The turnover of electronic commerce in Greece last year is estimated to have come to 10.7 billion euros, compared to about €7.5 billion in 2019, as the pandemic played a crucial role in this jump amounting to 42.7%, according to the intermediary report released by the Competition Commission this week. This is despite the apparent ratings war raging among suppliers, who reportedly slander each other’s products.
The estimated turnover amounted to 5.39% of the country’s gross domestic product in 2020, up from 3.91% in 2019, while in 2015 the annual turnover of e-sales had been at just €3.8 billion, or 2.14% of GDP.
The average number of annual online purchases is estimated to have risen by 57% in 2020, from about 37 to 59, which means more than one online purchase per week.
All this does not necessarily mean high profits for all online stores, especially the smaller ones that have to be hosted on online marketplaces, or rely on price search engines in order to increase their visitor figures. The watchdog’s survey showed that online stores have to pay marketplaces an ever greater commission that may rise up to 60% in the next year.
The report reveals that while a certain platform was supposed to charge a retailer €0.05 per click, in December 2019 that ranged between €0.15 and €0.19/click and a year later between €0.23 and €0.24/click – i.e. an increase of more than 53%.
Those charges concern the most popular category, that of electronic appliances. However, the Competition Commission survey showed that marketplace charges for e-stores rose by up to 60% across all categories of merchandise.
Another problem that e-stores as well as their suppliers face regards the ratings that search engines employ for the assessments of the products on offer: About in six every 10 suppliers stressed the proliferation of malevolent and fake reviews with very poor ratings, aimed at slandering products and typically originating from rival suppliers.
The report further highlighted that suppliers often intervene not only in the proposed retail prices on marketplaces – which is absolutely legitimate – but also in setting the resale prices, which constitutes a serious violation of the competition legislation.