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The Warsaw Voice » Business » January 26, 2012
Business & Economy
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Online Shopping on the Rise
January 26, 2012   
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A growing number of consumers in Poland are doing their shopping online, according to a report by the ARC Market and Opinion Research Institute for the Nokaut SA Group, a leading Polish e-commerce company and owner of price comparison websites.

The report is based on a survey of online shoppers which shows who active e-shoppers are, what they buy online and under what circumstances they make their shopping decisions. The report found that more than 50 percent of those surveyed have been buying online for at least two years and that one in four respondents makes more than 10 online purchases a year.

Men outnumber women among those buying products and services online, but this may change soon because the number of female online shoppers is growing at a faster rate. Those aged 25-34 are the most active group among online shoppers, with 16.4 percent of them having bought more than 20 products or services online over the previous year and 27.4 percent having bought between 10 and 20 products or services. Those aged 35-50 also buy many goods and services via the internet. Over the previous year, 15.5 percent of them bought more than 20 products online, and 25.9 percent bought between 10 and 20 products. Regardless of the age group, consumers living in large cities with a population of more than 500,000 are the most active online shoppers. However, the correlation between the size of the city and the intensity of online shopping is growing weaker because consumers in smaller cities and villages are becoming increasingly active in this respect.

Those shopping in online stores have a high opinion of these stores’ product range and of the quality of their services. Online shoppers say they particularly value a wide range of products, convenience, low prices, time efficiency, and the fact that they can find out what other users think about specific products and retailers. They also appreciate the fact that online shopping is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Consumers eagerly take advantage of this opportunity, buying online mainly in the evening after they have returned home from work or over the weekend.

Price comparison sites help buyers choose products from the wide range available online. Such sites are used by 83 percent of those surveyed, with 30 percent using them at least once a week. Price comparison sites are popular because they enable users to quickly check the basic criteria which are important in making a decision to buy. In the case of most products, the price is the most important criterion for those surveyed. Other important criteria include the cost of delivery, other users’ opinions about a specific store, product details given on the website, the range of products on offer, and the available forms of delivery and payment.

Young people aged 18-24 mostly buy clothes and shoes via the internet. Those aged over 24 mostly buy books, CDs, films, furniture, household appliances, radio and television equipment, garden accessories and automotive products. Online stores are also attractive outlets for those looking to buy all kinds of gifts, including Christmas presents; 81 percent of those surveyed said they buy gifts online.

The good news for the Polish e-commerce market is that it attracts a growing number of young people. Almost 10 percent of those aged 18-24 buy more than 20 products online a year.

Online shoppers are becoming increasingly internet-savvy, making well-informed purchase decisions. They skillfully use tools designed to make online shopping easier, such as price comparison sites, consumer forums and various forms of payment offered by online stores.

The survey also shows that consumers have a generally positive view of online shopping. Another piece of good news is that those surveyed want to continue buying online in the future and to do so more often than at present. Ninety-one percent of those surveyed say they would not hesitate to recommend this form of shopping to their family and friends.
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