Online transactions have been steadily growing in Romania even before the pandemic hit. By the end of 2019, Romanian e-commerce brought in 4.3 billion €, +20% over the previous year. Back in March, the country’s e-commerce was up 25% in orders YoY and up 22% in AOV YoY.
Specific industries are seeing unprecedented growth in online transactions. E-commerce for utilities has doubled. Grocery stores, restaurants, and apparel and accessories brands have tripled growth. But the biggest gains belong to home improvement and supplies, which has grown 10X during the pandemic.
Matching the global trends of increased mobile and contactless transactions, Visa Romania reported that during April, online Visa payments increased by 50%.
Visa Romania Country Manager, Elena Ungureanu describes the shift: "Online shopping and accepting cashless payments are no longer just a convenience but a necessity in the current context defined by so many restrictions imposed by COVID-19. We are witnessing a real change in consumer behavior, as almost 1 in 7 Visa cardholders in Romania, who usually didn’t pay online, has made an online purchase by card for the first time after the Coronavirus outbreak."
Since COVID-19 has forced brands to accelerate digital transformation, many Romanian retailers are going all in on online shopping. That often means increasing warehouse space, with some brands (like the home improvement and supplies category) expecting to expand by as much as 50%.