5 min. reading

Key Factors For Successful E-shop Expansion In Romania And Hungary

The development of e-commerce has brought new challenges and opportunities to the world. Expanding e-shops abroad is one of the ways to grow your business. Romania and Hungary offer attractive markets for merchants with great potential for success. In this article, we will explore the key factors to consider when successfully expanding e-shops to these countries.

Key Factors For Successful E-shop Expansion In Romania And Hungary
Source: Depositphotos

If you’ve decided to get ahead of the competition and take your online business to the next level, expansion is the way to go.

Development and direction of Hungarian and Romanian e-commerce

Romanian and Hungarian e-commerce is constantly developing. Let’s take a look at some key figures to confirm this.

Figures published by the European Statistical Office (Eurostat) show that between 2012 and 2022, the biggest increases in online shopping will be in Estonia (47 percentage points), Hungary (43 pp), the Czech Republic and Romania (both 41 pp).

Hungarian e-commerce is growing very fast – in 2019 it will be worth €2.2 billion, up 17% on the previous year. Hungarian e-commerce is expected to grow by up to 7% per year until 2025.

As for Romanian e-commerce, the market value is expected to double in about 10 years. The developing market was worth €6.2 billion in 2021, and according to estimates by ARMO and GPeC, the market value reached €6.3 billion in 2022.

Cultural and linguistic issues affecting expansion

Understanding cultural and linguistic differences is the most important element when expanding into foreign countries. At the same time, it is important to adapt to local preferences and idioms so that customers feel that the e-shop is trustworthy.

A few years ago, Hungarian customers preferred Hungarian products and bricks-and-mortar stores. However, the situation was influenced by Covid-19, and between 2020 and 2021 the Hungarian e-commerce market grew by up to 23%, which shows that Hungarian customers’ trust in foreign e-shops has also increased. Today, Hungarian customers have no problem ordering online, if the e-shop is trustworthy, of course.

Romanian customers can be easily recognised – they look at reviews before almost every purchase. Hungarians, but also Romanians, often use price comparisons to help them choose the best products.

Our more than 6 years of experience in international expansion has taught us a lot. So what do Romanian and Hungarian shoppers have in common? Both groups are keen to receive customer support in the local language, which is a fundamental pillar of successful expansion. As these are countries with their own unique language and minimal similarity to other languages, it is important to think about quality language support.

If you decide to expand, make sure your customer support is fluent and clear in the local language. Whether it’s email or phone communication, complaint handling and so on. Local language staff give customers credibility and they are not afraid to order goods on that basis.

Source: Depositphotos

Key factors for expansion – how to adapt your e-shop to be attractive to the target country

A thorough analysis of the local market is essential before embarking on expansion. Customer preferences, competition, social and economic trends all influence the success of an e-shop. What is the main challenge? Identifying potential requests and tailoring the range to the customer.

The e-shop needs to be tailored to the chosen expansion market as much as possible. Accurate and professional translation of product descriptions, text, terms and conditions and other information on the site is essential.

Efficient logistics and reliable delivery are an integral part of a successful e-shop expansion. Providing customers with clear information on the status of their order, shipping goods to a local address or making it easy to return goods all contribute to customer satisfaction. The shortest possible delivery time is a matter of course.

Not forgetting personalised payment options. Taking into account preferred payment methods is essential. The security of payment transactions should also not be underestimated. Offering several payment options increases customer confidence.

When it comes to payment, Hungarian customers still prefer cash on delivery. Payment by card comes in second. The Romanians are similar. Cash on delivery is the most used payment method (31%), followed by online payment by card (26%). They also use digital and mobile wallets (23%), bank transfers (19%) and other methods.

There is also a legal aspect. A key factor in expansion is compliance with local laws. This includes registering as a foreign vendor, meeting tax obligations or ensuring data protection in line with local standards.

The bottom line

Expanding an e-shop into Romania and Hungary offers many opportunities, but requires careful preparation and adaptation to the chosen market. Key factors include cultural understanding, a tailored website, good logistics, payment options, and legal compliance. These are the cornerstones of a successful expansion, which can pave the way for e-shops to reach new markets and grow.


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