Poland is already the fifth largest e-commerce market - in the European Union. However, the potential is much greater, especially given the relatively low share of Poles in online cross-border trade. In a few years we have a chance to overtake Italy, as long as the pace of market development continues.
„Poles spend more and more on the Internet. In 2016, it was about PLN 35 billion, according to our estimates in 2017 it will be over PLN 40 billion. Although it is still 15 times less than in the UK, which has approximately 60 million inhabitants. This gives a great potential for companies in Poland to enormous growth in the years to come. We're getting Europe faster and faster” – said Rafał Brzoska, CEO of the Integer.pl Group.
It is estimated that in 2016 Poles spent about PLN 235 billion on online shopping. However, the prospects are better and better, especially as e-shopping is becoming more and more popular."Poland is the 5th largest e-commerce market in the European Union after the UK, Germany France and Italy. If we keep up the pace of the growth, we' will overtake Italy in 3 to 4 years and we will be the fourth largest market in the EU. There is something worth fighting for" – emphasizes Brzoska.
At present, the share of online shopping in the retail trade is about 7%. Within 2–3 years it can reach 10%, but it is only the beginning.
„At such a rapid pace of development, as we grow over 10% year-on-year, achieving 50 % as a natural balance between physical trade and online commerce, it will take me, in my opinion, about 10 years” – evaluates CEO of the Integer.pl Group.
According to the Eurostat survey, 42 % of Poles bought online over the last year (68% of Internet users). Every third person bought online at least once in the last 3 months. "We mainly buy clothes and shoes, because we can return them relatively easily, also via Paczkomat. In addition, books and games. The rapidly growing segment is home and garden, small and large household appliances. The relatively least popular online category are construction materials" – lists Rafał Brzoska.
According to Integer.pl data, the customers' shopping plans for 2017 most often indicate travels, books, CDs and films. The least popular among e-buyers are construction materials, collector's items and insurance.
Polish consumers most often shop in Polish e-stores. Studies by E-Commerce Polska and Gemius indicate that 10% of people use such a possibility. Similarly, according to the Eurostat data – it is 12 % with the European average of 40%.However, as Brzoska says, in the years to come, we will see the development of cross-border trade. This will also be fostered by attempts to regulate a single digital area, e.g. stopping of geo-blocking of sites, regulation of VAT issue and the right to individual property or cheaper forms of delivery. "Online has no borders. Polish companies can sell to Germany, France, UK, without opening their establishments there, using cross-border logistics, which enables sending and collecting parcels in several countries of the European Union" – Rafał Brzoska.
Brzoska emphasizes that until recently, when shopping online, the price of delivery service was one of the key criterion for choosing a service. Today this order has changed – the most important elements are the speed of delivery, its cost and the form of delivery of purchased products. That is why the parcel lockers are increasingly popular, although we still we use couriers more often.
"Poles are also very economically oriented towards buying services. Price is still important. We are the second most competitive logistics service market. All major logistic companies are in Poland, nonetheless the service is very cheap as compared to the European average – courier package delivery costs EUR 4.5, while in Poland – less than EUR 2" – analyses CEO of the Integer.pl Group.
The share of business revenue from the e-commerce in Poland is gradually increasing. Among the companies employing more than 10 employees, the increase is 14% (compared to 8% in 2010), in the largest enterprises, above 250 employees – 22% (compared to 15 % in 2015). "Polish entrepreneurs see a huge opportunity in e-commerce. Currently, about 11% of Polish companies sell in this channel or exists thanks to it. This interest is far from the European average, which is 18%. In the UK, which is the leader, over 30% of business focuses on e-commerce or it becomes the main channel for their sale. It's new jobs, higher competitiveness, but also new markets" – he explains.