The end of August marks half a year since the beginning of a conflict with global effects that were also reflected in the dynamics of eCommerce.
The upward trend since the beginning of 2022, sharply interrupted in the last week of February, has been gradually resumed, reaching a peak in the number of orders placed in May, shows the data collected at the level of more than 1,500 online stores that use MerchantPro, a provider of SaaS solutions for eCommerce. Accordingly, in the analysed period, the YOY increase in the number of orders placed was over 10%, with a peak of 24% in the mentioned month. The average order value was 52 euros, an increase of 8% compared to the previous year.
The impact of the conflict in Ukraine was first reflected in end customer purchases, which fell sharply by more than 20% in the last week of February. Even under these conditions, at month level there was an increase of almost 15% in the number of transactions and an increase of over 30% in their value. The upward trend was more tempered in the following months, but maintained an average value of +11% YOY. The lowest growth was recorded in March, due to geo-political uncertainties, and the highest in May, when the number of orders placed on more than 1,500 stores using MerchantPro increased by 24% compared to May 2021.
An increase was also perceived in the average order – which during the analysed period constantly reached values similar to the peak periods of 2021 -, but also in their total value, which increased by over 20% in February – August, compared to the period similar from 2021.
“It was expected that the current political-economic context would have an impact on the global economy and on eCommerce in Romania, and the effects were first seen at the end customer level, which suddenly slowed down the pace of purchases, but for a short period of time. Then it can be seen the impact of the dynamics of global prices, the price increases for transports, utilities, raw materials that are reflected in the total value of orders, which grew at a faster rate than transactions. However, it is obvious that Romanians remain faithful to the digitalised consumption behaviour adopted in the last two years, choosing more and more often to buy online”, stated Arthur Rădulescu, CEO of MerchantPro.
Regarding retailers, especially in the last three months, organically marked by a delay in orders due to the holiday period, it is noticeable a tendency to consolidate the online presence in the backend area, with optimizations and automations that prepare stores for peak periods – discount season, Black Friday and winter holidays.
“Taking into account the period we are going through, when the challenges of maintaining a profitable business are obvious, at the level of stores on the platform there have been more and more requests for process automation, back-office flow optimization, ERP integrations, increasing the speed of site loading with direct impact in the business economy, in conversion and retention. The conflict in Ukraine came with uncertainties, with risks, consumers have become more demanding with online purchases, more careful. Thereby, the focus is on increasing the profitability indicators of online stores, and our effort was, of course, to support the optimization of the platform, to be proactive and one step ahead of the competition”, Arthur Rădulescu also specified.
Among the functionalities recently implemented by MerchantPro with a strong impact on the increase in the sales volume recorded by the stores on the platform are the loyalty programs, the automations dedicated to the creation and launch of personalized promotions, the satellite landing pages that can be created with just a few clicks, the introduction of popular payment methods among consumers, such as Apple Pay, One-Click Payment or Buy Now Pay Later, as well as extensive automation in the order processing and returns segment.
The MerchantPro platform is used regionally and more than 5,000 online stores have used its functionality in its more than 10 years of presence on the market.
MerchantPro is a project of the ShopMania Net company, which addresses eCommerce entrepreneurs from Romania and Europe, through competitive eCommerce functionalities, professional support services and customized solutions, adapted to specific development needs. The number of active online stores using the MerchantPro eCommerce SaaS platform exceeds 1500.