The emerging markets in CE, SE and Eastern Europe include Romania, Poland, Hungary, Turkey, Serbia.

The emerging markets in CE, SE and Eastern Europe include Romania, Poland, Hungary, Turkey, Serbia.
The emerging markets in CE, SE and Eastern Europe include Romania, Poland, Hungary, Turkey, Serbia, Lithuania.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

E-commerce and Digital Retail Development in Romania

The growth of Romanian retail sector is reflected also in the development of e-commerce, online shopping and mobile payments. The total value of domestic online retail business has grown from 1.1 billion EUR in 2014 to over 1.4 billion EUR in 2015, according to estimates of main players in the Romanian electronic commerce together with GPeC. The figure refers only to physical products sold online and not to services, utility bills payments, plane tickets, hotel reservations or vacations and trips, tickets to shows etc.

For example, the value of payments in the Romanian online stores grew with 59% in the first three quarters of 2016 compared to the same period of 2015 last year, according to data provided by RomCard to GPeC.

At the end of September 2016, online payments worth more than 434.2 million EUR had been processed compared to 273.2 million EUR processed in first 9 months of 2015.

The number of online card transactions also increased significantly in the period January-September 2016 compared to the same period of 2015, from approx 800,000 transactions per month in 2015 to 1.1 million transactions per month in the first three quarters of 2016.

According to GPeC estimates, 2016 has ended with a balance of approx. 585 million EUR processed online by card in the RomCard 3D Secure processing system, to which should be added the volumes processed by Netopia mobilPay.

In the first 9 months of 2016, transactions processed by Netopia mobilPay have exceeded the threshold of 3 million, 15% more of the total number registered in 2015. By the end of 2016 their volume was expected to reach about 4.5 million, 73% more than in 2015, and the amounts paid digitally were forecast to aggregate 175 million EUR, up 30% over previous year.

In the period January - September 2016, about 30% of total transactions made via Netopia mobilPay have been made via mobile devices. Smartphones were used especially, their share of total online purchases in the first three quarters was 26%, while 4% of transactions were made on tablets.

In 2015, of the 11 million Internet users in Romania, 6.7 million have shopped online at least once. According to MasterCard, in December 2015, the number of card payments made daily was 45% higher than in March of that year. Visa card officials said the number of online transactions paid with Visa in online stores increased by 20-25% in 2015 compared to 2014.

Most still prefer to use desktop when buying online, but mobile vehicles increased spectacularly in 2015, and the trend has continued in 2016. Thus, over 50% of the great online stores traffic was generated from mobile devices, according to GPeC.

In 2015, 1.4 million Romanians bought online via a mobile device, and approximately 850,000 through a mobile application. Currently, mobile penetration in Romania is over 100%, there are more active sim-cards than population. According to Vodafone Romania, the penetration rate of smartphones in Romania was of 63% in 2015.

2016 appears to be the best year in the history of online business and e-commerce in Romania. For example, the spectacular results from Black Friday 2016 prove that Romanian online purchasing has become a national phenomenon.

On the Black Friday 2015, have been sold online products totaling approx. 100 million EUR, registering a considerable increase compared to Black Friday 2014 when the value was situated at approx. EUR 75 million. On Black Friday 2016, the online retailer eMag, for example, sold good worth almost 76 million EUR. In a single day, on November 18, the company sold more than 1.1 million products online.

Also PayU, one of the main payment processors in Romania, announced that Black Friday 2016 (November 18 to 20), generated 188,000 online transactions, 67% higher than last year's edition.

Eight in ten Romanian users of mobile devices (79%) make payments or manage their money digitally. Over half of them (57%) purchase high value items, while almost two thirds (64%) pay their bills online via mobile devices, shows a study by Visa.

The consumption growth and increasing purchasing power of the Romanian population, backed by a sustained GDP growth of between 3.8% - 5.2% in the recent years, which is expected to continue at a similar pace for at least 3-5 years, are expected to positively influence the e-commerce development and online retail growth in Romania.

Are you interested to enter the Romanian digital and IT sector? To collaborate with a local player? To acquire a local company or to expand your operations? Perhaps we can collaborate.

We, at FRD Center, are constantly monitoring various sectors and analysing certain potential opportunities for investors, for exporters and for those looking to source from Romanian manufacturers.

What opportunity is interesting for you? How can we be of assistance to you?

For tailor-made sector data, B2B matchmaking with players in the Emerging Markets in Europe, M&A assistance and target origination in Romania and other markets in the region feel free to contact the FRD Center team at: email: or tel: +4021 411 1459/60/61

FRD Center provides market research in Eastern Europe and the region, B2B matchmaking in the CE Europe and SEE, M&A assistance in Romania, in CEE and SEE, in the Emerging Markets in Europe.

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