While e-commerce was already a retailing category on a rapid upwards trajectory prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 and 2021 saw the category register very dynamic growth and development as the impact of quarantine lockdowns and widespread fears of contagion resulted in major changes being seen in the lifestyles and shopping habits of Romanian consumers. Although growth rates were less dynamic in 2021 than the double-digit increases witnessed during 2020, positive sales growth continued to flow from the high internet penetration throughout the country and, in particular, the high ownership rates of smartphones, laptops, tablets and desktop computers.
The positive performance seen in e-commerce during 2021 was supported by the arrival in Romania of the third and fourth waves of the COVID-19 pandemic during the year. The COVID-19 control measures that were implemented in response to the third and fourth waves of the pandemic had a less negative impact than the control measures that were implemented during 2020 and this was because they applied only to those who had not been vaccinated.
One of the major factors behind the rapid development of e-commerce in Romania in recent years, especially in comparison with other countries in Eastern Europe, is the presence in the country of eMAG, a dynamic and very active Romanian-origin international online retailer. In addition to offering a very wide range of products from an attractive and convenient online storefront, eMAG’s success has also been built on its focus on innovation.
E-commerce is expected to continue registering impressive growth rates over the forecast period, with the major changes that have been seen to lifestyles and shopping habits among Romanian consumers since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic expected to evolve into long-term trends and patterns that are highly favourable for the development of e-commerce. While the direct impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is unlikely to last beyond the end of 2022, huge numbers of Romanians have discovered the convenience and value for money that e-commerce represents in comparison with store-based retailing whilst engaging with online shopping during the pandemic.
One of the most important consumer trends to have emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic has been the greater attention that local consumers are paying to domestically cultivated fresh food and locally and manufactured packaged food. In response to the emergence of this trend, the country’s leading online retailer eMAG launched the Freshful by eMAG app towards the end of 2021.
One of the factors that is expected to spur growth in e-commerce during the forecast period is the anticipated development of various sustainability initiatives that have the potential to attract the attention of consumers and secure their loyalty. Obor21 for instance is the first digital farmer’s cooperative in Romania that offers consumers access to natural, unprocessed fresh meat.
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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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