After several years of dynamic growth, Hungary’s online retail trade volume continued to rise in 2015. Surpassing the psychological limit of HUF 300 billion (~EUR 963 million) for the first time, the net turnover reached HUF 319 billion (~ EUR 1024 million). The ratio of the e-tail sector increased to 4.1% of the total retail turnover, meaning that one in every HUF 25 was spent online in 2015. These are the conclusions of the latest survey by eNET Internet Research Co., conducted among webshops. The research results were announced at a conference organized by the Association for E-commerce – SzEK.org.
Figure 1: Hungary’s net online retail trade volume
Source: supply-side online retail research by eNET, May 2016
Steady growth in the e-tail sector
The previous years’ growth trends lingered in the online retail sector in 2015. The net trade volume went up by 17%, while the share of the e-tail sector within the overall retail trade rose by 0.4 percentage point last year. In addition, the average cart size increased as well; compared to HUF 10,000 (~EUR 32.4) in 2014, this figure reached a record-high HUF 11,400 (~EUR 36.6) in 2015.
Hungarians still enchanted by cash
As to payment methods, webshops usually offer cash payment upon delivery, bank transfer, and cash payment in a shop / site / office. Cash payment remained the most popular payment method amongst online shoppers, i.e. cash still dominates in Hungary.
Courier services still in the lead
As to delivery methods, courier services still lead by a very comfortable margin. This delivery method is available in nine out of 10 webshops. It is followed by personal collection in a shop, and personal collection at staffed stores operated by partners. As in previous years, the no. 1 delivery method based on the total value of the transactions was delivery by courier services, with a 42% share.
Figure 2: availability of delivery methods in webshops
Source: e-commerce logistics survey by eNET, May 2016
More Hungarian shoppers buy from foreign webshops
About 84% of regular Internet users bought articles from domestic webshops in 2015, and 35% from foreign online stores (as well). This confirms the expectations of webshops who predicted last year that the number of online shoppers would go up considerably. But it’s not only the number of online shoppers that went up in the past year, but also more Hungarians buy goods from abroad. The number of online shoppers increased by 4% in 2015, while the number of customers using foreign webshops rose by 14%. People who ordered items from abroad mostly bought clothing and sportswear, as well as information technology devices, watches and jewellery from foreign webshops.
Online trade boom continues
Hungarian e-traders still expect more online customers and transactions for the next three years, as well as an increasing share of purchases initiated with mobile devices. Even though the growth of online retail trade has slowed down somewhat compared to 2014, this is mostly attributable to the fact that the base figures are higher and higher. So there is no reason for concern: the net e-tail volume will probably continue to go up in the next 3-4 years, with no major barrier currently in sight. In view of e-commerce trends in Western countries, there is still ample room for growth and progress.