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Internet Retailing in Eastern Europe

May 2018

Eastern Europeans increasingly realize the benefits and convenience of internet retail and more often go for shopping online. In turn increasing number of companies choose omnichannel operations and go further improving the service opportunities: cutting the delivery time, adding more convenient delivery options, payment methods, and other innovative services.

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Cross-border internet retailing gains share

From year-to-year, shopping online from abroad is gaining popularity as consumers gain trust and see more benefits from having more choice or better prices than in domestic online shops. In Russia, for instance, cross-border internet retailing is already estimated to exceed 35%. However, in some Eastern European markets, cross-border still possess a low share of total online purchases. Poland is one example, where only around 10% of online shoppers purchase from abroad. In Romania the percentage is even lower. China, as a source market, plays a huge role for cross-border purchases.

Omnichannel engagement is growing

An increasing number of retailers realise that in order to stay competitive it is necessary not just to have a website and be active on social media, but to provide consumers with an opportunity to shop where and when they want. Consequently, companies are increasingly choosing an omnichannel business model.

Marketplaces are becoming more popular

Marketplaces with third-party merchants play an important role in the internet competitive environment. Allegro, AliExpress, and eBay marketplaces hold leading positions in Eastern Europe, accounting for 14% of total internet sales in 2017. The model is gaining popularity by building a customer base and attracting more third-party merchants, leading to growing product variety, intensified competition, and lower prices.

Mobile commerce contributes to overall internet retail growth

Consumers increasingly switch from personal computers to smartphones in their daily lives. Together with companies’ growing investments into creation of apps, this will result in the continuous growth of mobile internet retail, which will gain popularity and share from total internet retailing.


Key findings

Regional Overview

Putting Eastern Europe in context
Solid growth in 2017 with further potential
Consumer electronics – the largest category across the region
Food and drink sales remain small but dynamic

Leading Companies and Brands

Most Eastern European countries are on a consolidation path
Success of Grupa Allegro Sp zoo
Localisation strategies see success

Forecast Projections

Internet retailing continues to see growth in Eastern Europe
Positive prognosis for internet retailing in Eastern Europe

Country Snapshots

Russia: market context
Russia: competitive and retail landscape
Poland: market context
Poland: competitive and retail landscape
Czech Republic: market Context
Czech Republic: competitive and retail landscape
Romania: market context
Romania: competitive and retail landscape
Ukraine: market context
Ukraine: competitive and retail landscape
Hungary: market context
Hungary: competitive and retail landscape
Slovakia: market context
Slovakia: competitive and retail landscape
Belarus: market context
Belarus: competitive and retail landscape
Lithuania: market context
Lithuania: competitive and retail landscape
Estonia: market context
Estonia: competitive and retail landscape
Bulgaria: market context
Bulgaria: competitive and retail landscape
Serbia: market context
Serbia: competitive and retail landscape
Slovenia: market context
Slovenia: competitive and retail landscape
Latvia: market context
Latvia: competitive and retail landscape
Croatia: market context
Croatia: competitive and retail landscape
Macedonia: market context
Macedonia: competitive and retail landscape
Georgia: market context
Georgia: competitive and retail landscape
Bosnia-Herzegovina: market context
Bosnia-Herzegovina: competitive and retail landscape


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