The Czech Republic was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, which led to a halt of mass events throughout most of the year. Domestic and international travel has dropped to unprecedentedly low levels.
In 2020, the Czech market continued to record exceptionally strong performance of e-commerce in the proximity environment. Adoption of digital wallets has been a major factor contributing to this.
Retailing e-commerce in the remote environment has seen strong growth in 2020 due to physical store closures and consumers’ hesitance to go out in public because of perceived health risks. This, however, was not something new but a result of acceleration of long-term trends.
Future performance of e-commerce in the Czech Republic will largely depend on the macroeconomic environment and the spread of COVID-19. If the country manages to return to normal life during 2021-2022, e-commerce will see a moderate downward push.
The launch of Apple Pay and Google Pay in previous years played a crucial role in proximity payments adoption in the market. Currently, the Czech market is among the leading ones in Central and Eastern Europe in terms of proximity payment development.
The rise of stay-at-home lifestyles in 2020 has the potential to support the growth of remote e-commerce in upcoming years as livestreaming has become more popular not only in entertainment, but also in e-commerce use cases. The success of TikTok, which attracted hundreds of thousands of new users in the Czech Republic, confirms that personalised, user-curated content is attracting an ever-larger audience compared to traditional media.
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