When you think about Romania you need to have in mind that it is the seventh most populous member of the European Union and its capital Bucharest is the sixth largest city in the EU. And this implies a lot of consumers!
Romanians use to pay cash-on-delivery, but when it comes to utilities payments, travel, event tickets and other online services, paying using cards is the preferred method.
Romania is one of the bigger ecommerce industries in Southeastern Europe. In 2016, Romanian people spent 5 million EUR daily for online shopping. With a population of 19.5 million people of which 62% uses the internet and 2 million of these internet users shop online.
According to a recent studies, Romanians prefer to shop on Tuesday and Wednesday, in the second part of the day. Romania is in a continuous change and you need to keep an eye on the trends if you want to have them as customers, because Romanians really like new things/trends.
*the figures represent only etail (tangible goods sold online) and do not include services, bill payments, plane tickets, event tickets, hotel reservations, travel etc.
In Romania, ecommerce share in total retail is approx 4%. Have in mind that in Czech Republic the share is around 24%, in Denmark 24% and in UK 14%. There’s a lot of space to grow in Romania.
The reasons for such a low share of ecommerce are: relatively low rate of credit card ownership and the prevalence of online fraud and cybercrime.
According to Consummner Report 2016, Romanian people use mobile phones primarily for Social Networking, E-Mail, Content Video viewing, Browsing and Gaming, in this order. “Mobile” was the star actor of 2016 and it continues the trend in 2017. Optimising the online shop mobile user experience and loading time should be the main focus.
Legal requirements for eshops in Romania
Romanian legal requirements for eshops are prepared based on the European regulations. So, in order to meet the requirements, two important things need to be implemented, if you want to avoid a fine or legal issues about return period and policy :
- every online store needs to have on the web page the information regarding the online dispute resolution. When a consumer has a problem with a trader regarding a product/service he bought, he can settle his dispute out-of-court through an Alternative Dispute Resolution procedure. Without this information, the seller can receive a fine 2.000 - 5.000 RON (440 - 1.100 EUR).
- informations related to return policy have to be presented. According to the Romanian laws, a period of 14 days since the acquisition (since the delivery is considered for online stores) has to be provided for products return. If the seller wants to extend the period, it’s up to his decisions, but the minimum required period is 14 days. Also the seller has to provide (from the beginning) the return form (physical or on the web page), otherwise the period can be extended to an year.
RON or LEI
A frequently issue found on eshops is the Romanian currency used in order to express the prices of the products. The Romanian LEU is the currency of Romania. (Leu means "lion"). In 2005, the currency was denominated and the old Romanian leu was named ROL and new Romanian leu was named RON. The purpose of this two terms was to make the distinguish between those two periods, but unfortunately the term RON was taken over and now it is used in a wrong way. You can find this mistake so often! So, the Romanian official currency is LEU and the plural is LEI.
Romania has plans to adopt EURO and the earliest feasible date for euro adoption is 2020.
Thinking about exporting to Romania with online store? Stay tuned for next blog post about exporting to Romania with important things to implement in your CMS!