E-commerce in Poland: Facts and Figures 2016

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In 2015, online sales in Poland increased by 21%[1]. The number of users having purchased online also increased and reached as high as 53%[2],

meaning that the outlook for e-commerce in Poland is somewhat positive. Furthermore, the amount Polish consumers are spending online is increasing year on year, showing that online shopping is becoming more and more popular in Poland.


E-commerce in Poland

Great potential for e-commerce in Poland

According to We Are Social, Poland’s population in 2016 is 38.6 million people. Of these people, 67% are Internet users which represents a huge number of people potentially buying online [2].

Internet use in Poland


Online sales: growth and market share

Fifty-three percent of Polish Internet users made a purchase online in 2015[2], encouraging a sales growth of 21% in 2015 according to Retail Research, which is expected to increase by a further 17.8% in 2016. This growth is visible on the retail trade market, on which online sales represented 8% in 2015. This figure is expected to increase to 9.2% in 2016 [1] according to the same source.

Online share of retail trade in Poland


Online retailers

Top 10 e-commerce sites in Poland

Of the most visited e-commerce sites in Poland[3] several global players such as AliExpress and Zalando make the top 10. It is also important to note that consumers are still turning to websites from the very popular Allegro group. Several sites such RTV Euro AGD, Leroy Merlin and Empik have also successfully adapted an e-commerce strategy and gained a place in the ranking.


Polish retailers and their online strategies

Even though online sales are quickly on the rise, physical stores still play an important role in retail. In Poland, only 47% of online retailers also have a physical store[4], meaning that more than half of retailers still have the opportunity to develop a multi-channel strategy on this front.

Polish consumer behaviour

What do Polish consumers buy and how much do they spend?

In 2016, RetailMeNot estimates the average yearly basket at £41.87, taking the average yearly spend per online consumer to £231. This represents a progression of 11.8% in comparison to 2015 (£206)[5].

In terms of the most popular product categories, clothing, books and home electronics[6] make the podium. These categories are also the most popular at a European level.

Top product categories in Poland


Cross-border e-commerce and Poland

Of those that buy online, only 24% of Polish consumers made a purchase from a foreign country in 2015[6], which is a very low percentage when compared with other European countries. When purchasing abroad, French consumers are more likely to buy a product from the UK, Germany or the United States.

Top 3 countries Polish consumers buy from


Logistics and Polish e-commerce

Top delivery methods in Poland

Concerning delivery methods, the Polish prefer courier delivery (61%) followed by postal delivery to the home or place of work (21%) and delivery to an automatic pick-up point (11%)[7], which allows consumers to pick up their package at any time of day. In fact, the popularity of this last method has only increased in popularity since they were first introduced in Poland[8].

Top 3 delivery methods


Preferred payment methods for Polish consumers

In Poland, direct payment through a bank is the preferred, with 34% of consumers choosing this method. In second place we find cash upon delivery (24%) while PayPal or similar services ranks in third place (23%). When comparing with other European countries, we can see that Polish consumers are more reluctant to use their credit card, which is the preferred option for only 14% of consumers[6].

Top 3 online payment methods


M-commerce in Poland

Polish mobile commerce

With over 58.84 million mobile connections, 152% of the Polish population has access to a mobile connection[2]. This figure clearly shows that there is huge potential for m-commerce in Poland. This said, only 38% of online shops have a responsive website in Poland and an even lower 10% have a dedicated mobile application where users can place orders[9].

This shows that online retailers in Poland still have a very long way to go in terms of mobile commerce, however they are certainly conscious of its importance. According to a study by DotPay, 16% are planning on building a responsive site, while 13% are working on an application[9].

Number of mobile connections


E-commerce traffic on mobile

Over 8% of e-commerce traffic is on mobile devices, which places Poland a long way behind its European counterparts[10]. However, it is still important to note that Polish consumers prefer using smartphones (72%) over tablets (28%) when it comes to choosing between the two devices.

Share of mobile traffic per mobile device


Online advertising and e-commerce

Digital ad spend in Poland

After a few quiet years, digital advertising investments in Poland finally hit double figures in 2015 at 20%[11]. Given the e-commerce growth in Poland, it is normal that advertisers are now dedicating a larger part of their advertising spend to digital channels. In 2015, online ad spend hit a record of 3.17 billion zlotys (around 606.4 million pounds).

Conclusion: What challenges do Polish online retailers to face today?

One of the main challenges Polish retailers are to face in the coming year is the problematic of exploiting the data that is currently available to them to offer a personalised experience. This is supported by the fact that 70% of Polish users approve of well-adapted ads[12]. However, the increased use of ad blockers in Poland [13] (34,9 % of users, making Poland a leader in this field, just behind Greece) shows that advertisers have previously had issues in efficiently adapting content.

In order to make the most of this trend and overcome issues regarding a lack of knowledge and time, online retailers are recommended to turn to automated solutions. This allows advertisers to adapt their campaigns to the many different platforms available (AdWords, Google Shopping, Facebook etc), which consequently leaves them with more time to concentrate on other priorities such as campaign objectives

Another point to consider is customer loyalty and the role of CRM, which is expected to play an even more important part in e-commerce[12]. User expectations should be at the centre of online retailers’ occupations, including of course the 3 aspects that are deemed to influence purchases in Poland: low prices, free delivery and free returns[12].

To conclude, a decrease in cost per clicks (-4% between 2014 and 2015) and the increase in click rates in Europe (+14%) [14] is a great opportunity for online retailers to start using online campaigns, or develop them further should they already be doing so.

Sources :

[1] Retail Research : Online Retailing Britain, Europe, US and Canada 2016

[2] We Are Social : 2016 Digital Yearbook

[3] SimilarWeb : Website ranking

[4] Mam StartUp : Omnichannel w polskim e-commerce

[5] RetailMeNot : Ecommerce Roundup 2016

[6] Postnord: E-commerce in Europe 2015

[7] Gemius : E-commerce w Polsce 2015

[8] Rzeczpospolita : Prawie 5 mln Polaków wybrało paczkomaty

[9] Alterweb : Trendy w m-comerce by DotPay

[10] Twenga Solutions : M-commerce en Europe

[11] IAB : Wydatki na reklamę online w roku 2015

[12] Sociomantic Labs : Barometr e-commerce 2016

[13] PageFair and Adobe : Ad Blocking Report

[14] Adobe : 2015 Advertising Report


E-commerce in Europe 2016

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