Mobile internet retailing is set to continue to grow strongly in Bulgaria over the forecast period, significantly outpacing the growth of overall internet retailing and, indeed, contributing the majority of internet retailing’s absolute increase in value sales. Mobile internet retailing’s expansion is being supported by an ongoing increase in the ownership of smartphones, the availability of affordable mobile plans and ready access to free wi-fi in cafés, bars, restaurants and hotels.
While mobile internet retailing is growing strongly in many markets, the Romania-based leader in the Bulgarian internet market, eMag, which also has a presence in Romania, Hungary and Poland, pointed to the segment’s expansion as a particularly marked trend in Bulgaria towards the end of the review period. According to eMag, mobile visit accounted for 60% of total traffic on the eMag.
It is impossible for retailers to ignore the ways in which smartphones are changing consumer lifestyles, not only increasing access to the internet, but embedding it in everyday life. Most internet retailers have launched mobile versions of their web-stores, as well as mobile apps intended to facilitate online shopping.
Pure internet players, such as eMag and Fashiondays.bg, are at the forefront of m-commerce development in the Bulgarian market, as they have a sharper focus on online activity and are quicker to introduce technological innovation, while multi-channel players are typically more conservative as they work to balance operations across store-based and online activities.
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