E-commerce can be most simply explained as electronic sales. However, it is a very broad concept. After all, we can distinguish many types of transactions - B2C (Business to Customer), B2B (Business to Business), but also C2C (Customer to Customer) and C2B (Customer to Business). In addition, both in brick-and-mortal and virtual sales, each store is associated with the industry products it distributes.
Poles are more and more willing to buy online!
In Poland, online shopping is becoming more and more popular. This was of course influenced - as in the rest of the world - by the coronavirus and restrictions in shopping. According to experts from the research company Inquiry Market Search, since the pandemic began, the increases, mainly in the number of users on the Polish e-commerce market, are so large that the projected growth for three years has been achieved in three months. Moreover, according to the PwC analysis, in 2026 domestic e-commerce will reach the level of PLN 162 billion. This means that it will grow on average by 12% per year.The sales of food products and health and beauty products will develop the fastest.
Having an online sales platform has already ceased to be optional, it has become a necessity to survive. The more so as the number of online stores in Poland has increased by 21% over the last year!
According to the aforementioned Inquiry Market Research study, the largest online sales platforms in Poland are Rossmann, OLX and, in the first place, Allegro, used by half of the respondents (for comparison, OLX and Rossmann are used by just over 10%). Allegro's streak may, however, be influenced by the launch of the Polish version of the e-commerce giant - the Amazon platform, which took place on March 2. According to experts, the competition between brands will be fierce and long-lasting - it will be difficult to convince a Polish customer to give up their habit of shopping on the largest Polish shopping platform. For users, however, the competition on the market is always more advantageous, and we will be closely monitoring it!
- We have been operating globally for over 20 years. There was not one day without competitors at that time, and that will not change. The global retail sector will continue to grow and there will be more room for investment. Unlike sporting events where there is a winner and a loser, in business, the winner doesn't take it all. We do not focus on our competitors, but we will certainly constantly improve our services for customers - said Mourad Taoufiki, CEO of Amazon Polska in an interview for Business Insider.
Who gained the most from the pandemic?
E-commerce areas where the last year was undoubtedly profitable were delivery companies, i.e. courier companies, as well as other postal and delivery providers, and the e-grocery sector, i.e. online grocery stores. Last year, the leader among suppliers was, of course, the creator of parcel lockers - InPost, whose owner - Rafał Brzoska, was promoted to the top 10 of the richest Poles in the ranking conducted by Forbes Polska.
In the case of the e-grocery sector, which gained the most in the first weeks of the pandemic, chain stores and the most famous e-grocery store - Frisco are in the lead.However, it is followed by a dynamic development of emerging start-ups, such as Pora na Pola, whose creator is Adrian Piwko, a graduate of the 2nd edition of the PFR School of Pioneers. In his opinion, in March last year there were three events that significantly influenced the rapid development of the project - the investment round, announcement of the national quarantine, and Pora na Pola receiving a long-awaited grant for innovative R&D works. All this made the company develop very fast last year.
- Before the pandemic, farmers and small producers cooperating with Pora na Pola also sold their products at fairs, local bazaars, to good hotels, kindergartens and decent restaurants. Suddenly, all these sales channels were frozen for some time, so if it were not for Pora na Pola, they would not be able to function. Our great success is that we were able to support local producers in this difficult time and enable much more sales through our platform - said Adrian Piwko in an interview for mamstartup.pl.
Development of e-commerce also means the development of products providing software for the e-commerce industry. Large companies already operate in this field (e.g. the Shoper, or Shoplo, bought by the British SumUp Shoplo in 2019, but also new companies that find investors quickly. Examples include investments in two Polish start-ups creating solutions for e-commerce - edrone and Vue Storefront. The first of them obtained USD 5.3 million from the investor VC and NCBR 5.3 million in November 2020, that it will use for the creation of a marketing one-stop-shop for e-commerce. Their product is aimed at large and medium-sized online stores. It will to allow e-commerce stores to understand customer behavior and to prepare a precisely selected offer. At the beginning of the year, Vue Storefront obtained $ 1.5 million in funding from SMOK Ventures and Movens Capital. Interestingly, the start-up started operating just a few months ago, as an initiative of Divante developers. They were looking for ways to increase the effectiveness of tools for building e-commerce businesses, and when the available solutions did not meet their expectations, they decided to build their own.
Among the trends that, according to experts, will appear on the e-commerce market in 2021, there are single customer profiles, i.e. personalization of the store offer and adapting it to the needs of a specific customer, and zero-click commerce - providing consumers with products based on the history of their orders, without clicking.
Enter the digital world with PFR, Google and the National Cloud!
The dynamic development of e-commerce does not change the fact that not all companies can immediately adapt to the new reality, and they often lack knowledge, skills and appropriate tools. Experts indicate that in order to use the digital potential in small and medium-sized enterprises, the following will be of key importance:
Development of internet marketing skills that will allow you to increase your presence and sales in the online channel;
Generating new services, products and business models to address new market needs;
The use of cloud solutions to increase innovation and reduce operating costs.
The answer to these problems may be the Firmy Jutra program organized by PFR, Google and the National Cloud, which will last until the end 2022. It takes form of an online training, and will help increase innovation and use digital opportunities to reach customers of up to 15,000 companies. So if you need support in getting your business online, you can still join the program! Do you want to learn more about earning money online and methods of reaching your customers? Check what the Firmy Jutra is about today (in Polish ).