Central and Eastern Europe is on a slow but secure rise in e-commerce

Retailers in the CEE region are trying hard to meet customers’ demand, to unify distribution channels and to implement new options for a secure and enjoyable online shopping experience. A recent analysis made by Harriet Cohen shows that many key retailers are prioritising investment in the channel as they look to drive growth, generate competitive advantage and better meet shopper needs in the future.

Online means offline and viceversa

Tesco delivery truckRecently, in Romania, the Media Galaxy retail chain has announced that it is changing its business approach. With the help of the platform dubbed “Complete experience, online and offline”, Media Galaxy is addressing promptly and usefully the needs of the modern consumer and positions itself as “architect” of the omnichannel experience. It is the first retailer that can adopt this approach, with the help of the extended chain of the large brick-and-mortar shops and of the online shop mediagalaxy.ro.

In Poland, the Tesco group is in the top 3 retailers who see development as a priority.  Their number of stores offering online delivery has doubled to 27 stores, while delivery vans have increased threefold. The retailer’s average basket online is four to five times higher than traditional brick-and-mortar stores and is continuing to rise every year, says Retail Analysis. Tesco already operates a comprehensive online grocery service in Hungary, delivering to key cities including Budapest, Szeged, Gyor and Székesfehérvár.

Carrefour’s online grocery service is now testing home delivery in Warsaw. Shoppers need to spend 36 euros to be eligible for 24-hour delivery. Competitor Auchan also offers home delivery to Warsaw and its suburbs. Carrefour is relaunching [ro] its online grocery platform in Romania, with features including an improved interface with an emphasis on mobile devices, same day-delivery and improved search engine, navigation and product photographs. This is a very smart move, as Romanians spend more and more on gadgets connected to the Internet. There is at least one tablet in 36% of the Romanian households, there is a smartphone in 73% of them and 55% of households have laptops: these are the main conclusions of the research undertaken by the Communication Authority.

The middleway: order online, pick offline

Tesco shopCollecting the order in store is a great choice for people who work until late but own a car that they can use to transport groceries from the store on their way home, thus avoiding delayed deliveries and transportation fees.

Intermarché’s new Polish concept store allows shoppers to collect online orders in-store or at a dedicated Drive facility. The retailer is planning the expansion of online shopping across all of its Polish stores within the next three years.

In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Tesco offers click & collect. The chain ran a seasonal promotion to encourage shoppers to use the service and spend more. In the Czech Republic Tesco offered a discount collection tax of only 0.04 euros. In Slovakia, for every 20-euro transaction using click & collect, pick-up was free.

Photo: Tescomedia