Tripled turnover in 5 years
Romania is one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in Europe today. In 2022, Romanian e-commerce will reach a turnover of €7 billion, triple the figure recorded by the market five years ago.
Numbers of internet users are growing
Approximately 90% of the adult population uses the internet. Until 2019, the number of internet users grew by around 23%, but the pandemic has caused an unprecedented acceleration and we have seen a 40% year-on-year increase from 2020.
This is a true number of potential customers gained, as most of those who bought during the pandemic have since continued to shop online.
How many Romanians buy online?
As access to the internet grows, so does the number of online shoppers. While 41% of Romanians shopped online in 2021, by 2022 the figure already reached 47%. Search terms have been significantly affected by the economic crisis.
The most-searched Google terms are:
- and second-hand products.
There has been a significant decline in interest in entertainment and tourism, but conversely, searches for information on gold, credit cards and bank deposits have increased.
The financial crisis does not pose a threat to online shopping
In spite of the economic crisis, online business is relatively stable because it meets the needs of both sellers and buyers. Customers make purchases from the comfort of their home, without having to travel and spend money on transport. Online stores make money and customers save time.
The war has rocked the economy
Growth has slowed due to inflation and the withdrawal of pandemic measures. The war in Ukraine is having a significant impact on the economy of Romania and the European Union as a whole. Several online stores are reporting a decline in purchasing power.
On the other hand, online store sales grew steadily as retailers converted increased spending on energy and suppliers into higher prices for goods and services. For example, in August 2022 alone, the average e-retailer earned 21% more than it did in 2021.
Tip: Pre-stock your range at relatively affordable prices and keep goods in stock if you suspect problems with suppliers or manufacturers. Prepare a crisis strategy and ensure effective communication with your customers.
Online shopping is dominated by fashion and electronics
Romanians shop online for almost anything, from pet supplies to household tools. Fashion is the clear top choice, with 60% of shoppers buying it online. Coming in close second are electronic items, which land in the shopping cart of almost every other Romanian.
There’s growing interest amongst the youngsters
In 2022, the largest number of online shoppers came from the 18-34 age group. More than half of those surveyed shop online, compared to 10% fewer a year ago. The younger generation overwhelmingly shops via smartphone.
The most popular social media in Romania
The top three social media sites by number of users are Facebook, YouTube and TikTok.
In Romania, social media use is as follows:
- Facebook has 11.5 million users,
- YouTube has 11 million unique visits each month,
- TikTok has 7.5 million users, and
- Instagram has 6 million users.
What do Romanians mind when shopping online?
The lack of reviews is the most common complaint of the average consumer. If they want to buy a product, they expect authentic reviews from other users. At the same time, you should view this weakness of Romanian online stores as your perfect opportunity. Ensure your product has enough credible reviews to gain a competitive advantage.
Reviews are essential for Romanians
Quality reviews will bring you better sales, as up to two thirds of Romanians actively search for them. They can help you gain the trust of your customers and generate higher profits.
When obtaining reviews, pay attention to their quality. Give customers both open and closed questions to get valuable feedback.
When it comes to reviews, Romanians are interested in:
- customer satisfaction with a product (74%),
- online store response to negative feedback (50%),
- review comments (39%),
- the proportion of positive and negative reviews (36%),
- information of speed of delivery (36%).
Appreciate that writing reviews takes time. If you want customers to write to you, ask them questions and at the same time, motivate them.
In addition to reviews, Romanians complain about payment problems and complicated or lengthy returns. A large number of the population still do not have an electronic bank account and are therefore unable to shop online.
The giant of Eastern Europe
Romania is, despite a slight slowdown in growth, still the strongest e-commerce market in Eastern Europe. It generates almost half of the region’s €14 billion turnover.
What does Black Friday in Romania look like?
In 2021, the number of people who shopped during Black Friday sales declined compared to 2020. Still, overall nearly one in two internet users take advantage of sales.
Romanians are aware of Black Friday, they actively seek out discounts, but at the same time, their shopping behaviour is not limited to November discounts.
The shopping frenzy lasts all through November
The number of searches and online purchases doesn’t increase only during the sales weekend, but it is spread fairly evenly across the entire month of November.
In the past, Romanians used to shop much more spontaneously; today, their shopping decisions are more thoughtful and planned. They compare prices and choose the best deal.
In 2021, the average Romanian started planning a purchase roughly 7 days before online stores had even launched any campaigns. 2022 will be no exception.
Do you want to expand to Romania?
Are you thinking of expanding into Romania? Don’t hesitate. The vast majority of online stores are looking to expand. If your competitors are expanding, don’t delay making that call.
We have been successful on the Romanian market with IRISIMO, Foxigy and many other online stores. Get in touch and the next success story could be yours.