GUS on e-commerce in January

According to the latest GUS data, in January 2022 compared to December 2021. we observe a drop in the value of retail sales via the Internet at current prices (by 15.5%). The share of Internet sales in retail sales is 11.1% against 10.2% at the end of January.

Experts from Unity Group and Insightland comment on the latest data below:

Grzegorz Rudno-Rudziński – Managing Partner at Unity Group

The growth of e-commerce may temporarily slow down a bit. The food industry will be of paramount importance for its future development

In January this year, compared to December 2021, the value of online retail sales decreased by 15.5%. At the same time, the share of this sale stabilized at the level of 10-11% and amounted to 11.1% at the end of January against 10.2% a month earlier.

It is therefore a kind of concretization of the condition observed for some time. For a new breakthrough in the e-commerce market and a further significant increase in its importance in the sales structure, a new strong impetus is needed. At Unity Group, we believe that such a stimulus can be a significant shift in the food industry towards even greater digitalization. But at the same time, this potential is effectively hampered by the inflation that has been raging for another month. The price dynamics currently observed will have an impact on the purchasing structure of households, with electricity, gas, food and household appliances being the most expensive expenses in the expenditure basket. When looking for a reduction in their expenses, consumers can, to some extent, turn away from online shopping, which is dominated by the sale of electronics, clothing, luxury goods, i.e. say of goods that are not basic necessities. However, I can’t give up groceries and so far only a small percentage of them have switched to the online channel. Therefore, due to inflation and the influence of the Polish Order, society has become poorer on average, which may lead to a slight decrease in interest in online shopping. However, I wouldn’t read it as the start of a trend away from the internet as a place of choice for shopping, but rather as the result of a temporary reduction in household affordability and preference for purchases that allow them to earn a living.

Therefore, I expect the Internet’s growth to slow down in the coming months, but it could kick into high gear again if the last mile issues for the food industry can be resolved. And since everyone is going to look for savings, it will happen sooner or later.

Katarzyna Iwanich – Chairman of the Management Board of Insightland of the Hexe Capital group:

The month of January was marked by a massive sale. Consumers are accustomed to starting the “purchase” year with offers of -60% or even -70%, regardless of the product category. Some of them suspended their purchases in December, in order to hunt down the products chosen at lower release prices at the start of the year. The increase in the share of online sales in total retail sales with a simultaneous decline in its value seems to be a consequence of the sales season. Shoppers are increasingly choosing the online channel during sales, but increases in e-commerce retail share are not, and likely won’t be, dramatic. The share of e-commerce in the total retail trade has reached a stable level of 10-11% and although it will grow year on year, we will see upward and downward fluctuations over a period of time. monthly basis.

The economic situation, the rise in food prices and the dynamics of fuel and energy prices, reflecting the situation in the world commodity markets, are reflected in the strength of consumer demand. Consumers are increasingly constrained in their spending. The New Deal caused concerns about wage levels, which strongly influenced their purchasing decisions in January. Rapidly rising inflation is not conducive to spontaneous purchasing decisions, and for many, higher loan repayments are an additional burden on household budgets. Taken together, these factors are curbing the appetite of consumers who are much less willing to spend. In the coming months, there will be fewer purchases in the RTV/appliances category, which is a category that strongly impacts the value of online sales. According to the Electronic Economy Chamber report released in late January, “Mr. & Ms. E-commerce “no less than 16% of purchases on the Internet relate to products in the electronics category (RTV, household appliances, telephones and tablets, computers, laptops, cameras and photographic accessories, game consoles), including 12 % among women and already on all online purchases.

All market forecasts – those for Poland, but also globally – indicate that the percentage of people shopping online will increase. For younger generations: Millennials and Gen Z, shopping online is natural and it’s their shopping preferences that will shape the future of retail. 86% of millennials already use the e-commerce market. Among the advantages of online shopping, they indicate not only the price (which, when shopping online, is one of the key factors for older generations), but also better availability and selection of products, the possibility of placing and picking up an order around the clock. (According to Klarna survey last year, up to 62% of Polish shoppers prefer delivery to parcel locker). In the same survey, up to 33% of Poles admitted that they shop online at least once a week and 44% use mobile phones for this purpose. Online shopping also offers additional payment options, which are starting to play a very important role for the younger, more shopping-conscious generation. According to Klarna research, almost a third (29%) of Poles would choose deferred payments (BNPL) if this option were available. 41% want to be able to inspect goods before paying and 34% want to pay only for items they choose to keep.

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