Romanian online retail sector has been expanding in recent years. Market players are maturing, and the dominance of payment upon receipt and delivery by courier services is increasing, as indicated by the results of research conducted by the eNET Group amongst Romanian webshops. In 2015, eNET conducted an online survey of e-commerce in Romania for the second time.
Experience valued more than novelty
Almost two thirds of the webshops started to operate in the past four years. A multitude of online stores were opened between 2009 and 2012-2013, but the willingness of launching a webshop declined in 2014-2015.
Payment upon delivery continues to gain ground
Payment upon delivery is gaining importance in Romanian webshops. As many as 98% of online stores offer this payment method. The second most widely offered method is bank transfer. Besides payment upon delivery, only new and innovative solutions could proliferate, such as payment via an intermediary (e.g. PayU or PayPal), or payment options offered by mobile phone providers (such as MasterCard PayPass or Visa PayWave).
Courier services rule
Concerning delivery methods, courier services clearly dominate Romanian e-commerce. 97% of webshops offer this kind of delivery. The second most offered option is personal take-over in a shop. As to the connection between online turnover and the number of delivery methods, the conclusion is that the higher an online store’s business volume, the more delivery methods it offers.
Romanian webshops in social media
The online presence of webshops is focused on their own home pages, followed by social media. Regarding the online marketing tools employed, unpaid ads in social media dominate. However, social media is now seemed to be less effective for e-commerce purposes; it has been relegated to the end of the mid-field. This constitutes further proof that the number of likes is not the ultimate goal because those who like a shop are not certain to become online customers. The judgement of search engine optimisation, the second most widely used marketing tool, is different: it’s considered to be the most effective. With good reason: as webshops are just a click away from each other, they treasure every tool that gives them more visitors.
What will the future bring?
Regarding their expectations, Romanian webshops project an increase in the ratio of delivery by courier services. Also, the number smartphone users and online shoppers should increase significantly. Automated delivery points or parcel dispensers, which have become highly popular in some neighbouring countries over the past few years, are the least expected to gain ground.
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