ECONOMY

Popularity of e-shopping going strong

Popularity of e-shopping going strong

Online shopping continued to rise in Greece last year, with Eurostat data showing that 69% of internet users in this country performed at least one electronic purchase in the course of 2021, up from 59% in 2020, i.e. the first year of the pandemic.

That 69% rate puts Greece in 19th place among the 27 member-states of the European Union on the chart of the countries with the highest e-shopping penetration.

Greece is not far from the EU average rate anymore, as in 2021 74% of the EU internet users made at least one product or service purchase online, according to Eurostat.

The magnitude of the role played by the coronavirus pandemic, and the lockdowns in particular, on boosting online commerce among Greek households, is evident from the fact that in 2019 the rate of internet users in Greece who made at least on purchase online was at 51%, a fairly moderate increase from the 45% rate in 2016. In 2014 it had been 40%, but rose to 47% in 2015 mainly due to the capital controls imposed halfway through the year.

Eurostat figures show that the highest rates in internet users shopping online last year were recorded in the Netherlands (94%), in Denmark (92%) and in Sweden (89%). On the other hand, the lowest rates were registered in Bulgaria (42%) and in Romania (44%).

Between 2016 and 2021 the biggest increases in percentage point terms were reported in the Czech Republic (+27%), in Slovenia, Hungary and Romania (+26%), and in Croatia and Lithuania (+25%).

Over three-quarters (76%) of Greeks who made purchases on the web last year shopped for apparel, including sports clothing and shoes, as well as fashion accessories. Just under a third (33%) ordered food, which is also illustrated by the massive expansion of such platforms (efood, Wolt and Box) and the emergence of new ones such as Rocket.

A similar rate of online buyers (30%) in Greece acquired cosmetics and various wellness products, while 29% acquired non-apparel sports equipment, 25% bought computers and cellphones, and 24% ordered books. Another 24% shopped for food supplements and vitamins, and 20% reached for home appliances.

There was also a 20% of web users who downloaded movies and TV series online.