E-commerce is growing again

How can merchants make the most of the recovery?

E-shop owners have had very turbulent years. After the unprecedented covid growth of e-commerce came a return to economic reality, war and ultimately two years of decline, which many players paid the price. Fortunately, the early months of 2024 brought a long-awaited recovery. E-commerce has finally seen year-on-year growth and the figures show that Czech shoppers have regained the courage to buy.  


For example, according to data from Heureka, the volume of online purchases was 4% higher year-on-year, with a slight increase in the average order amount. According to Heureka, one average purchase was worth CZK 1,512, which shows that people have partially got rid of their fears and started shopping again after long months. The positive trend is also confirmed by data from the Association for Electronic Commerce (APEK). According to its statistics, people spent less than CZK 4,000 per month in the first quarter of this year. In April 2024, it was already CZK 4,700 on average, which is a significant increase compared to previous months. 


Moreover, APEK is optimistic about the outlook for the rest of this year: ‘We are convinced that after two challenging years, our e-commerce will once again grow significantly year-on-year. I expect that the increase in turnover for goods sold will be at least in the higher single-digit percentages compared to last year,” says APEK CEO Jan Vetyška. 


Growth is not a given, make the most of the recovery

However, a market recovery does not automatically mean that all Czech e-shops will thrive. Czech e-commerce is extremely competitive, and Czech retailers have to compete not only with 50,000 other e-shops, but increasingly also with online marketplaces such as Allegro, Amazon, Temu, SHEIN and others. Success in the coming months will therefore certainly not come alone. How to meet it?  


 1. Credibility, security, loyalty


A key parameter for success with customers is credibility. This is based on a number of parameters, such as the design of the e-shop itself, the real availability of products, the speed and reliability of delivery, but last but not least the design of the payment process. The payment process itself is perceived very sensitively by customers and a bet on a quality payment gateway is undoubtedly worthwhile.  


If a customer can be sure that they can always pay for their goods in a few clicks, using the method that suits them and without fear of their payment details being misused, their willingness to buy (and repeat purchases) increases significantly. So when building an e-shop, be careful not only what services you provide yourself, but also what partners you choose. Their quality and credibility also have a major impact on your success. 


The credibility of an e-shop is also undoubtedly influenced by how you approach marketing communication, whether you do not overwhelm the customer with irrelevant messages, or whether the shopper is sure that their contact information will not be misused. So don’t take security lightly. The reputational impact of leaking personal data, or even payment information, is huge and the damage done to your customers’ loyalty can be irreparable. 


 2. Quick checkout significantly increases conversion


Many e-shops play on the fact that they are able to bring a large number of visitors to their e-shop thanks to marketing tools of all kinds, but fail to convert them into paying customers who actually buy in the e-shop. Again, the reasons for this can range from poor product descriptions, to long delivery times or expensive shipping, to a complicated checkout process.  


The process of checkout, i.e. completing the order and making the payment, must therefore be as easy, intuitive and fast as possible. Again, a quality payment gateway and a range of relevant payment methods play an important role. So don’t be afraid to go to the trouble of setting up the most suitable payment methods, whether it’s classic card payments, payment buttons for quick transfers, mobile wallets such as Apple Pay or Google Pay or deferred payments. Customer preferences vary greatly and it would be a shame to lose a shopper just because they didn’t find their preferred way to pay for their order in the few seconds they decided to spend visiting your e-store.   


 3. Effective expansion with an emphasis on local needs


During any economic growth, it is crucial not to be lulled by success and to invest in the future. In the case of an e-commerce business, such an investment can be, for example, foreign expansion. And again, a crucial element of success is always choosing the right partner for the area.  


So don’t underestimate the payments issue either, and bet on a player that allows you to easily start selling in virtually any market in the world, offering country-relevant payment methods, local currency payment support and trusted security to help you overcome customer concerns in a market where they don’t yet know you. With its local expertise and global reach, PayU can be the perfect partner for you to manage expansion and leverage the months of growth into taking your business to the next level.  


Don’t be lulled to complacency

While it may be tempting to enjoy some peace and quiet after the challenging months, don’t let yourself be lulled into complacency. Market growth doesn’t necessarily mean success for everyone, and on the contrary, it can easily be the case that growth will only accelerate the unravelling of the imaginary scissors between those who are successful and those who are missing the train. Remember to keep pushing your business, review every part of the business process and work on the user experience. We’d love to help you do that.