E-commerce (goods) had been expanding at a rapid rate in Bulgaria even before the onset of the pandemic, but COVID-19 accelerated this trend, with retail constant value sales (2021 prices) almost doubling between 2019 and 2021. With non-essential retail outlets forced to close their doors for much of 2020 and local consumers spending much more time at home, they shopped online in growing numbers.
Food and drink e-commerce was the best-performing segment in e-commerce (goods) across 2020 and 2021, as many grocery retail chains scrambled to offer online ordering and home delivery to consumers, sometimes partnering with on-demand delivery apps like Glovo and Foodpanda. Volume sales of staple foods and cooking ingredients particularly benefited as consumers did more cooking and food preparation at home.
In 2020, the online shopping platform eMAG Marketplace (part of the Naspers Group and one of the largest online retailers in Central and Eastern Europe) introduced zero commission for sales of products related to disinfection, cleaning, and the prevention and restriction of the spread of COVID-19. This included items such as surgical masks, antibacterial gels, soaps, alcohol or chlorine-based disinfectants, sanitary alcohol, medical aprons, disposable hats and boots, and medical protective clothing.
The rate of growth in retail constant value sales of e-commerce (goods) will remain dynamic throughout the forecast period but gradually decelerate as demand matures. Three quarters of the population were internet users in 2021, with this figure expected to increase to 84% by 2026.
eMag is the largest player in e-commerce in Bulgaria, followed by Videolux OOD’s Technopolis. Between them, these two players accounted for more than a quarter of e-commerce retail value sales in 2021, with no other player having a retail value share of more than 5%.
As e-commerce becomes more prominent for retailers to sell their products, interactive visualisation of is set to become ever important to give consumers a tangible sample of what they want to buy. One of the key reasons many consumers prefer to shop in physical outlets (particularly for expensive goods within electronics and appliances) is that they like to see the item, test/try it in-store, and ask sales personnel for advice.
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Sales of consumer goods to the general public via the Internet. Please note that this includes sales through mobile phones and tablets (i.e. m-commerce). E-commerce includes sales generated through pure e-commerce websites and through sites operated by store-based retailers. Sales data is attributed to the country where the consumer is based, rather than where the retailer is based. The definition of e-commerce is agnostic as to where actual payment takes place; if an order is initiated online, it is considered to be an e-commerce transaction, even if the order is ultimately paid for in-store (or elsewhere). As a result, all ‘click-and-collect’ and ‘collect-at-store’ transactions are counted as e-commerce sales. E-commerce excludes sales of: (a) Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) and business-to-business (B2B) sales, although please note that sales between businesses and consumers (i.e. B2C sales) on sites such as eBay are included; (b) Sales of motor vehicles, motorcycles and vehicle parts; (c) Tickets for events (sports, music concerts, etc.) and travel; (d) Sales of travel and holiday packages; (e) Revenue generated by online gambling sites; (f) Returned products/unpaid invoices; and (h) Internet sales from direct selling companies, as these are tracked in Direct Selling market size/shares. Example e-commerce brands include Amazon.com, Zappos.com, Apple.com, iTunes, Rakuten, Tesco.com, Dell.com, Coles Online, etc. 3rd Party Merchant sales through online marketplaces, such as Amazon.com, eBay.com and Walmart.com, are included and split out in shares. 3rd party merchants are the summation of sales that come from businesses that are present on an online marketplace (e.g. Amazon, Alibaba). Marketplaces are websites that allow multiple merchants to sell on the marketplace website, with the marketplace operator processing the transactions, but many marketplaces provide offer other services as to help with shipping, handling, payment, and product storage. The marketplace is not the merchant of record legally, but for the sake of shares, sales from 3rd part merchants are attributed to the marketplace brand operator.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our E-Commerce (Goods) research and analysis database.
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