Development of the e-commerce industry in Poland – what did 2023 bring?

For many years now, the Polish e-commerce industry has been characterised by dynamic annual growth in value. 2023 is likely to be another record year, but there are also important changes taking place in the industry. Which are the most notable?

The Omnibus Directive, a new reality for the e-commerce industry

It is hardly possible to discuss the development of the e-commerce industry in Poland without mentioning the Omnibus Directive. The new legislation, introduced with the aim of providing better consumer protection, has radically changed the reality of online retail.

Main areas of change introduced by the Omnibus Directive:

  • Rules for communicating price promotions – The Omnibus Directive requires retailers using price promotions to inform consumers of the lowest price for the product in the 30 days prior to the launch of the promotion. The aim is to combat fake promotions around Black Friday, Christmas and other peak shopping periods. Among other things, the new law does not apply to loyalty programmes, individual freebies and multi-packs of products.
  • Rules for publishing consumer reviews – Online retailers who publish customer reviews on their website are required to verify them. Product reviews and feedback can only come from customers who have actually made a purchase.
  • New obligations for marketplace platforms – A customer shopping on a marketplace platform should be informed whether the seller is an entrepreneur. There should also be a notice on the website of the marketplace platform informing potential customers of the criteria for listing products on the website, for example as a result of a paid promotion.

Dishonest sellers can be fined up to PLN 40,000.

UOKiK fights fake reviews2

In recent months, there has been increasing media coverage of fines imposed on retailers using fake reviews to promote their offerings. Among the companies that have been put under the microscope are those that use word-of-mouth marketing.

According to the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK), up to 93% of online shoppers make their purchasing decisions based on reviews and comparisons found on the internet.

Shopping habits of Poles in 2023

At the end of the year, Gemius published the results of its periodic survey in a report entitled “E-commerce in Poland 2023“. What interesting conclusions does it contain about the way Poles shop online?

  • Already 79% of internet users buy online, with 75% of them from Polish retailers and 30% from abroad.
  • As many as 19% of consumers buy via social media.
  • 82% of shoppers use parcel machines to collect their orders, which is a very important feature of the Polish e-commerce market.
  • Allegro remains the most popular marketplace platform in Poland, with the level of unaided awareness reaching 86%.
  • The main drivers for online shopping include 24/7 availability and not having to drive to a store (76% of respondents), as well as more attractive prices compared to physical outlets (70%).
  • The top reasons that would encourage customers to shop more often are lower prices and lower delivery costs, each cited by 53% of respondents.
  • The most popular product categories bought online in Poland are clothing and accessories (80%), footwear (67%), cosmetics and perfumes (65%), books, CDs and films (57%), pharmaceuticals (57%), sportswear (53%) and consumer electronics/domestic appliances (50%).