Global investors are looking with increasing interest to the ecommerce industry in Eastern Europe. The growth and trends in this region attracts the attention of international ecommerce players and investors. For example in Turkey, there’s a raised interest of investors, mostly in the clothing sectors.
This can be deduced from a new report by yStats.com. Yucel Yelken, CEO of the business intelligence organization, sees Eastern Europe as one of the most dynamic regions in terms of growth of online retail sales. The region may account for only a small one-digit share of the global ecommerce sales last year, in terms of growth year-over-year, some of the nations in Eastern Europe are among the global leaders.
In terms of market size the leading emerging markets in Eastern Europe are according to yStats.com Russia, Turkey, and Poland. The organization states that Russia and Turkey also scored high in year-to-year growth in 2013, but were outpaced by close to 50% growth in Ukraine. According to a report by Ecommerce Europe (published about the same time) however, Ukraine grew by 48%, while Russia saw an ecommerce growth of 50.5%. Just slightly different growth rates, but both have different number ones in this region.
Mobile commerce is growing in Eastern Europe
Back to the study from yStats, which states that some smaller markets, such as Estonia and Slovakia, generate significantly smaller sales of a few hundred millions of euros, but outperform the rest of the region in terms of ICT infrastructure metrics, such as Internet penetration.
Eastern Europe is an upcoming region, which gets proven by the fact the Internet penetration is growing hard in several countries in this region. But it’s also mobile shopping that is showing a strong development. In Ukraine and Turkey for example over 40 percent of smartphone owners already have experience with mobile shopping.
Other trends: cross-border and regulation of ecommerce sales
And then there’s cross-border ecommerce. In Slovenia and the Czech Republic almost half of all online shoppers made purchases from foreign online stores last year. And according to yStats there’s another trend going on in this region: regulation of ecommerce sales. “The past two years were marked with adoption of important new rules affecting e-commerce in several Eastern European countries including Russia and Belarus.”
The annual growth of ecommerce sales in Eastern Europe outpaced Western Europe by 13 percentage points in 2012 and a double-digit growth rate above 20% is expected for 2013. The growth rate will however decrease by 2017, but total ecommerce sales in Eastern Europe are still expected to reach over 50 billion euros by 2016.