December saw a new record increase in the number and value of orders placed online in the stores managed through MerchantPro, the largest local eCommerce platform, by 83 percent and 99 percent respectively, compared to December 2019. The context remained unpredictable and increasingly directed customers to purchase online, gifts, but also food.
The average order value – considering the over 1,500 stores operating on the MerchantPRO SaaS type platform – remained constant at the level of 2020 – RON 225. The largest order registered in December was worth over 40,000 euros.
After 9 months of pandemic, the figures show that Romanians are buying more and more online, whether we are talking about basic necessities such as food, personal care or cleaning, household items or gifts, even investments, in December.
According to MerchantPro data, the last quarter of 2020 saw new increases in the volume and value of online sales. The dynamic was determined by Black Friday sale events – an average increase of 43% over the same period in 2019 – and winter holidays, with an increase of 83% of the number of transactions. Thus, for the more than 1,500 active stores that use the MerchantPro eCommerce solution, the last month of the year brought 99% higher sales than the similar period in 2019.
Romanians continued to exercise caution when shopping offline, especially during the holidays, when they wanted to spend time with family, so they decided to reduce exposure and avoid crowded places. Obviously, the economic context has also generated periods of promotions and constant discounts, the online shopping becoming more and more attractive, especially considering the increased attention to spending, says Arthur Rădulescu, CEO of MerchantPro.
D Day in eCommerce: Monday
The largest order placed in December in terms of value was over EUR 40,000, representing investments in specialized equipment. Considering the volume of an order, the biggest one had 301 food products.
The day with the most orders in December was Monday, December 14, 2020, when 13,082 orders were placed, compared to 2019 when it was December 9, with 7.186 orders, also a Monday.
Mondays are the busiest. Over the weekend, customers have time to think about purchases, compare prices and find out about new products, and on Monday they place the order. It was interesting to note that Romanians placed Christmas orders later in 2020 than in 2019, probably paying more attention to discount campaigns and promotions, but also due to increased flexibility in delivery considering the remote work context, adds Arthur Rădulescu.
According to Merchant Pro data, the most active cities in terms of online dynamics, apart from Bucharest, are Constanța, Cluj-Napoca, Iași and Timișoara.
2021: The year of consolidating the online presence
For 2021, MerchantPro estimates that the pace of online growth will continue to be upward, but more temperate. The dynamic will continue to be positive especially among local retailers, who will massively integrate online into their sales strategy.
Certainly the behavior of customers has changed, and the upward trend will continue, but the increases this year will not be as spectacular. We will continue to see significant positive developments among businesses that will go online, as well as optimizing those that already operate in this segment. For retail, 2021 will be a year of consolidating the online presence, concluded Arthur Radulescu.