m-Commerce and e-Commerce Landscape in CEE and Turkey

March 2, 2017
11 mins read

There are multiple indications that next year’s online Black Friday sales in the US will exceed those on Cyber Monday. This year, the difference was a little over 100 million dollars. The trend has been on the rise for some time now and it’s not the only change we’re seeing. For the second year in a row in the US, during this crucial time, traffic in online stores generated by mobile device users spikes. Same goes for shopping in general, which Americans are increasingly doing via smartphones and tablets. Even though Poles aren’t as keen to shop using mobile devices as Americans, undoubtedly, the upcoming years will belong to m-commerce. For online businesses, it’s both an opportunity and a danger.

A year ago, media were electrified by the information about record-breaking spendings during Cyber Monday by mobile users. The amount mentioned back then was over half a billion dollars. This year was even better. According to MarketWatch.com, Americans bought goods on Cyber Monday worth more than half a billion dollars using smartphones and tablets only. This shows blatantly what the trend is all about and what’s to be expected in Poland also. The trend doesn’t only concern e-commerce either, but is a wider tendency when it comes to online traffic overall. If the developments so far seemed fast to you, the future holds way more in store. Gartner predicts that before the year 2020, there will be 25 billion devices connected to the Internet (we’re going beyond just mobile devices here), Bank of America’s prognosis says that before 2020, the worth of the Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality market will balloon to 150 billion dollars. Moreover, the European Union’s WiFi4EU project is supposed to significantly improve the member states’ access to the Internet and make it more common. Also, add in to the mix the growing interest in online commerce among giants like Google and Facebook. It’d be wise to properly prepare for what’s imminent. Especially, since there’s a lot to gain, but also to lose. Both, clients and money, of course.


As it stems from this year’s “E-commerce w Polsce 2016” report, drawn up by Gemius, the most popular online shopping device in Poland is still a laptop. On the other hand, the number of people buying via desktops is shrinking, although they’re still a major group. Nonetheless, a whole 41% of respondents, who claim to be mobile shopping, has to be drawing the attention of everyone who’s involved in online commerce. People responsible for online stores have to focus not only on optimizing the entire sales funnel, from the moment someone enters the site, until the payment page, post-purchase support, but also on switching up their marketing operations. Especially if we consider the data in the aforementioned report, pointing to smartphone shopping being the domain of women and people who assess their financial situation as being satisfactory. Tablet shopping, on the other hand, is done mostly by men and younger Internet users. Even these rather general details can and should affect the way one runs his communication. Online store managers have to closely watch smartphone shoppers. It was precisely in this group, where the biggest number of people admitted they intend to increase their spendings online in the upcoming year, and at the same time, the fewest number of people are planning to cut back on online shopping. Tablet users, on the other hand, claim they plan to keep their spendings at the same level. Both groups were the most convinced ones and had the fewest doubts when it comes their next year shopping habits. This is yet another proof of the trend – the future of e-commerce is mobile. Even more proof comes with the growing number of business entities interested in mobile payments. It’s best to take care of the future today, though. To be more precise, we were supposed to do it already. As evidenced by multiple users pointing out various flaws with online stores.


Online store customers who buy using mobile devices include the following among the biggest problems they encounter: forms being difficult to fill out, (58%), font being too small (42%), payment processing issues (40%), no mobile app (35%), having to perform too many actions to make the purchase (33%), payment method being not user-friendly (26%). What really should sound the alarm though for online store managers is that up to 52% of respondents simply point to the purchase page not being adjusted to mobile devices. I can tell from my experience that designing an online store is a tall task, even for a seasoned designer. Along with decreasing display resolution, you have to get rid of some of the features that a user can do without and still make a purchase. This process often generates mistakes, which result in making the buying experience extremely annoying, or so unintuitive, that a customer is unable to successfully complete it. It also happens that significant problems arise when trying to integrate a payment system with the mobile version of the store. People with higher education have complained more frequently about two main issues with using mobile devices for online shopping – forms being difficult to fill out and maladjusted pages. Moreover, in both cases, we’ve seen the increase in dissatisfaction from year to year. This is another red flag for online retailers.


It stems from the “E-commerce w Polsce 2016” report that even up to 61% of the respondents admit to initiating the buying process on a smartphone and finalizing it on another device – a desktop or a tablet. It’s a 9% rise in comparison with the previous year. This form of shopping is preferred by 69% of men (a 14% rise) and 54% of women (a 6% rise). Multichanneling is most popular with the 25-32 age group – this was also the case last year, although this year, we saw a 6% rise, which translates into 69% of respondents.

