Poland leads European e-commerce growth with forecast 24% growth in 2012
The Centre for Retail Research predicts Poland will register the fastest growth in European e-commerce this year, with a 24% hike in e-retail compared to a European average of 16.1%.Kelkoo also is projecting 24% growth in e-commerce in Poland, to 5.59 billion euros (US$7.4 billion) from 4.50 billion euros (US$6 billion). “Poland is getting in on the action, with the biggest increase in online sales in Europe,” says Kelkoo. “Following 33.5% sales growth between 2010 and 2011, a hike of 24% is expected in 2012.”
The country ranked last in online retail sales in 2011 in Kelkoo’s analyst of 13 European nations, that also included the Western European countries of Belgium, Germany, France, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Norway. And Poland remains far behind Europe’s e-commerce leader, the United Kingdom, where online retail sales will reach 67.4 billion euros (US$90 billion), Kelkoo projects.
Even in Poland, e-commerce is just starting to become a major factor. Online sales will represent just 3.8% of overall retail revenue in Poland in 2012, up from 3.1% last year, Kelkoo says.
But the growth is unmistakable. It is driven in part by Poland’s relatively strong economy, which grew about 4% in 2011 while the European Union’s economy only grew 1.6%.
Another factor is that more Polish consumers have access to the Internet at broadband speeds, including outside of the capital city of Warsaw. The Polish state Office of Electronic Communications say the provision of fast and cheap services for everyone in Poland has been given a big boost from the European Union with a 300 million euros (US$401 million) investment project in broadband Internet in five provinces of eastern Poland.