E-commerce market to grow by 12 pct per year - PwC report

Online sales channels are predicted to grow on average by 12 percent over the next few years after seeing their share of retail sales jump by 14 percent in 2020, according to a report by the consultancy firm PwC and Digital Experts Club.

Experts believe the increasing popularity of online shopping spurred on by the pandemic lockdown, and the growing trend of digitalisation will drive the growth.

"In the coming years, the value of the e-commerce market will systematically grow thanks to the enduring growth in the number of users and growing value of spending," PwC wrote in a press release. "PwC experts expect average growth in the e-commerce market at the level of 12 percent."

According to data compiled in the report, between 2019 and 2020, the sale of goods online in Poland increased by 35 percent. In 2020, online channels achieved a 14-percent share in the value of retail sales in Poland.

The report states that research conducted in the first quarter of the year shows that almost 85 percent of Poles do not intend to reduce the frequency of their e-purchases after the pandemic ends. Some 74 percent of respondents will maintain e-buying at a similar level and 10 percent intend to increase it.

A further 82 percent of those surveyed will spend the same amount or more online as they did in 2020. Over 23 percent intend to increase expenditures slightly and 20 percent plan to increase them by more than one fifth compared to last year.

The research also showed that the size of towns has no influence on the frequency of online purchases - Poles most often buy online two or three times a month (36 percent), regardless of where they live.

"The pandemic and the acceleration of digitalisation completely changed the consumer and trade picture," PwC Partner Maciej Kroenke was quoted as saying in press materials. "Over the last few months, there have been thousands of tests and innovations by companies fighting for customers. Market leaders have redefined both commercial activities and the course of key processes, gaining valuable knowledge as a result in how to re-plan business.

"There is a new era of e-commerce ahead, where entirely different values than those to date will count," he added. "To maintain or gain a competitive advantage, companies will have to show great flexibility and redefine old habits."