“Qualitative growth with quantitative development”
The domestic market of online stores has continued to expand since 2001, and there are emerging signs of quantitative development in addition to qualitative growth. The number of online stores increased along with the traffic and sales volume, and there have been improvements in the areas of IT capability and consumer satisfaction. According to the survey of GKI Economic Research Co. in association with Westel Mobile Telecommunications and Sun Microsystems Hungary, the total sales volume of online stores increased by over 40% in 2002, from 3.2 billion forints in 2001 to 4.5 billion forints last year. Households accounted for almost 60% of total sales, while the corporate and institutional sectors accounted for 30% and 10%, respectively. The market will continue to expand throughout 2003; based on market expectations, online sales could total six billion forints.
Although the traffic and revenues of online stores are rising dynamically, their weight is not significant in the Hungarian economy, given that their sales volume accounts for less than one thousandths of total domestic retail sales.
The market of online stores is highly concentrated in terms of revenues: of the 250-300 online stores, the five largest contribute 42% to total sales, while the ten largest account for 59%.
Source: GKIeNET-Westel-Sun survey
The most popular product groups of online stores belong to clear-cut categories, such as DVDs, CD-ROMs, books, computers and accessories. 38% of the online stores in Hungary sell products from these categories.
Stores report that customers are most satisfied with the range of products and customer service, but they have a hard time coming to terms with shipping costs.