With the increasing popularity of online shopping and its revenue growth, Poland is one of the fastest developing e-commerce markets in Europe, making expansion to Poland a fruitful and attractive decision. Amazon, the e-commerce powerhouse, did precisely that: after announcing in January that sellers could register for its new Polish website going live soon, its Polish store, amazon.pl, was launched on March 2nd.
This is Amazon’s first foray into the Central and Eastern Europe markets. The online retail giant entered a fast-growing Polish e-commerce market, with already entrenched big market players. However, Amazon has a proven playbook strategy and global reach that have already secured success in the past against other established local competitors in other markets.
“Business is not one winner take all – industries rise together. There are tons of green fields ahead – and there will continue to be lots of winners, ” an Amazon spokesman said when asked about the local competitors.
Currently, Amazon already has 9 fulfilment centres in Poland, and the 10th one is planned to be completed this year. Yet until now, it has not directly served Polish consumers, who have had to order using a Polish-language version of Amazon’s German website. However, this Polish-language section did help Amazon to build a picture of what Poles want to buy online and eventually launch Amazon.pl.
The Covid-19 pandemic provided an unprecedented boost for the Polish e-commerce market. Currently, over 38 million people are living in Poland, of which 31.97 million people (84.5%) were internet users in January 2021. Between 2020 and 2021, Poland’s number of internet users increased by 1.3 million (+4.4%) (We Are Social). Nowadays, nearly 80% of internet users in Poland engage in online shopping. Not only shoppers but also third-party sellers shifted online in significant numbers. In 2020, roughly 11,000 new e-commerce websites and online stores were launched in Poland. The number of online purchases, altogether estimated at 22 billion euros, reached a record in Poland last year.
As Amazon has entered the Polish market, it is up against two other e-commerce giants: the Polish Allegro and Chinese Alibaba’s service AliExpress, currently the most popular foreign retail platform in Poland.
Marcin Michalski, an online sales expert, said the following about the Polish market: “What is unique about Poland’s e-commerce market is its structure. Allegro has up to 40% market share, which is much larger than the share of dominant platforms in other neighbouring markets”.
However, Michalski also reasoned: “Amazon has a brand, but has not yet established trust. If it provides a good shipping subsidy program, it may also attract the best sellers,”
With the launch of Amazon.pl, it will be easier for international businesses to increase their reach and sell in Poland, as well as businesses based in Poland to sell their products online.
For a Polish Amazon market strategy, businesses should be aware that, generally, Polish consumers desire to receive value for money. Online Polish shoppers often are highly price conscious and do not mind spending time comparing prices, websites, and special offers before purchasing.
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