GPeC 2019 Romanian E-Commerce Report: over 4.3 billion euro revenue, a 20% growth compared to 2018

According to the Romanian Online Shops Association’s (ARMO) estimations, the e-commerce sector exceeded the 4.3 billion euro threshold at the end of 2019, 20-22% more than in 2018 when the value of online commerce was estimated to an approximate 3.6 billion euro.

The 2019 vs. 2018 growth rate has been lower than the 2018 vs. 2017 one, when the YoY growth rate was around 30%.

The value of over 4.3 billion euro refers to all the transactions generated in Romania by both the local merchants and foreign online shops.

”On average, Romanians have spent around 12 million euros on online shopping daily last year, compared to 9.86 million euros, the daily average of 2018”, says Andrei Radu, CEO & Founder GPeC.

”Yet, according to Eurostat, only 23% of the Romanian population shopped online in 2019, which situates us on the second to last place in the EU, outrunning only Bulgaria with 22%. This fact shows us that Romanian e-commerce has a lot of space to grow, he adds.



The 4.3 billion euro represents the e-tail segment only, that means only tangible products that were bought online. It does not include services, plane tickets, vacations & travel, hotel reservations, show tickets or other events, bills and utilities payments, downloadable content etc.

According to the estimations of the main players on the market, e-commerce will continue to grow in 2020, most probably exceeding the 5 billion euro threshold at the end of this year. Florinel Chis Director Executiv ARMO

”The Romanian e-commerce sector confirms the positive trend of toter years, so that in 2019 too there was a two-digit growth. The 4 billion euro threshold was exceeded for the first time, which means that there is 20-22% evolution compared to 2018” says Florinel Chiș, ARMO Executive Director.

For 15 years, GPeC has been the e-commerce representative in Romania, growing a community dedicated to online shops and organizing the main events dedicated to online commerce. Among others, GPeC centralizes the data and publishes the yearly Romanian E-Commerce Report. Here are the main numbers, statistics and estimations for 2019 (the sources are mentioned in the text body, as well as at the end of the report).


The average order value has increased significantly in 2019

According to statistics from 2Performant, the average online transaction value has increased significantly in 2019 compared to 2018, both in the case of desktop transactions, as well as in mobile transactions.

On average, in 2019 Romanians spent 273 RON for desktop transactions, compared to 204 RON in 2018. We can observe the same considerable growth of the average order value in the case of mobile transactions, from 170 RON in 2018 to 208 RON in 2019 (the values above do not include VAT).


How much did Romanians spend on specific product categories?

An important characteristic of 2019 was the growth of the average online order value for the majority of the market verticals. Even where the average order value dropped, the decrease was insignificant and the order number was higher, which lead to a general growth of the entire e-commerce market with 20-22% compared to 2018. (The average values below do not include VAT)

According to 2Performant, the Electro-IT&C category had the highest increase in average order value from 738,27 RON in 2018 to 875 RON in 2019.

Increase in average order value were also registered for the following categories:

  • Fashion – from 175,34 RON in 2018 to 185,58 RON in 2019
  • Baby items – from 242,12 RON in 2018 to 256,28 RON in 2019
  • Pet Shop – from 165,10 RON in 2018 to 186,91 RON in 2019
  • Books, Music & Film – from 104,09 RON in 2018 to 118,58 RON in 2019

Categories where the average order value (slightly) decreased:

  • Home & Garden – from 528,07 RON in 2018 to 525,67 RON in 2019
  • Beauty – from 174,73 RON in 2018 to 172,29 RON in 2019
  • Auto & Moto – from 348,3 RON in 2018 to 342,55 RON in 2019 (source: GPeC)
  • Adult – from 155,7 RON in 2018 to 136,66 RON in 2019


72% of the online shops’ traffic is generated by mobile

71.9% of the online shops’ traffic from the 2Performant platform came from mobile devices, while 29.1% came from desktop. Compared to 2018, more users utilize their mobile phone when browsing through online shops websites, the percentage growing from 65.9% in 2018 to 71.9% last year.

In the case of big online shops surveyed by GPeC, the traffic generated from mobile phones can reach and even exceed 80%.

63.6% of online purchases are made on mobile phones

2018 was the first year when mobile exceeded desktop in the number of online purchases: 54.8% were mobile purchases and 45.2% were desktop purchases. 

In 2019 this tendency became more pronounced, more Romanians choosing mobile over desktop when purchasing online: 63.6% bought from mobile, compared to 36.4% who stood loyal to desktop purchases.

When it comes to the total online sales value, mobile leads here as well with 57.1%, compared to desktop (42.9%).

“The main conclusion drawn as a result from these statistics is that website visits, as well as online purchases, are made mostly from mobile phones and therefore online shops must optimize their websites prioritizing mobile devices, a detail that many still neglect and are at risk of losing clients” says Andrei Radu (GPeC).

“During the GPeC Competition, we evaluate online shops through over 200 criteria targeting User Experience with priority and we’ve noticed that many only shops start optimizing desktop first and then mobile and not the other way around, as it should be. They even neglect showing ads on mobile when building marketing campaigns – yet the strategy should be Mobile First, Desktop Second Andrei Radu explains.

According to ANCOM (National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications of Romania), by the half of 2019 there were 19.6 million mobile internet connections and 5.1 million fixed internet connections.


Baby items, cosmetics and fashion items are purchased on mobile

Romanians buy certain types of products preponderantly on mobile, especially when they are impulse purchases that do not need too much research on the product or too much thinking time before making the decision to buy.

For example, 77% of the transactions from the shops that sell baby items are made on mobile and only 23% on desktop. Also, cosmetic products are bought at a rate of 71% on mobile, as well as products from the fashion category, 72% mobile vs. 28% desktop.

