Provisional estimates put electronic commerce turnover in Greece at 11 billion euros last year, posting an annual jump of 35%, Athens University for Economics and Business Professor Giorgos Doukidis told the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry board, adding that this is likely to grow to the annual amount of €15 billion soon.
At the same time, the data from the Institute of Commerce and Services of the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (INEMY ESEE) show a major lag by small commercial enterprises (the majority in the economy) in this matter. Only 29% of companies that stopped operating have turned to online sales over this sales window, with the rest turning to telephone sales or making no sales at all.
The INEMY ESEE data reflect the deepening gap between small and large retail market players, mainly due to the low degree of the smaller companies’ digital transformation. Remarkably, larger companies have suffered revenue losses of just 10%-20% over the winter sales thanks to their online stores.
According to Professor Doukidis, three in every five internet users (60%) performed at least one purchase last year, up from 30% in 2019. There was also a huge increase in online sales across some product categories last year, with food product sales jumping 11 times higher from the year before.
Doukidis further highlighted the entry into the Greek e-commerce sector of many new enterprises, even from outside the country’s main cities, that have managed to cover the needs of customers living around the country, serving them rapidly. On the other hand, he added, only 40% of users who made online purchases said they were satisfied, as they often ran into product availability problems and delays in deliveries.
Among the sector’s new players there also are eight startups that became involved in the delivery business, with three of them doing an exceptional job, according to Doukidis, and grabbing a significant market share from established courier companies.
He went on to predict that the number of companies with an organized online sales channel, whether or not it is combined with a brick-and-mortar store, could reach 25,000 soon.