Poland leads European e-commerce growth

NOTTINGHAM - Analysts project a 24% hike in online sales in 2012 in a growing economy. A vibrant economy and growing Internet access are fueling a boom in e-commerce in Poland.

The Centre for Retail Research, a U.K.-based retail research and consulting firm, predicts Poland will register the fastest growth in European e-commerce this year, with a 24% hike in e-retail compared to a European average of 16.1%.

Shopping search engine Kelkoo also is projecting 24% growth in e-commerce in Poland, to 5.59 billion euros (US$7.4 billion) from 4.50 billion euros (US$6 billion). “Poland is getting in on the action, with the biggest increase in online sales in Europe,” says Kelkoo. “Following 33.5% sales growth between 2010 and 2011, a hike of 24% is expected in 2012.”

Poland still has a long way to go to catch up with more developed e-commerce markets in Western Europe. The country ranked last in online retail sales in 2011 in Kelkoo’s analyst of 13 European nations, that also included the Western European countries of Belgium, Germany, France, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Norway. And Poland remains far behind Europe’s e-commerce leader, the United Kingdom, where online retail sales will reach 67.4 billion euros (US$90 billion), Kelkoo projects.

Even in Poland, e-commerce is just starting to become a major factor. Online sales will represent just 3.8% of overall retail revenue in Poland in 2012, up from 3.1% last year, Kelkoo says. But the growth is unmistakable. It is driven in part by...

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