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European Ecommerce Overview: Bulgaria

Bulgaria is a Balkan country that borders Romania, Serbia, North Macedonia, Greece, and Turkey. It has access to the Black Sea, too, which is a big pro in the case of tourism. It is the sixteen-largest country in Europe. Bulgaria is a member of the EU and NATO. 

In 2018 Bulgaria was ranked as the most corrupted country in the European Union. That makes the economy of this country a little unstable. Last year its GDP was US$67.93 billion.

In this article, you will read about ecommerce in Bulgaria. What are consumers’ shopping habits? How do they prefer to pay? You will find answers to these and more questions below. Let’s start with a quick overview.

Bulgarian ecommerce overview 

In 2020, it is predicted that ecommerce revenue in this country will hit US$712m. And in five years it is forecasted to grow to the level of US$1,411m. Bulgaria has 2.8 million ecommerce users, which means that user penetration in this market will reach 40% by the end of this year, and in five years, it should hit 58.3%.

The most significant sector in Bulgarian ecommerce is Fashion. It generates 34% of the ecommerce revenue in this country. The second sector in Bulgaria ecommerce is Electronics & Media with 30%. Then comes Toys, Hobby & DIY with 16% of the revenue. The last two are Furniture & Appliances with 13% and Food & Personal Care with 8% of Bulgarian ecommerce revenue.

source: https://ecommercedb.com/en/markets/bg/all

What are the most popular ecommerce stores among Bulgarian consumers? First goes emag.bg with US$46m. It is a Bulgarian marketplace. Then comes remixshop.com, ecommerce with clothes, footwear, and accessories. The third in this ranking is fashiondays.bg –  Bulgarian fashion store. 

Bulgarian consumers behavior

The economic growth in the Bulgarian market has also led to changes in the behavior of Bulgarian consumers. In larger cities, more and more of them show bigger interest in organic, healthy food. The wealthier part of society chooses small local shops over the global supermarket chain. More Bulgarians are also choosing to shop online. Despite the growing interest in online shopping, this market still has considerable growth potential.

Bulgarian consumers are still not 100% convinced when it comes to online shopping. They like personal interaction while shopping so that it may be the reason for this attitude. 

source: https://learning.eshopworld.com/ecommerce-blog/bulgaria-ecommerce-insights-2017/

When it comes to cross-border shopping, the most significant country here is Germany. It generated US$3.88 billion when it comes to the value of sales. The second place belongs to Turkey – US$2.38 billion. Then comes Russia with US$2.32 billion. The last two are Italy with US$2.26 billion, and Romania with S$2.05 billion. 

Payment methods in Bulgaria

When it comes to money, the most popular way to pay is via mobiles. It covers 80% of the Bulgarian payment market. Then comes credit card with 16%. Prepaid cars, bank transfers, and e-wallets have a marginal share.

source: https://www.paymentwall.com/pl/payment-methods/bulgaria

In Bulgaria, Mobiano is a mobile payment solution, thanks to which transactions via mobiles have so many fans. It allows fast payments in 65 countries. Another solution in Bulgaria is MINT. It is a prepaid card solution which allows secure and easy to made payments. It operates worldwide. 

Social media in Bulgaria

There are almost 7 million people in Bulgaria. About 4.7 of them are online, and 3.9 use social media actively. Compared the year 2019 to 2020, there is an 8% increase in the number of social media users. 96% of them use it from mobile devices.

source: https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2020-bulgaria

The most popular social media platform is Facebook. Advertising via this site can reach even 3.5 million users. When it comes to Instagram, you can get to 1.2 million people. Twitter has the smallest reach – 160 thousand. Interestingly, the vast majority of Twitter users are men.

source: https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2020-bulgaria

What is also quite interesting – among Bulgarian consumers, Android devices are more and more popular. They generate almost 90% of web traffic. When it comes to Apple devices – there is a decent decrease (11.8%) in web traffic generated by iOS gadgets. 

Bulgarian logistics 

Bulgaria is a country that connects Western Europe with Turkey, which is a Central Asian country. Unfortunately, both road and rail infrastructure is in poor condition. In 2000, a deal was signed constituting agreements on road freight transport. It also concerns the promotion of combined transport between Bulgaria and the rest of the European community. Despite the signing of such an agreement, the quality of roads and railways have not improved enough. Not only the quality but also their length is insufficient in terms of demand.

In Bulgaria there are two seaports – Burgas’s port, The site, and Varna’s port. There is also one airport in the capital city – Sofia. Both types of transport are commonly used for passenger transport. 

To sum up

For Bulgarians, ecommerce is still something new. They have to get used to online shopping to do it most often. But no worries. If you are planning to enter this market, there is great potential here. Since e-commerce is relatively new to these consumers, being with them from the very beginning will significantly increase brand awareness and build loyalty. 

If you are not convinced about this market, you can read articles about other European countries such as Croatia, Slovakia or Spain.