Romania is experiencing an accelerated digitalization process, with direct effects on traditional retail, which will migrate more and more to online commerce. After a leap counting for at least 3 years in 2020, ecommerce will continue its evolution and will register an increase of at least 15% in 2021, providing an optimistic perspective for local stores.
“At this point, the local market has no more than 100 online stores that are registering over 1.000 orders per day, but in the next 3 years their number will triple, based on five trends of digital transformation which will define local ecommerce”, states Cristi Movilă, Growth Leader Eastern Europe VTEX.
“We will witness an even larger acceleration and a more powerful growth of investments in digitalization, technology and services from the established players on the market. The ecommerce market is still at the beginning, same as the services and the shift towards innovation and offline experiences, thus a huge potential arises. Also, in the medium term, the market will “settle” and center around several marketplaces, as the global trend is to consolidate the shopping cart from only one place. The consumers will develop favorite shopping destinations and will wish to place all their orders from that sole place”, adds Cristi Movilă.
- Retailers and malls will shift to online and omnichannel business models
The malls will shift towards omnichannel business models and strategies to support the commerce affected by the pandemic and ensure the survival of the sector.
If before the pandemic most of the retailers took privilege in their own sales channels, to better supervise the shopping experience of the client and the brand, nowadays marketplaces are becoming a very good solution for small and medium retailers. Commercial terms have become more attractive for the sellers, and technological enhancements provide better and better tools, from marketing to logistics, so that retailers are seeking to be present on as many sales channels as possible, in addition to their own stores and websites. On the other hand, we will also witness the emergence of new marketplaces, supported by the big retailers, who are shifting to a superior development stage and wish to offer their clients access to a rich range of products.
- Increased card payments and mobile shopping
In 2021, the adoption of Internet mediated communication solutions grew, due to teleworking and online schooling. Thus, the penetration rate of Internet services also grew and will attract a 33% increase in traffic from connected computers and 12% for mobile equipment. Romania experiences thus a context that favors the adoption of ecommerce.
According to available statistics on online payments, there is a rise in the adoption of card payments: the introduction of the extra security measures, or “instant money back” return option have increased the confidence in this type of safe payments method.
- Better online experience due to digitization
In order to offer customers a better online experience, but also to replace the physical interaction with the product, businesses will invest in the integration of operations management solutions equipped with AI, which allows the optimization of costs and logistical efforts. AI technologies also increase the quality of services provided and contribute to the development of a better shopping experience.
- Social commerce: interaction mediated by social networks
Social networks are accessed by a growing number of users, so they are gaining an increasingly important role in the sales strategy. Also, according to Veranda Shop Online, live shopping will also develop in Romania, acting as a lever that mixes online and offline interaction. This shopping method will be more valuable especially for niche products.
- Home & deco, pharma and fashion – the star categories in 2021
In order to increase their sales and give customers access to products from various categories, merchants will partner in collaborative trading platforms, and thus be able to cover a wider range of needs and services. 2021 will bring organic growth in categories such as home & deco (stimulated by maintaining remote working and learning), pharma and fashion.