After two years of constant and significant growth, the end of February 2022 brings a very temperate dynamic of online purchases, according to data analysed at the level of online stores hosted by MerchantPro, a SaaS solution platform for eCommerce. The number of orders globally, but especially in segments that traditionally had a positive dynamic during this period – such as fashion & jewellery, beauty & health – experienced stagnation or decreases of up to 20% in the last week of February.
2021 started strongly for the local e-commerce market, which shows clear signs of maturation in the context of the pandemic, with increases of up to 30% in the number and value of orders. At the level of February, the first three weeks of the month showed a similar dynamic to January, with + 27% in the number of orders compared to the same period in 2021. The two-digit growth trend was abruptly interrupted in the last week of February, when only 4% more orders were registered than in the same week of 2021.
Moreover, if in 2021 between February 14 and 21 versus February 22-28 a similar number of orders were placed, this year the last week brought a 20% decrease in their number compared to the previous week in February.
” Normally, given the February 14/24th events and the beginning of March, February is a month of growth, especially on traditionally dynamic segments, such as fashion, beauty, jewellery. The decrease at the end of the month was not anticipated and we attribute it to the recent events on the border. Romanians look at these events with caution and prefer to be temperate in their acquisitions, and this can be seen especially by analysing the star verticals of this period “, said Arthur Rădulescu, CEO and founder of MerchantPro.
In the fashion segment, after an average YoY increase of 16% in the number of orders in the first three weeks of February, the last week marked an increase of only 5%. In the beauty segment, the YoY increase was 22% in the analysed period, while in the last week of February there was a decrease of 40% compared to the previous week and a decrease of almost 4% compared to 2021.
The 20% decrease in the number of orders between February 22-28 is primarily related to the decrease in store traffic on the MerchantPro platform- there was a 23% decrease between February 24 and 28.
” Although more moderate increases in online purchases were expected compared to last year, due to the maturity of e-commerce, the beginning of the year continued a strong upward trend, with increases of 20-40% compared to 2021. But now we are crossing again a difficult time, with challenges, with an immediate impact on people’s willingness to make purchases. The evolution of sales in the coming weeks will probably generate enough data so that we can more accurately assess the effect of the border conflict on the local e-commerce. However, it is obvious that Romanians are more and more careful in their purchases made online, moving towards efficient consumption behaviour and conscious purchases, guided not only by momentum, but looking for the best price, the best experience and fast delivery. “, said Arthur Rădulescu.