75% of Polish e-commerce entrepreneurs sell their goods not only in Poland but also abroad, and the vast majority (72%) expect an increase in revenue in 2024 compared to 2023, according to a report by fintech company Conotoxia.
Merchants' expectations are in line with analysts' economic forecasts. Consumption is expected to pick up in the coming months and become one of the drivers of economic growth again. This has already been confirmed by Polish retail sales figures for the second half of this year.
"Poland is not the only economy whose condition will definitely improve in the near future, though. The Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary and Bulgaria are the countries where the GDP growth rate in 2024 should accelerate to about 2.5%. Romania will expand even faster. On the other hand, in the eurozone, the growth rate, which in 2023 will be around 0.5%, will not exceed 1% in the following year," says Robert Blaszczyk, Head of Strategic Clients Department at Conotoxia.
First choice - Germany, but emerging markets are worth considering
Among Polish entrepreneurs offering their goods abroad, 53% are opening up to the German market. In turn, 44% enable purchases to customers from the UK, and 35% are trying to establish a presence in the Netherlands. Further places on the list of the most popular directions for foreign expansion of Polish e-commerce representatives are occupied by France - 30%, the USA - 29% and Sweden 27%. Such information is brought by the latest report, 'Global e-commerce in 2024 — Business opportunity or challenge for Polish companies?' prepared by global multi-currency fintech Conotoxia.
"The data collected in our report show that when it comes to planning overseas expansion, online shops most often choose more mature e-commerce markets and developed economies. Meanwhile, slightly less obvious directions, such as the Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary or the Balkans, may prove to be an interesting alternative. These markets are less filled with online shops and goods, which makes the competition for customers a bit easier and marketing costs somewhat lower," explains Robert Blaszczyk of Conotoxia.
Varied customer preferences in different countries
It is not only about price, choice and quality of products available online that matters to online shoppers. Payment methods made available by sellers also play an essential role. The Conotoxia report shows that while BLIK is the clear winner in Poland, chosen in 84% of transactions, consumers outside Poland are most likely to complete transactions using PayPal (44%) and payment cards (38%). Providing methods adapted to the specifics of a given market is a crucial element when planning international expansion.
Internet users' preferences vary considerably from country to country. In Western Europe, the aforementioned PayPal method dominates, with 72% in Germany, 62% in France, 61% in Austria and 61% in Italy. In the Netherlands, however, iDeal is the most popular method, chosen by 58% of respondents. In the US, card payments are as popular as BLIK in Poland, being selected for more than 83% of transactions. Interestingly, cards are even more popular for online shopping in Romania (92%) and slightly less so in Bulgaria (78%).
Confidence in what awaits
The report 'Global e-commerce in 2024 — Business opportunity or challenge for Polish companies?' also contains an important chapter on entrepreneurs' perspectives and expectations for 2024. Optimism dominates. As many as 72% of respondents anticipate an increase in revenue compared to the passing year 2023. Only 1.5% of entrepreneurs expect a decrease in revenue, while a year ago, such a scenario was declared by 7.1% of respondents.
In the fintech report, there is also data on the means by which Polish entrepreneurs want to strengthen their position on foreign markets. 53% of respondents indicate to devote expenditure on marketing activities, and 19% on logistics. Also ranked on the podium and indicated by 11% of entrepreneurs are payment methods, including those in foreign currencies. This is followed by 9% of merchants declare investments in product development and 8% in additional language versions of the online shop.
Gateway to accept payments in different currencies as an important factor
'The Global e-commerce in 2024 — Business opportunity or challenge for Polish companies?' report was conducted with the participation of online shop owners using Conotoxia Pay. This payment gateway accepts payments in different currencies. Conotoxia's offer for business is particularly appreciated by merchants concerned with cost efficiency or conducting foreign expansion, whose customers from different countries prefer to pay with their local currency on favourable terms. With Conotoxia Pay, a shop can flexibly accept payments in the currency of its choice (e.g. euros), while at the same time giving shoppers the option of paying in the currency of their card or bank account, for example, US dollars. Payment methods currently available through Conotoxia Pay include fast online bank transfers, BLIK, cards (Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club and others), PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Trustly, Skrill, Vipps, Rapid Transfer or iDEAL. Windows for those paying via Conotoxia Pay are available in Polish, English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Czech, Romanian, Norwegian and Dutch.
The survey was conducted by Conotoxia using the CATI method in September 2023 among a sample of 489 entrepreneurs who run an e-commerce business/use the Conotoxia Pay payment gateway. The report was produced entirely by the fintech company Conotoxia.
The entire report 'Global e-commerce in 2024 — Business opportunity or challenge for Polish companies?' is available here for free:
Payment services are provided by Conotoxia Sp. z o.o., with Polish Financial Supervision Authority permit no. 30/2015.