For the ecommerce, especially the fashion sector, 2020 meant an explosion in sales. Official figures show that the ecommerce market in 2020 amounted to EUR 5.6 billion, a 30 percent increase compared to 2019, said Raluca Radu, Country Manager of Answear Romania at Re:Focus on eCommerce Retail & Logistics 2021 event, organized by Business Review.
”It was a very big growth, which brought us new customers online. Some of them are customers who ordered for the first time because they had to since the shops were closed. But there was also a retention of them; during the lockdown we had 40% new customers and a good part of them remained our customers after that,” says Raluca Radu.
”The plans from the beginning of 2020 have changed along the way. If at the beginning of the year we were preparing for omnichannel, including the opening of physical stores, all the plans were postponed and we do not have a deadline related to its realization. What we did in addition was the investment in user experience, in which we have been investing for a very long time, we have a dedicated department. Last year we launched a new site and a new mobile application, precisely for keeping the new customers,” explained Radu.
”Among last year’s trends was the increase in the number of customers who paid online with the card. It proves that customers’ trust in the online environment has also increased, and perhaps a new shopping habbit has been created. Then, for the entire online market, the conversion rate of customers doubled, from 0.9% in 2019 to 1.7% last year. Confidence in online commerce has increased, they have found more retailers, plus they no longer wanted to go to the mall.”
”At Answear came new customers that increased the value of the average shopping cart, customers who bought the top brands in the portfolio. During the lockdown period, the number of orders for top brands doubled.”
But the problem of delivering the products to the customers is still in place.
”We are headquartered in Poland and we deliver from there, so it is a frustration for me to tell my colleagues in Poland that it takes about 12 hours to cross Romania from one end to the other. And, honestly, all colleagues from outside, except Bulgaria, show us that we are the only market with this problem of delay. In Poland we launched Next Day Delivery, but in Romania we stay at 2-3 days for delivery. Infrastructure is a big problem, a problem that would create difficulties in the case of opening offline stores,” explains Raluca Radu.
”The plans for 2020 are to improve the processes, especially that of customer support, where the fact that we have grown so much has brought us disadvantages and we want to improve it.”
”We will continue to bring new brands in our portfolio, last year we finished with 350 brands and we hope to reach 500 by the end of this year. We focus on top international brands and on promoting our brand, Answer, which is one of the best sellers in our portfolio,” concludes Raluca Radu.