Poland is the trending country for online retailers in 2016. With 12 mil. online purchasers, every third Pole has already bought on the Internet. Double-digit growth rates for the coming years signify that the e-commerce market in Poland is currently blossoming. Online retail in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Great Britain is already well established and major leaps in growth are no longer anticipated.
In 2016, on the other hand, the total sales in Polish online retail will advance by a further 13% to 7.3 bil. Euro. Other key indicators, such as shopping basket value, are also developing positively.
But what do Poles actually buy on the Internet? How can they be enticed to purchase and which marketing methods are best for approaching them? We present here the six top trends in Polish online retail.
Online retail in Poland – the six hottest trends
Buying groceries on the Internet
The growth drivers in Polish online retail are in the fashion sector, but are also evident in the grocery sector. Online shopping for groceries in Poland is one of the major trends: Every fifth Pole has already ordered some of their groceries on the Internet. Over 10% of all online purchases can be classified under the groceries sector. In Germany, for comparison, the market share for groceries amounts to only 1% of total market volume.
The mobile commerce segment is growing in Poland three-times faster than conventional e-commerce. This is due, among other things, to over a quarter of all Poles purchasing online using a smartphone or tablet. Mobile devices are being used by the Poles not only for shopping, but very frequently for information gathering also.
This trend will remain important over the longer term, since the number of smartphones in Poland is set to increase until 2019 by 20 percent. As an online retailer, you should thus be paying heed to various features, such as responsive design.
Having an omnichannel strategy will be ever more important throughout 2016 – and also in Poland. Customers purchase online as well as in over-the-counter trade. Online retail will never replace offline trade completely, or rather, the customer will never purchase through only one channel. This is why online retailers should link both channels into a unified strategy so as to remain successful. Since logistics do not yet function as efficiently as they do in Germany, the early implementation of an omnichannel concept in Poland is an optimal strategy for balancing losses arising from that lack of infrastructure.
Analysis and segmentation of target groups
To effectively address customers, your offerings and products must be exactly tailored to customer requirements. This will only become possible using precise data analysis. It is the task of marketing to segment the target groups on the basis of gathered data and to address the customers with surgical precision across various channels, such as e-mail, social media or even customer relationship management.
A target group strategy for another country cannot simply be adopted for the Polish scenario. Detailed analysis of all online activity by the customer, together with an individual strategy for online retail in Poland, is essential here.
Beneficial content marketing
Although Poles pay great attention to prices whilst shopping online, an aggressive pricing policy in 2016 will no longer suffice. Clientele now need to be attracted by interactive and beneficial content. Videos are suitable here, which are linked only indirectly with the products, or perhaps blog articles about an event where the online retailer appears as a sponsor. Important amidst such marketing measures is that benefit to the customer remains paramount and the action is shaped in detail, uniquely and also promisingly.
In Poland, in particular, a content management strategy such as this will be highly attractive, since customary marketing measures, such as poster hoardings, are both highly offensive and conspicuous.
Price observation on the Internet
An emerging trend lies in competitor analysis amongst online retailers. In particular, a price observation of various products offered by individual market players. Pricing pressure is also on the increase due to the swelling numbers of competitors in online retail. For online retailers, this can mean potential sales losses, if their prices are not optimally set. High prices guarantee a high return on sales, since, in comparison to potential competitors, price leadership achieves a higher turnover in volume and thus more profit after taxes.
Tools for price observation, such as blackbee, enable the establishment of a fixed position as price leader within a market segment.
For a successful market position in Poland, not all of the trends need to be adopted. The secret is to find the correct mix of trends suited to the individual online shop. A combination of the trends of omnichannel and price observation would be suited, for example, to an online retailer in the fashion sector. A retailer can react to aggressive-pricing by a competitor through regular price observations – both online as well as offline. Customers actually present in a competitor shop recognise price adaptations, order the desired product over the smartphone and then pick it up at the premises of the fashion retailer.
German companies setting trends in Polish online retail
One peculiarity in Poland is that, apart from the omnipresent Internet companies of Amazon and Ebay, no market power has a hold nor finds a firm foothold in Poland. Many German online retailers, such as Zalando, Otto or the Media Saturn Gruppe are represented on the Polish e-commerce market by online shops and count among the top five within their segments. This also shows that the e-commerce ‘top dogs’ of Ebay and Amazon neither set the trends on the Polish market nor drive them. In this case, it is German companies, together with local majors such as Allegro, who play a leading role in Poland.
In summary, it appears that trends in online retail in Poland differ only to a minor degree from those in other European countries. To illustrate this, various market segments have a larger percentage share in comparison to other countries like Germany. All in all, the same developments and trends are appearing in Polish online retail – albeit after a period of delay. One reason for this delay could be the absence of a market power amongst the US Internet groups. Trend impulses originate largely from the US market and are eventually adapted within respective European nations. In Poland, however, these trend impulses are being set by local or even German companies. These trends, in turn are orientated by the US e-commerce market and thus give rise to the time delay in implementation of new e-commerce trends in Poland.
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