Even adult products are rather bought on mobile (66%) instead of desktop (34%), as well as products from the pet shop category where 58% of transactions are made on mobile.

The rate for the purchases for the Auto & Moto category also grew from 51% in 2018 to 56% in 2019.

Instead, where a detailed research over product specifications is required, or their prices are higher, or they are being compared with other similar products, the mobile vs desktop transaction rates are more balanced: 

  • Electro-IT&C: 48% mobile vs. 52% desktop
  • Home & Garden: 49% mobile vs. 51% desktop

We purchase on mobile in the evening and on desktop during daytime 

Both the traffic and the number of transactions made on mobile phones are higher in the evenings, starting from 6 PM to 12 AM.

During daytime though, Romanians prefer online shopping on desktop, especially between 10 AM and 3 PM.

The purchasing decision is made in almost half the cases (46.5%) in the first hour since the buyer reaches the online shop and this rate is growing YoY: 42,6% in 2017 and 45,2% in 2018.

According to the study made by GPeC and iSense Solutions, 87% of the online shoppers compare the prices on 5 different websites before making a purchase.


56% of the internet users from urban areas made online purchases at least once a month

In May 2019, GPeC together with the market research company iSense Solutions made a study among internet users on a representative sample at urban level according to age, sex, city suze and region. The study was made for the third year in a row.

If on a national level only 23% of the population of Romania shopped online in 2019 (source: Eurostat), according to the iSense study representing the urban level and exclusively among internet users, 56% of users made at least one monthly purchase, up from 53% in 2018.

Online buyers visit, on average, 9 online shops per year, with a frequency of 3-4 times a week, while non-buyers visit 5 online shops on a 12 months span with a lesser frequency (once a week). In other words, online shops are visited quite often even by those that haven’t made the step towards buying. The data hasn’t changed for the last 3 years.


Essential factors in purchasing decisions: low prices, fast delivery and shop popularity

As in the last 3 years, buyers choose to purchase from online shops that are popular in the market, that have the lowest prices and the fastest delivery, these being the main factors in making the decision to purchase – they remained unchanged since 2017.

Meanwhile, in 2019 other two factors are winning ground in the purchase decision: recommendations from friends (Word of Mouth) and User Experience.


Over 20.000 online sellers in Romania

According to the data provided by eMAG for GPeC, at the end of December 2019, on the eMAG Marketplace platform were registered 20.119 active online sellers, a significant increase from 14.749 in December 2018.

It must be mentioned that not all the sellers that choose to sell online through Marketplace like platforms possess their own online shop, that’s why it is difficult to estimate the number of independent online shops in Romania.

Various research shows that, at the end of 2018, there were already approximately 35.000 websites with a .ro domain that have an “Add to cart” function and a checkout page, therefore they can be considered online shops, but the low traffic recorded by these makes them insignificant in the local e-commerce environment.


What did Romanians buy from eMAG Marketplace in 2019

According to the information provided by eMAG Marketplace officials, the most important product categories by the number of transactions generated over the course of 2019 were, in descending order:

  • Home appliances
  • Tablets, Phones and Accessories
  • Home & Deco
  • Do It Yourself
  • Auto
  • Baby items / Pet Shop / Cleaning products
  • Electronics
  • PC, Peripherals & Software
  • Toys
  • Personal care & Beauty

Top 10 categories by order values generated on eMAG Marketplace, in descending order:

  • Home appliances
  • Home & Deco
  • Do It Yourself
  • Tablets, Phones & Accessories
  • Auto
  • PC, Peripherals & Software
  • Electronics
  • Baby items / Pet Shop / Cleaning products
  • Toys
  • Sport & Outdoor activities

From the trends analyzed by eMAG Marketplace representatives, the categories with a significant growing potential in 2020 are:

  • Home & Deco
  • Do It Yourself
  • Fashion
  • Auto
  • Toys


80% Cash on Delivery – the favourite payment method for Romanians in e-commerce

According to the payments processor PayU, almost 20% of the online orders are paid for through online payment, the rest of 80% are paid in cash on delivery.

The percentage is an estimate, considering that there are other payment options (eg: micro-payments via SMS, online banking etc.) yet they are still insignificant in percentage.

We must take into consideration the fact that the numbers provided any payment processor refer to all the online transactions (services, billing, show tickets etc.) and not only to e-tail (tangible products).

According to the data provided by PayU regarding online payments with card for online shopping, the average transaction value has a 9% drop compared to 2018, reaching the 39 euro value.

Also according to PayU, the top categories for which Romanians made card online payments in 2019 (both for e-tail and services) were:

  • IT&C
  • Travel
  • Utility bill payments
  • Fashion
  • Home & Deco
  • Insurances


How does Black Friday impact the searches on different categories in November

According to Upswing Visibility Report (a tool for analyzing visibility in Google) the search volumes on various product categories rise considerably along with the Black Friday campaigns run by online shops in November each year. Therefore, here are the search volume increases in November for each category, compared to the monthly average search volumes:

  • IT&C – 33% increase
  • Home & Deco – 24% increase, the same as Electronics
  • Baby items – 22% increase
  • Fashion – creștere cu 17% increase
  • Sport & Outdoor activities – 8% increase
  • Cosmetics / Beauty – 6% increase

According to ARMO, during Black Friday of November 2019, Romanians made online purchases worth 253 million euro, although there were rumors circulating in the public space that the total worth exceeded 300 million euro.


The report can be picked up and published only with source mentioning: GPeC and link to

Infographic made by MTH Digital

The sources for market figures and estimates published in this report are (in alphabetical order): 2Performant, ARMO, ANCOM, eMAG Marketplace, Eurostat, GPeC, iSense Solutions, PayU, Upswing