For online store managers, this is a signal that the user has to feel equally comfortable browsing the store on any device. Apparently, that isn’t the case on many occasions. It suffices to look at the most frequent mobile shopping user issues mentioned above. It’s also good to pay attention to how and when online store customers use mobile devices. One of the most frequently mentioned actions is sharing opinions on user experience related to placing an order. This is the moment when a store can stand out head and shoulders above its competition or lose the trust of prospects. Make sure you follow in the footsteps of the best and constantly improve the quality of your customer service. Everyone knows that bad news spread like wildfire. It’s been said that a single dissatisfied customer may share his frustration with 9 other people on average. These days, thanks to social media, such opinions have even wider reach.

There’s another interesting conclusion for marketers stemming from the “E-commerce w Polsce 2016” report. Essentially, it appears that we’re using smartphones more often in the morning, and tablets, on the other hand, in the evening. This poses another challenge for marketing specialists, forcing them to adjust communication even more precisely to the way users behave throughout the day.


On one hand, people responsible for marketing in e-commerce may rejoice. They have at their disposal plenty of very advanced tools to facilitate their work. Each year, the dataset on user behavior grows, and will keep growing, as people tend to agree to share more and more information under certain conditions. On the other, there’s also a growing number of entities, that want to claim their piece of the e-commerce revenue pie. This means an even bigger competition and makes the fight for the user, who not only is no longer passive, but becomes increasingly aware of how the data is being used, even harder. Thus, things become easier and harder at the same time. As always, it’s easier for the big fish, who have more resources to, for instance, employ better data analysts. Gartner predicts that before 2019, 90% of major organizations will have a Chief Data Officer on their payrolls. What about smallers players, though? The problem is that there may simply be not enough people with proper qualifications available, and grabbing a good CDO may be way more difficult that getting a competent programmer. Especially since the market is growing faster than the pool of people ready to work and having the right experience.

In their report titled “The New World of Retail”, MasterCard watching the m-commerce market predicts that Poland has a chance to become the European per capita leader already in 2018. What will also grow in the upcoming years is the worth of the entire e-commerce market. This means more money circulating, but also tougher competition. Especially, since Google and Facebook are coming to claim their piece of the pie as well. Regardless of what’s going to happen though, the stores that will take good care of their users, that is will simplify the buying process as much as they can across multiple devices, with particular emphasis on mobile devices, stores that will provide fast and affordable shipping, as well as deliver excellent post-purchase support, will be doing just fine. Some commercial rules remain unchanged, it’s just that customers become increasingly more demanding and mobile.


No big words are needed to describe role of mobile devices in our daily life, it is simple very powerful. Saying that  I refer to m-commerce not as our future, but current reality with a big growth potential. I’m regular m-customer myself, more often spending time surfing through online stores than crawling around real ones. There is only one exception – food shopping, here I still prefer to touch and smell food and talk to farmer from marketplace as origin of the product is important factor in decision making process. With all the rest like fashion, books, home decorations I have one request only – please show we your standalone app, offer me polished user experience where loading time is not an issue, where app is not crashing and where product presentation from visualization, to product description, navigation itself just look professional.  Investing money in improving customer experience and understanding what drives your mobile performance is crucial for success. Companies in CEE region are still not focusing enough on details when it comes to both mentioned areas and time is not their friend here. – says Vesna Gordon, Board of Directors, International Sales and Marketing Director at Gemius SA

Aproximately 7 out of 10 people are buying online in Baltics. When we analyse behaviour of people who are using also their mobiles devices for shopping, we see that their TOP-3 activities are usage of online maps and applications, paying bills and searching for shops and stores they would  actually like to visit.  So companies could use this knowledge in their advantage by communicating with their potential clients in mobile world more effectively and and the same time beeing available and more accessible to them in the real world. What every single e-shop should know is that people in Baltics who are shopping online with their phones has less patience when it comes to filling out forms and doing large number of operations during the process. And the biggest frustration to customers may happen just by facing simple mistakes from e-shops –  such as usage of too small letters in their mobile version of e-shop and not offering comfortable method of payments. We also observe that with their mobile devices people like to shop for goods and services that have smaller prices, on the other hand we should not forget that significant part of people who start their shopping on mobile device switches to computer to finish the process, which means that the main goal of every company in e-commerce world is just not to interfere with buyers shopping experience – just let them shop when they want, how they want and where they want – says Gryta Balseryte, Regional Manager Baltics at Gemius Baltic

Increasing purchasing power in Turkey and increasing of personal expenditures in accordance with this, is an important factor in the growth of e-commerce. Nevertheless, it can be said that one of the most important reasons for the growth of the e-commerce market in Turkey is the widespread internet usage. The fact that the vast majority of Internet users are credit card users is another key factor contributing to the growth of e-commerce.

