Prague, Czech Republic – According to a J.P. Morgan study, which examined e-commerce trends in 34 countries, the Czech Republic is the fastest-growing e-commerce market in Europe.
According to the U.S. bank, the Czech Republic’s e-commerce market is set to grow by 16% by 2021, the highest rate in Europe. This is in part due to the fact that the Czech Republic has one of the highest numbers of online stores per capita in Europe, reaching over 40,000 in total in 2017.
Domestic sites, such as Heureka.cz, Bazos.cz and Alza.cz, are the most popular among Czech consumers, with only one foreign player in the top 5, China’s AliExpress platform.
Despite this projected growth, the Czech Republic currently accounts for only 0.8% (worth 4.4 billion euros) of the European e-commerce market. J.P. Morgan’s study also highlights the “Czech affection for budget shopping”, as the average annual basket spent in the Czech Republic stands at 737 euros, much lower than the European average of nearly 2,100 euros.
The online retail industry is also set to experience a double-digit growth in nine other European countries between 2017 and 2021: Italy (14%) and Spain (13.5%), as well as Norway (13%), Portugal (12%), the Netherlands, Finland (11%), France, Denmark (10.5%) and Poland (10%).
Although countries like the Czech Republic “are emerging as compelling opportunities” for online retail, “the U.K. remains the titan of the European business to consumer e-commerce space”, highlights the report, followed by France and Germany.
J.P. Morgan’s study also points out that mobile online shopping is the main driver of the market’s growth in Europe, especially so in the Czech Republic and the U.K., where over half (54% and 51% respectively) of all e-commerce activity is performed on mobile devices – compared to only 8% in Austria, 10% in Portugal and 11% in Poland.
Contrary to most other European countries, where card payment and bank transfers remain the most popular and widely used methods of payment, Czech customers appear to remain attached to cash payment on delivery, which accounts for 45% of all transactions. In that regard, “the Czech Republic may have some of the biggest hurdles to modernizing its payments landscape”.
Bank transfers (29%) and card payments (13%) only accounted for a minority of e-transactions in the Czech Republic.
Card payment are the number one method in 11 out of the 18 examined European countries, while other states like Finland, Switzerland and the Netherlands prefer bank transfers. Open invoicing and digital wallets are also fast-growing methods of payment in a number of EU countries.