There is no other retail channel than internet retailing generating such steady dynamic growth. The extremely high growth rates from the initial period of internet retailing are over, as the channel is no longer coming from a low base.
Hungarians tend to shop around thoroughly by checking prices at the largest international marketplaces, even those of overseas websites. The long and expensive customs clearance process and the 27% VAT payable for products ordered from outside the EU make shopping costly, but there is a chance of finding a good bargain during special sales days (eg Singles’ Day) and the availability of unique products as an exchange.
Internet retailers fixed their early problems relating to receiving a large number of visits and orders not being processed quickly enough. This was particularly critical during peak sales periods, such as Black Friday, when some websites crashed shortly after deals were published.
A vast majority of store-based retailers have already moved to a multichannel strategy and not just media product stores or electronics and appliance specialist retailers, but those from other product categories have also become actively involved in such a strategy. Some already record 5-10% of their total sales coming from internet retailing and run intensive campaigns to generate traffic to their websites.
Most countries in Central and Eastern Europe are relatively small for internet retailing, as economies of scale are critical in managing the operation and getting larger discounts on volumes ordered from manufacturers. This forces them to look for further opportunities in other markets, such as Hungary.
Chemists/pharmacies have launched websites as painkillers, dietary supplements, vitamins, tissues and hygiene products are popular items on consumers’ shopping lists. As of 2018, there were already over 90 chemist/pharmacist-owned websites and this number is expected to grow.
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