The COVID-19 pandemic first hit the Hungarian market in early 2020, with further waves in 2021 due to the emergence of new variants of the virus. This resulted in lockdowns, mandatory outlet closures and shorter opening hours, and kept shoppers away from bricks-and-mortar stores.
Although some store-based players already had their own webshops, many had to act quickly to make up for the lost foot traffic and catch up. Most physical retail chains developed solutions to serve customers during the lockdowns and periods of mandatory outlet closures (although essential grocery retailers, healthcare retailers and pet food retailers were amongst the exceptions).
Similar to other EU markets, any commercial goods imported or brought into Hungary from non-EU countries are subject to VAT, and a formal customs declaration is required even below the value of EUR22. This makes once-popular purchases, mostly from China and the US, more expensive for low-value items.
Although consumers returned to physical outlets as lockdown measures were lifted, the sentiment of e-commerce operators remains upbeat, and further current value growth is expected across all categories. A wider range of shoppers in terms of both demographic and geographic coverage gained experience with the ease and convenience of online shopping.
It is obvious that e-commerce is an increasingly relevant retail sales channel which is delivering sizeable sales regardless of the product category. Therefore, further new entrants are expected, hoping to maximise the opportunities and make profits.
Although most Hungarians are avid online shoppers, there are times when checking products in their physical format before making an actual purchase has some advantage, or the presence of a retail outlet gives some peace of mind, such as for warranty claims. These insights, paired with the need for higher visibility in the real world to create trust (and an opportunity for instant/impulse purchases) from the retailer perspective will lead to more store-based retail outlets being opened by e-commerce sites.
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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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