en Monday - Friday 09:00-18:00
Email: ecommerce@mediaposthitmail.bg Phone: +359 2 962 86 29
en Monday - Friday 09:00-18:00
Email: ecommerce@mediaposthitmail.bg Phone: +359 2 962 86 29

Unveiling Insights: The 2023 CEE E-commerce Survey

Why we did the Survey?

In 2022, Mediapost Hit Mail initiated the CEE E-commerce Survey with a mission to unravel the complexities of the e-commerce landscape in the Central and Eastern European CEE) region. Our aim was clear: to provide businesses with the insights they need to succeed in this diverse and rapidly evolving market.

This year marked the second edition of the survey. We wanted to continue tracking the pulse of CEE’s e-commerce trends and challenges. Moreover, we were delighted to expand the survey’s scope to include two new countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Macedonia. This expansion was not just about numbers; it was about diversifying the survey’s perspective and making it an even more valuable resource for businesses across CEE.

The Key Insights

Our survey didn’t just uncover facts. It unveiled a narrative of the e-commerce market in Europe and the CEE region as a whole. Europe has solidified its place as a global e-commerce powerhouse, with a projected market value of €871.46 billion in 2023. This impressive growth is a testament to digital adoption, evolving consumer behavior, and the aftermath of the pandemic, which accelerated the shift to online shopping.

Zooming into CEE, we were struck by the percentage of businesses that have yet to make their foray into online sales. Surprisingly, over 50% of respondents reported that they had not ventured into e-commerce. What’s even more intriguing is that approximately 25% of them couldn’t articulate a specific reason for their hesitation, pointing to a significant untapped potential within the region. Here are some reasons why:

However, there’s also a noticeable shift towards expansion and cross-border commerce. The region boasts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 14%, driven by rising internet penetration and growing consumer trust in online platforms. One-third of respondents were preparing to venture into cross-border e-commerce, reflecting a growing enthusiasm for exploring new markets and capitalizing on international opportunities. The Western Balkans, also part of the CEE region, showcases impressive growth too, with a CAGR of approximately 17% in the last five years. European consumers are increasingly comfortable purchasing from foreign retailers, contributing to cross-border sales accounting for approximately 23.2% of total e-commerce sales.

As we navigate this ever-evolving landscape, businesses must recognize the nuances and opportunities offered by both the CEE region and the Western Balkans. Understanding these distinctions is pivotal for companies seeking to thrive in the evolving world of European e-commerce.

Support from Local E-commerce Associations and Trusted Partners

Our survey’s success would not have been possible without the invaluable support of numerous local e-commerce associations and trusted partners across the CEE region. Their endorsement and collaboration were instrumental in ensuring the survey’s reach and effectiveness. By coming together, we demonstrated the collective commitment to fostering a thriving e-commerce environment in the region.

Newsletters, social media posts, live events, press releases – these were just a few examples of the efforts made to popularize the survey among local e-commerce merchants within the region by our contributors. We really appreciate all their kind support! This was a real showcase of close partnership, openness, and excellent coordination between our teams. 

You can find more details about our partners in the Contributors section of the 2023 CEE E-commerce Report. 

What Lies Ahead

The CEE E-commerce Survey is not just an endeavor; it’s a commitment to delivering valuable insights and fostering growth in the vibrant world of CEE e-commerce. As the survey findings reveal, CEE is a region of vast opportunities and unique challenges, making it a dynamic and ever-evolving marketplace, in which staying informed and adaptable is key.

This is only a small taste of our findings. For in-depth analyses, revealing insights, and actionable recommendations, check out the survey for yourself.

As we wrap up this insightful journey into the current state of European e-commerce, our commitment to providing comprehensive insights deepens. The success of our survey has fueled our determination to include every country from the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region without exceptions, next year. Our aim is to create a panoramic view that truly represents the diverse landscape of e-commerce in this part of the world. This expansion aligns with our mission to empower businesses with actionable insights, fostering a collaborative environment that transcends borders.

We invite businesses, associations, and industry experts from every corner of the CEE region to join us in this endeavor. Together, let’s illuminate the path forward for e-commerce, creating a shared knowledge base that propels us all toward greater success.

Should you wish to join us next year, feel free to reach out to us at ecommerce@mediaposthitmail.bg. We look forward to welcoming you to the future of e-commerce evolution!