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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 17.07.2019, 01:54

In 2017, Latvia had the highest e-commerce growth in Baltic countries

BC, Riga, 27.12.2017.Print version
Newest data*, published on 15th of December, by European Union Statistics bureau Eurostat about proportion of business turnover online in 2016, where more detailed analysis has been performed by digital marketing agency iMarketings.lv, shows that Latvian e-commerce development indicator** is 9%. Statistics also show that online sales are more developed in our neighbor countries – in Lithuania this indicator is 13% and in Estonia – 16%.

“Data shows that 9% from the turnover in Latvian businesses come from selling products/ services online (both to individuals and businesses). Rest of the turnover (91%) comes from providing these sales through other sources (not online). Even though Latvia’s development indicator in e-commerce is the lowest one from Baltic countries this year, if we look at the growth dynamics between years 2016 and 2015 – we can see that Latvia, with 28.5% growth, is the leader” says Dr. Sergejs Volvenkins, manager of iMarketings.lv digital department. Lithuania’s growth rate was 18.2% and Estonia’s 6.7%.


“It’s clear that lower e-commerce development indicator is beneficial neither for business owners, as they are losing out on profit, nor for the country itself as population has a choice of using foreign online shops for receiving their goods. This way the money is flowing out of the country, the taxes are not being paid. Less developed e-commerce has a negative effect, including countries ability to compete on the international level,” highlights S. Volvenkins.


Following countries have a lower e-commerce development index than Latvia – Romania (8%), Bulgaria (5%), Cyprus (5%) and Greece (4%). Highest e-commerce development indicators are in Ireland (33%), Czech Republic (31%), Belgium (31%), Norway (21%) and Finland (21%). In United Kingdom, where it seems like online purchasing is very popular, this indicator is only 18%, which is two times more than what Latvia’s is.


“Good news is that Latvian business owners right now has a significant opportunity to grow in this online market. By looking at more developed European countries, we can see that we are just taking the first steps in the e-commerce development. The more skilled Latvian business owners will be in online sales, the easier it will be to expand in export markets and compete with their local businesses. But not to forget – the more developed e-commerce in other countries, the stronger the rules of the game become,” says S. Volvenkins. “Unfortunately, for us to overtake our neighbors, business owner incentive and efforts will not be enough. There also must be strong support from the government. They need to create programs/ initiatives that will help to develop the overall e-commerce market.” As a great example he points out one of the Scandinavian country examples, where pupils already when in schools are given practical tasks of creating their first online stores.


*link to the statistics data:

http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/tgm/table.do?tab=table&init=1&language=en&pcode=tin00110&plugin=1

**e-commerce development indicator shows how big is the business turnover from selling products/services online (both to individuals and businesses) against the total business turnover.






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