majority of Western European countries saw their e-commerce share in total retail at levels much higher than in the case of Poland, e.g. at 8% for Germany and even 10.7% for Great Britain, to be compared with 2.5% in Poland, according to the study by Central for Rretail Resaerch, commissioned by Kelkoo.
Key trends in Polish e-commerce in 2013: mobile devices, social media, slow maturing of the market
When speaking about major trends on the e-commerce market, both globally and in Poland, market participants speak about „mobile boom”. According to estimates by e-commerce services firm Zanox, the number of mobile transactions (purchases made online using a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet) in Poland increased by 722% in 2011. The mobile e-commerce segment value in 2011 was estimated at EUR 150 mln, Forrester Research data indicate.
According to manager of e-shop Mobile2.pl of the group Eurotel, Joanna Ruczyńska, speaking for Interaktywnie.com, the shift towards m-commerce is the most important trend on the Polish internet retail market in 2013, “Mobile devices still account for only several per cent of the total traffic – in the case of mobile2 it is some 5%, while a year ago it was less than 1% - but the future trend is quite obvious. … When we speak about Poland and increases of purchases made in e-shops via a mobile device, I believe the growth will be a three-digit one (meaning some 100-200% y/y) not only in 2013 but also in several years to come. Of course we are setting off from a very low base, but after 2-3 years of growth at such pace, it [m-commerce] will already be an important chunk of business for every internet shop,” Ruczyńska said.
The percentage share of the value of e-commerce in the general value of retail sales in Poland and selected European countries in 2010 (source: Polskie Badania Internetu (PBI); E-commerce w Polsce. Rynek. Nabywcy. Trendy; based on data from Center for Retail Research, as commissioned by Kelkoo)
Another increasingly significant force in e-commerce, both in Poland and globally, is social media marketing. It is sometimes dubbed f-marketing, due to the dominant position of social networking site Facebook. Indeed, already in 2011 Facebook, with 12.13 mln users on 26.6% y/y increase, topped the list of social networking portals in Poland and was the fifth most popular internet portal in the country (behind Google, YouTube, Onet and WirtualnaPolska), according to data from researcher Megapanel PBI/Gemius. The fast-track rise of Facebook is still to be continued in 2013 (with e-commerce insiders expecting it to gain 1-2 mln unique users this year), but there are already signs of the saturation of the market. “Within a several-years horizon, Facebook will be shrinking. Already at present there is talk about a return to smaller [internet] communities, and Facebook users complain of its being overfilled with sponsored content,” Think Kong’s strategy director Norbert Kilen told Interaktywnie.com. “Facebook will no longer be perceived [by representatives of Polish e-commerce] as the main social network to host an interesting promotional action. Smaller social services, blogs and internet forums will gain on importance, as they will allow for reaching the right target group,” Google AdWords & analytics product manager at Synerway Marcin Wsół commented for Interaktywnie.com.
Last but not least, the coming months – and years – will see Poland’s e-commerce market maturing. Polish e-commerce, “slowly and to variable extents in various sectors, depending on their level of market saturation, will start shifting from the dynamic growth phase to the maturity phase, in which one competes for clients not only by means of price (as it is most often the case now), but rather in a complex way, in many areas, including client service quality, very good offer and its availability, good and client-friendly design of e-shops (usability), safety of purchases, timely delivery and marketing effectiveness,” Ruczyńska said.
A strong incentive for Polish e-businesses to go in that direction is the EU directive on consumer rights in the sphere of online shopping, which will become binding in June 2014 at the latest. The directive unifies e-commerce regulations across EU member states, and in the case of Poland means prolonging the period for resignation from an online transaction to 14 days from 10 days, eliminating hidden fees and costs as well as introducing e-shops’ liability for deliveries delayed by couriers. “The new directive will contribute to an increase of the trust towards internet shops among consumers who prefer to buy in traditional shops,” Wsół commented.
Source - Polish Press Agency, Economic Service