Hungary: Online sales rising steadily

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According to recent reports, online retail sales in Hungary went up 14% from HUF 155 billion in 2011 (€ 555mn) to HUF 177 billion in 2012 (€ 613mn). The share of online retail e-commerce rose from 2.4% of the total retail trade in 2011 to 2.9-3.0% last year. The market forecast is to grow around 20% in 2013.

Tesco (UK) started online sales this year and Amazon is considering entry into the market.
According to Eurostat, 68% of Hungarian households are connected to the internet and the number of online buyers is estimated at 1.6 million on a total population of 9.9 million.
Some five to six thousand 6,000 companies (compared to 2,700 back in 2011) have Hungarian-language websites offering products for sale.

Online retailing continues to grow steadily despite the outbreak of the recession in 2008 which has heavily influenced retail trade. Even though the total sales in 2011 surpassed the level of 2008, this was mainly due to price increases in the food sector. The other sectors were rather characterised by stagnation or a slight decline. The majority of their revenues, almost 40%, are again generated in the last two months of the year as a result of the shopping frenzy before the holidays.

In addition, the average value of the online shopping cart is higher than that of traditional purchases. In average an online customer spends more than twice the amount spent in traditional commerce. Online customers are therefore more inclined to spend a bigger sum at one go, encouraged by the fact that most e-stores offer free delivery over a certain amount of spending.

As more and more online stores are targeting women and promoting impulse shopping, more women than men are expected to shop online in the coming months.

Many e-stores have opened showrooms and delivery points as with the growth of online shopping, the number of customers picking up their purchases in person has also increased. Hungarian customers still want to inspect products before making a purchase and, due to their high price sensitivity, also try to save on the cost of delivery.

70% of total sales are still paid for by cash, followed by payment by bank card at the time of collecting the product (15%), bank transfer (10%) and finally online payment by bank card (5%).

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Source: Hungary Around the Clock – eNet – Ecommerce Europe research

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