Serbs have more trust in online shopping: clothes, toys and furniture top the list of purchased items

Online shopping in Serbia is undoubtedly growing, with about 1.8 million people engaging in online shopping in the country in 2019. They mainly bought clothes and sporting goods, followed by household goods, furniture, toys, hotel accommodation and holidays.

Last year, online shopping increased by 32.8 per cent compared to 2018, Tatjana Matic, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Commerce, Tourism and Telecommunications, told Tanjug news agency, based on data from the National Statistical Office.

“In November, the Serbian National Bank revealed that the total payment transactions for the online purchase of goods and services in 2019 amounted to 12.3 billion dinars, which is a significant leap from last year,” Matic said.

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According to her, and relative to 2018, this is an increase in the online trade of 32.8%, a 118% increase compared to 2017, and 302% relative to 2016. Matic points out that, year-on-year, online payment transactions are becoming increasingly dominant in Serbia. Just over 1.8 million people in the country have made online purchases in the last year, an increase of 18% compared to the previous year.

“We believe that this increase is significant, but it is not enough and there is ample room to increase both the number of online shoppers and the number of online payment transactions,” Matic said.

She underlined that the Ministry will work on boosting online shopping in line with the action plan adopted by the Serbian government to promote e-commerce. In addition, the development of electronic commerce will also allow new rules under the new Commerce Law, which introduces the terms “electronic shops” and “electronic platforms”.

In addition, the amendments to the E-Commerce Law introduce mechanisms to prevent fraud and deception of citizens, since it is now forbidden to send unsolicited commercial messages. The fines range from 20,000 dinars (for small vendors) to 100,000 dinars for legal entities.

The new Postal Services Law, which came into force on 8th November, will also help to protect online shoppers because it requires the postal operator to identify the sender when the package is received, so that online traders will now have to take extra careful what has been ordered, sent and paid for.

The figures also show that up to 63% of products purchased online in 2019 were sports goods and clothing, followed by household goods, furniture and toys 37.9% and holiday accommodation 25.3%.

Online shoppers also purchased electronic equipment, tickets for cultural events, books / magazines / newspapers, telecommunication services, pharmaceuticals, games, movies, music, and hardware, while 6.3% online purchases related to food and food products.

(B92, 02.01.2020)





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