There are many factors that influence the growth and growth of e-commerce. At the top of these are the population size, internet usage, payment systems, logistics development are the most prominent points in this issue. If we say that our country is in a very advantageous position in this respect, we will not lie. Moreover, the fact that the logistics and banking sectors, which have an essential qualification for the development of e-commerce, are more developed in our country than in many other countries. Besides, having an advanced banking system and having a credit card as a society is a big influence when we step forward.

First, we compare the years 2015 and 2016, and we can say that the e-commerce volume is growing based on the data. It would be wrong to say that the e-commerce companies that are closing are preventing it from growing. Negative situations can sometimes slow down the growth rate, but there is no stoppage in the e-commerce category thanks to the constantly evolving market. Today, although smartphones and tablets are the focus of everyone’s attention, desktop devices are still a leader in e-commerce sales. It is not interesting that mobile shopping is going to be crowded with the spread of mobile devices. Because the market is saturated with smartphones. However, the worldwide internet is spreading rapidly. Because of the use of fiber lines by base stations and servers receiving mobile signals, 4G mobile broadband communication is spreading rapidly on the internet. For now, only a small fraction of Turkey will get 4G speeds in practice, but this means increasing mobile trade.

Mobile shopping is increasing in countries where only mobile internet is fast. On the other hand, we will look at the products from the mobile and continue to make online shopping on the desktop or laptop. As long as, people use multiple devices to enter the internet, multichannel marketing will remain important to us. We need to wait until 2017 for them to have a significant share in multi-channel marketing. Again, in the e-commerce sector, where competition is very strong in 2017, it will continue to be one of the important objectives to increase the communication and sales of companies with customers. However, in order to succeed in e-commerce, collecting and collecting the right data and using this data efficiently will create a competitive advantage and will continue to be an important aspect of companies sustainability.

In e-commerce, which regularly increases the impact both in the world and in Turkey, the 2017 trends are trying to compare users expectations with new trends according to the needs that are shaped. With more efficient use of new technology tools, e-commerce seems to continue to be popular this year as well. What are the 2017 e-commerce trends?

In 2017, e-commerce ventures also seem to maintain links with multi-channel marketing strategies and customers. Multi-channel marketing strategies such as blog posts, digital marketing and e-mail marketing are likely to be interesting strategies for 2017 traffic to the e-commerce site. Personal marketing strategies have been one of the favorite choices of e-commerce firms in recent times. It is thought that it will be further developed in 2017. Personal marketing strategies that are effective on a wide range of topics from customer specific landing pages to e-mail marketing content addressing personal interests are based on analysis data generated by examining customers previous shopping history and include recommendations. In conjunction with personal marketing strategies, short-term campaigns and opportunities for e-commerce sites are becoming more personalized and become an effective marketing tool. It is planned to catch up sales volume easily with special campaigns to customers. With the increasing popularity of mobile devices, mobile shopping volume also increases. Those who implement mobile adaptation of e-commerce sites are also increasing their mobile sales. Perhaps the most important of the e-commerce processes is the delivery process. Some of the problems in the delivery process are perhaps one of the most negative aspects of e-commerce. 2017 e-commerce trends are determined to improve this process. Fast delivery options such as ‘get to the store’ or same-day delivery in the same city are setting the stage for a significant competitive environment among e-commerce companies. It is clear, that companies that manage customer delivery processes will carry brand awareness to the next level. – says Idil Kesten, Country Manager at Gemius Turkey.

When it comes to the m-commerce, Adriatic region is in its development phase. Gemius 2016 study showed 71% of internet users in Serbia is using their mobile phone to pay for some product or service, but such high number is caused mainly by the mobile parking payment systems. Still, percentage of users buying in online shops using their smartphone is growing (currently it is about 22%), and most of the leading shops understand this trend, providing their customers usage of the responsive websites, or even mobile applications. Such trend is also supported by the influence of foreign platforms popular in the region, and their advanced approach to the mobile user experience. – says Milan Kovacevic, Adriatic Region Manager, Gemius Serbia 

Marek Molicki

Marek Molicki, since 1998 in the online industry. Extremely motivated to reach goals. Ideas deliverer, problems solver, finder of new ways, the doer. Social media fan, public speaker, trainer. Constantly looking for new skills to learn. Impossible is nothing, it's only the question of time and being consequent.
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