Romanians Remain Cautious About Online Shopping - Study

Romanians are cautious regarding online shopping, believing it a risky process, says the study of Internet users, by Gemius Group.

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Romanians Remain Cautious About Online Shopping - Study

According to the study, although Romanians Internet users are aware of the multitude of options provided by the Internet to shoppers, their personal experience is quite limited. Only 54% of the participants said they have shopped online at least once.

The share of online shoppers is the lowest among women. A comparison to a similar study carried out in 2009 shows that this share increased only 4%, meaning the popularity of e-commerce has remained virtually constant in Romania. On the other hand, it has great growth potential, as fewer and fewer users doubt the security of online transactions.

This year, almost 44% of the respondents aware of online shopping believe it is risky, compared to 2009, when doubters made up half of Romanian Internet users. A significant share of those polled said this type of shopping is less time-consuming and more than 30% said it is cheaper than traditional shopping.

When shopping, Romanian Internet users focus on buying the best-quality products for the lowest price. Another important factor is the pleasure of shopping, which women favor more than economic factors.

Although Romanians have limited experience with online shopping, they frequently use the Internet to obtain information before certain purchases. More than half of Internet users search for information online before buying plane tickets or holidays.

Experienced online shoppers prefer to buy from online stores rather than auction sites or classified ad sites. Over 65% have bought at least once from an online store, having chosen this option mainly because the products are delivered to their home. Electronics and home appliances are among the most popular products bought this way.

Auction sites are much less popular than online stores - despite their low prices, users are aware of the drawbacks: possibly false information and fake products.

According to Raluca Georgescu, Country Manager of Allegro Group Romania, "the e-commerce market in Romania is still at its early stage, but it is continuously growing as online shopping is gaining more and more popularity among internet users. The recent expansion of group buying websites in Romania is also helping to boost e-commerce activities."

"We expect new offline players to come online in the next 2 years, helping develop the market overall. New products facilitating and securing online payments will help to overcome the main obstacle which is the lack of trust and thus will contribute to the e-commerce development in Romania," says Raluca Georgescu.

The study was conducted in Romania, for Romanian Allegro Group, by Gemius and IIBR (Interactive Institute for Market Research) in partnership with Rol.ro, Ejobs, Digital4 and Internet Corp. "The main aim of the research was to identify the attitudes and usage preferences of Romanian internet users regarding online shopping behaviour in e-shops and on e-auctions," says the report published Tuesday.

"The research was conducted with the use of the CAWI method (computer-assisted web interviewing). The data was collected in the period from the 20th and 25th of May 2011. The final sample consisted of 1,500 questionnaires completed by Romanian internet users aged 15 and above. The structural data was taken from Mercury, November 2010."

Gemius is an international research agency, originating in Poland and now spread across the EMEA region, operating on thirty markets. The company offers professional research solutions, analytical and advisory services, from site-centric and user-centric studies to technologically-advanced tools for studying internet user behaviour on chosen websites (gemiusTraffic), internet user socio-demographic profiles (gemiusProfile), the quality of WWW page usage (gemiusUsability) and the effectiveness of internet advertising campaigns (gemiusEffect). Gemius also conducts research related to subjects submitted by customers (gemiusAdHoc). Apart from the above-mentioned research services, Gemius offers studies on the behaviour of users who view online multimedia content (gemiusStream) and a research tool for immediate measurement and presentation of all clicks made by internet users on a website (gemiusHeatMap).

Since 2004, IIBR is a dedicated Market Research branch of Gemius International Group, which specializes in combining both direct response indicators (measured with site-centric approach) as well as more classical marketing ones (collected with the use of online questionnaires). The company focuses on high-quality, ethical research and adheres strictly to the codes of conduct developed by ESOMAR.

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