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NEWS - 5. February 2019 17:00

Where lies the growth potential of Estonian online shops?

While taking pride in being one of the most 'internetised' counties in the world, our online dealers lose clients, to China, for example, due to complicated purchase process, notes Tõnu Väät, CEO of Estonian E-Commerce Association.

The bottlenecks of Estonian online shops include requests for excessive data, complexity of the purchase process and unfriendliness of the mobile channels.

There are over 5,000 online shops, which is a significant number considering our population, with new shops added all the time. Estonia is a global front-runner in parcel machine and courier networks, with innovative robots being developed to serve the trade. Almost 90 per cent of adult Estonians have access to the Internet and the presence of a WiFi network seems self-evident even in the smallest of enterprises. In addition, Estonians made more purchases by mobile devices than by using the computer in the year 2018.

Despite these dazzling facts, our medium and small online dealers lose out to foreign competitors. The surveys of the European Commission show Estonia ranking only in the second half of European countries in terms of the performance indicators of e-commerce.

In Estonia, it seems as if everything is available, yet we ourselves are not available! In such a situation, small and medium-sized enterprises suffer in particular. At least 60 per cent of Estonian buyers use cross-border online shops and the figure is growing every year by up to one tenth. While people between 35 and 50 years of age prefer to make purchases via Estonian and European shops, the younger generation has no such preferences. Younger people look for interesting products and the best price and discontinue the purchase process if asked for too much data or if the purchasing has been made difficult.

In addition to not using the massive markets within reach, we also lose out in the internal market, and especially with regard to the upcoming generation that know no borders and cross them more and more. 

The world’s leading experts of e-commerce provide advice on how to sell across borders and on what could redouble turnover at the upcoming Baltic e-commerce Forum held on 5 March in Tallinn. The European partner of Alibaba, Google, Angry Birds and Mastercard will speak to Estonian e-businesses about how to become big, venture into China, America, and how to benefit from Brexit. Come and discover how to unlock the potential or our e-business!


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