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Merchant Acquiring Specialists

Poland’s Cross-Border Shoppers: Young, Mobile, and Looking for Deals


Savvy ecommerce merchants are looking for growth opportunities in Europe as the region’s largest markets (UK, Germany and France) mature, and Poland is one of the growth standouts. Here’s what you need to know about Europe’s fastest-growing m-commerce market and what its consumers seek when they buy online.

Cross-border ecommerce represents a small but growing percentage of Poland’s overall ecommerce. In 2014, Polish cross-border shopping grew 45%, with most shoppers (78%) looking abroad for items that are hard to find locally. That rate of growth was second only to that of the Czech Republic. Poland’s B2C ecommerce market grew roughly 22% in 2014 to a value of €6.5 billion, putting the country in third place for B2C ecommerce growth in Europe after Russia and Hungary. Estimates for 2015 projected a total ecommerce market value of €18 billion, another dramatic surge in growth over 2014. When it comes to mobile commerce growth specifically, Poland leads the region, surpassing even powerhouses like Germany and the UK with a 2014 growth rate of 108.8%.

Young, price-sensitive consumers

The Polish population is overwhelmingly young; more than 70% of Poles are younger than 54. They’re also focused on finding the best deals, with about half saying lower prices are a major reason they shop with international merchants. The most popular cross-border markets for Polish shoppers are the UK, Germany and the US, where they shop online for clothing, shoes, home furnishings and automotive accessories.

The obvious downside is that delivery costs act as a brake on cross-border shopping growth. Cross-border merchants that provide low-cost shipping options for Polish shoppers are likely to earn their business. Those who display the fully landed cost of purchases, including VAT and shipping, can likewise appeal to consumers who spend carefully. It is possible to ship Delivery Duty Paid into Poland, as long as the destination city is included on the shipping form adjacent to the DDP designation.

A large minority of online shoppers are unclear about their consumer rights and return processes for purchases. Merchants who clarify their returns and refunds policies and offer transparent delivery and returns tracking can earn the goodwill of customers who are searching for savings but may not be entirely comfortable with buying and returning online goods.

Low card fraud rates and a preference for electronic funds transfers

Poland’s rate of card fraud is remarkably low compared to the rest of Europe. The Paypers cites a European Central Bank figure that puts Polish card fraud at 1/10th the volume found in the UK and France. That may be due in part to Polish shoppers’ strong preference for paying by electronic funds transfer or in-person bank transfer—a preference that also reduces the likelihood of chargebacks compared to markets where credit cards are the dominant payment method.

Merchants should offer a trusted payment method that supports the zloty, because the euro is not widely used in Poland despite its SEPA membership. Przelewy24 (also called P24) is a popular local payment method that supports digital funds transfers, credit card payments, e-wallet transactions and mobile payments. P24 is networked with all major banks in Poland and has approximately 9% of the market.

Taking the time to research new markets and find the best expansion partners is critical to ecommerce growth. Find out how BillPro can help you offer multicurrency payments and P24 service to your Polish customers by contacting a member of our specialist team at [email protected] or +1 844 794 1122.

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