2022 was an atypical year for the e-commerce market, with increases of 10%-15%, lower than in other years, with Romanian consumers making fewer impulse purchases. Instead, competition has increased, and the number of advertisers is increasing, according to an analysis by Limitless Agency, one of the largest digital marketing agencies.
According to Limitless Agency representatives, among the reasons for the relatively small growth in e-commerce in 2022 is high inflation, which led consumers to be more frugal, and the increase in the number of advertisements and advertisers, which target the same audiences.
“Inflation has had its say in 2022, in many industries, but especially in e-commerce, which, although it has enormous growth potential, grew by only 10%-15%. By comparison, in 2020 the e-commerce market grew by 30%. Of course, Romanian e-commerce will continue to grow, considering that only half of Romanians with Internet access used to order online, but the growth process will be slower, especially in the event of an economic crisis. In addition to the current situation, with increased prices, which leads Romanians to buy only products they need, the competition on the market is increasingly tight, with more and more online stores.
Thus, against the background of strong competition in e-commerce, the number of advertisements increased, which automatically led to an increase in CPC (cost per click) to 17.2% on average, even up to 30% in some areas, for generating the same number of orders as in 2021. In total, the budget of online stores for online advertising in 2022 was almost 20%-30% higher than the previous year, but, through powerful tools, Limitless Agency takes care of cost optimization so that online stores obtain maximum sales through the investment made.
In 2022, November and December were among the best times of the year, marked by major sales events, Black Friday, and the Christmas holidays. Thus, in December, according to an analysis carried out on 3,340 online stores, the average order was 402 lei, down from 605 lei in November, on Black Friday, with total revenues of over 88 million euros recorded at over 1 million transactions.
If in the first days of December online sales were lower, between December 5 and 9 Romanians started to buy more. The peak of sales was on December 12, when 46,762 transactions and sales of almost 4 million euros were recorded. A second sales peak was recorded on December 19, with 44,191 transactions and sales of almost 3.6 million euros.
Shopping of 1.3 million euros on Christmas Day
“Online shopping did not stop even during Christmas or before New Year’s Eve, the end of the year bringing millions of euros to online stores. Thus, some of the best sales of December were recorded – almost 1.2 million euros on December 24, almost 1.3 million euros on December 25, and almost 1.7 million euros the day after Christmas, respectively about 2 million euros on December 30 and 1.1 million euros on the last day of the year”, says Daniel Slăvenie, CEO & Partner of Limitless Agency.
According to the agency’s data, the domains with the highest sales in December were IT&C – almost 43 million euros, fashion – 15.5 million euros, home, and garden – 4.3 million euros, food – 1.34 million euros, and beauty – over 820,000 euros.
The largest order recorded was in the IT&C field, of almost 14,500 euros, for solar inverters, followed by an order worth more than 12,000 euros for laptops and Apple phones.
The IT&C categories with the highest sales in December were smartphones (22%), video cards (10%), TV/audio video (7%), washing machines (5%), refrigerators (3%), laptops (2.2%) and consoles (2.2%). At the end of the year, an increased interest in VR/Gaming equipment was observed.
As for the fashion area, the largest order was almost 5,000 euros, for sunglasses, followed by an order worth almost 2,700 euros, for shoes. The categories contact lenses, eyeglass frames, women’s tracksuits, jackets, evening dresses, coats, women’s boots (34%), women’s boots (26%), women’s ankle boots (8%), and men’s boots (8%) generated the higher sales.
For 2023, the representatives of Limitless Agency estimate a growth in ecommerce of around 15%, pointing out that there is room for a double growth in the field. According to them, marketing costs will increase given the increasing competition, recommending online stores to retain their current customers to optimize their costs and increase their sales.