Analysis: Top five most sought-after product categories in e-commerce in 2021

The second pandemic year continues to mark the upward trend of e-commerce, and Romania retains its place in the top of the countries with the highest e-commerce sector growth, a market estimated at over 6 billion euros by ROSA – Romanian Online Stores Association. Operating at the intersection between digital marketing and online commerce, two markets registering sustained growth globally, the technology company 2Performant, a player of the Romanian affiliate marketing market,  has confirmed these growth trends having brokered no fewer than 1.39 million sales for online stores on its platform in 2021.

According to data from the affiliate marketing platform, the top of the product categories that recorded the highest number of sales in 2021 is led by Fashion with 363,300 sales, which translates into a 30% increase over the previous year. Considered by many experts to be the most mature online commerce category, Fashion reflects buying behaviors strongly influenced by the pandemic. Thus, if in 2020 Romanians bought clothes for home or sports and outdoor activities, in 2021 they returned to the purchase of street clothes and event attire (i.e. weddings, baptisms) or for office, but also shoes, amid the resumption of many social activities. At the same time, growing sales for products in this category have been noticed last autumn as well, along with the most important e-commerce sales event, Black Friday. Between November 1-14, 2021, the Fashion product category registered a 62.8% increase in the number of sales and an 86.3% increase in sales value, while the average shopping cart value was also 14,4% higher than the same period last year.

In second place in the top categories with the most sales in 2021 is the Book, Movies, and Music category, with 338,200 sales through the platform, a 29,1% increase compared to 2020. The third place is occupied by Beauty with 145,400 sales, up 3.4%, while the Home and Garden category ranks fourth with 80,100 sales and a 46% increase. The Top 5 concludes with the Electronics IT&C category with 79,900 sales, up 11.4% compared to the previous year.


Romanians spend more online and buy mainly from mobile phones

In 2021, the average shopping cart value has also increased, reaching 52.6 euros, 5.8% more than in 2020. This means that Romanians have become accustomed to online shopping and continue to support the upward trend of this sector. Regarding the devices from which the online purchases are made, 2Performant data shows that 69% of them are made on mobile and only 29.8% on desktop. However, the average value of the mobile shopping cart is lower than the desktop one, 46.47 euros on mobile versus 66.67 euros on desktop respectively. This indicates that Romanians continue to make the more expensive purchases using a desktop.

“In 2021, the number of those who opted for online shopping has increased, and for those who had been brought online by the pandemic since 2020, the frequency with which they make online stores purchases has increased. Last year, we saw the online consumer paying more attention to the price, product features, delivery method, and product country of origin, as well as to the clarity of the return policy information. This tells us that buyers are generally spending more time researching the products they want, using two different devices: mobile and desktop. According to our platform data, we found that the affiliation projects providing added value to the Romanian consumers were the ones that either quickly led them to a better deal or offered them well-structured information.”, said Raluca Negrea, 2Performant Country Manager Romania and Bulgaria.

In 2021, the in-house-developed technology platform, through which digital marketing professionals collaborate with online stores, garnered 68.7 million clicks, 23.4% more than the previous year. This translates into over 5.7 million clicks per month, on average, sent to online stores. In terms of desktop traffic, the best day of the week, according to the number of clicks, was Wednesday, 11 o’clock being the best time for online shopping. At the same time, if we consider mobile traffic, Sunday was the best day of the week, according to the number of clicks, with 10 o’clock being the best for online shopping. The main source of traffic by the number of clicks remains Google, with 23.7 million clicks, up 65.3% from 2020, followed by Facebook with 7.7 million clicks, down 16.3% compared to the previous year.

The day with the highest number of sales in 2021 was November 12th, right during Black Friday. Between November 1-14, 2021, when the Black Friday campaigns took place, 462 online stores operating in 25 different industries, that had launched discount campaigns, achieved 115,000 sales, worth 6,929,804 euros + VAT, through the platform, 47.8% more than in 2020.

Conceived as a technology-based marketplace where online stores collaborate with cost-per-sale digital marketers, 2Performant has proven its relevance as a sales tool in 2021 once again. Year on year, the sales index rose 5.7 %, reaching 15.71 euros, which means that for every euro invested in affiliate marketing in 2021, an online store on the platform got almost 16 euros.

The conversion rate is holding steady at 2%. Regarding the conversion time, in 2021 the purchase decision took place in less than an hour for 50.3% of buyers. In the same context, 53.3% bought on desktop and 48.8% on mobile.

20212Performantcategorye-commercemobile phonesmost sought afteronline storespandemicproductRomanianstop five
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