Official Romanian e-commerce market overview: online shopping exceeded 1.4 billion EUR in 2015!

According to the main Romanian e-commerce players estimations as well as the estimations of the Romanian e-commerce market authority GPeC, the total value of Romanian online retail has grown from 1.1 billion EUR in 2014 to over 1.4 billion EUR in 2015. Some companies consider the value to be closer to 1.5 billion EUR. This figure only reflects physical goods purchased online (disregarding their nature) and excludes services, utilities paid online, plane tickets, hotel or holiday reservations, travel, event tickets etc.

GPeC is for 11 years the most important e-commerce event in Romania and the biggest Romanian online shops community. GPeC gathers the Romanian e-commerce market information yearly and publishes the official Romanian e-commerce market report. Here are the main facts and figures for the year that just ended, according to the report. You can find the information in an easy to read version in the below infographic designed by silkmart.

The latest market statistics show that Romania has a total number of approximately 19.8 million inhabitants out of which 13 million are aged 16 to 55 years old, and 11 million are internet users (this is also an increase if we are looking at 10 million internet users at the end of 2014 – check here the Romanian e-commerce landscape 2014 for comparison data). Therefore, the Romanian internet penetration rate has grown from 49.76% at the end of 2014 to approximately 56% at the end of 2015. 

Out of the 11 million Internet users, 6.7 million have shopped online at least once until the present moment. Most of the Romanian online shoppers preffer desktop devices instead of mobile devices when they are doing online shopping, but mobile has grown dramatically in 2015. This is also one of the trends that GPeC and the key market players except to continue in 2016: mobile shopping rise. If we look at the last months of 2015, over 50% of the key online shops traffic has been generated by mobile devices. 

1.4 million Romanian online shoppers used a mobile device to complete a purchase, and approximately 850.000 used a mobile shopping app to complete a purchase. Presently, the mobile penetration rate in Romania is over 100%, more SIMs being active than the total number of country inhabitants.

The smartphone penetration rate has known an exponential growth during the last 4 years in Romania. If in 2012 there were approximately 2.5 million smartphones, presently this number exceeds 10 million, the smartphone penetration rate being above 50%. 

An online shopper makes an average of 8.2 online purchases per year – a slight increase compared to 2014 when the average was 8.1 and to 2013 when the average was 7.9 purchases/year made online. On the other hand, Romanian online shoopers still preffer to pay cash on delivery – a huge percentage of online shopping payments, approximately 90%, are done cash on delivery in Romania. Although slightly growing, online card payments account for only 6-7% while 3-4% are done through other payment methods like online banking, micropayments via SMS etc.

Nevertheless, according to Visa officials, the number of online payments through Visa cards for online shops has grown 20-25% in 2015 comparing to 2014. The Visa figures also show that Romanian people spend more money in foreign online shops than in Romanian online shops, the average order value being 58 EUR for foreign shops and 40 EUR for Romanian online shops. 

The total number of Romanian online shops which are active on the market has remained constant in 2015, approximately 5000 online shops are active in Romania. According to GPeC research there are over 20,000 websites on .ro domains that have “add to card” functionality. However, only 5000 of these websites generate significant traffic and orders.

GPeC and key market players estimate that out of the 5000 active Romanian online shops, approximately 200 are big and medium businesses, exceeding 1 million EUR in annual turnover.

Out of the total 5000 online shops, 1374 online shops are enrolled in 3D Secure, a significant raise from the total 1173 shops at the end of 2014.

In Romania there are approximately 14.5 million cards enrolled in the 3D Secure system, but only 1.329 million are active in the system, actively used in online shopping.

As far as online card payments are concerned, the total volume registered in 2015 is by far exceeding the 2014 results: 514 million EUR generated by online card payments in 2015 (e-tail, services, travel, utilities online payments), compared to 337 million EUR in 2014. Out of the 514 million EUR, RomCard generated a volume of 394 million EUR, and the online payment processor mobilPay generated a volume of approximately 120 million EUR   both companies generated significant growth in 2015 compared to 2014.

Apart from the preffered payment method, the main categories of goods purchased in 2015 have been, in this order: Electro-IT (PC, computer parts, notebooks, tablets, mobile phones, electronics, electrical appliances etc.), Fashion & Beauty(clothes, shoes, accesories, cosmetics, perfumes, watches etc.), Home & Deco, Kids & Toys (kids clothes, accesories etc.).

From the average basket value point of view, the Electro IT category registered a decrease in 2015 compared to 2014, from 800 RON in 2014 to approximately 680 RON in 2015, but the number of transactions has grown. The kids products are constant in 2014 and 2015, the average order value being approximately 210 RON.

Increase in the average basket value was registered for the Fashion category from 160 RON at the end of 2014 to 180 RON in 2015, as well as for the Home & Deco category from 180 RON in 2014 to 220 RON in 2015, Romanian people spending more for these categories.

Only on Black Friday 2015 a total of  approximately 100 million EUR products were sold, registering a considerable growth compared to Black Friday 2014, when the value was around 75 million EUR.

Without any particular reason, statistics from the main e-commerce players as well as affiliate network show that Romanian people buy online most on Wednesdays and Thursdays of every week.

The main e-commerce services Romanian people are looking for in online shops are, in this order: free delivery, discounts and promotional campaigns, free returns (even though the current national laws leave the cost of the return to the shopper), and fast delivery.

“The Romanian e-commerce market continues to grow year over year and the figures published in this report prove this. I don’t think I exaggerate when I say that the Romanian e-commerce industry is one of the few industries that continue to grow after ’89”, says Andrei Radu, CEO & Founder GPeC.

As far as the online shopping trends and consumer expectations are concerned, Andrei Radu follows:

“We live in the century of speed, so the client wants  everything to happen fast, today, yesterday even. Online shops and courier companies need to get ready to answer these demands. 

There is another important shift on the market: until recently the price was the important factor influencing the buying decision, but now the smaller price is not the only factor – Romanian people start paying attention to the quality of service and post-acquisition services, time of delivery and time of response and the price is no longer the main factor. The quality of service becomes the most important differentiator in Romanian e-commerce. 

Last but not least, online shops need to keep up with technology and I am reffering especially to mobile optimization of online shops. Mobile commerce is no longer the future but the present and online shops need to understand this trend once and for all.”

The information in this press release – the official Romanian e-commerce market figures – can also be found in the attached infographic (designed by Both the information contained in the infographic and the information in the press release can be retrieved for free, but only by quoting the source: GPeC with link to

The information sources in this report are (in alphabetical order): 2Parale, Breeze Mobile, eMAG, GPeC, Internet World Stats, Millward Brown, mobilPay, RomCard, Visa.

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GPeC is the Most Important E-Commerce Event in Romania, the only online event to take place for 8 months every year. With an 11-year tradition, GPeC is the perfect mix of Conferences, Workshops, Expo, Intensive E-Commerce Trainings and, above all, the GPeC Online Shops Competition, whose contribution to the e-commerce market development is recognised by all leading players.

Registrations for GPeC Online Shops Competition 2016 start in March 2016, GPeC Summit Spring Edition will happen in May 2016 (3 days of Conference, Workshops, Expo). All details will be soon published on the GPeC website

GPeC 2016 is an event powered by FAN Courier – the leader of the Romanian courier services market.

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Romanian e-commerce market value 2015