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Bulgaria E-commerce Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

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  • 101 Pages
  • August 2022
  • Region: Bulgaria
  • Mordor Intelligence
  • ID: 5601233
The Bulgaria E-Commerce market is becoming increasingly pervasive in the economies of European Union countries. Bulgaria has about 772,000 online retailers, and the number continues to grow. About 60% of online purchases come from international sources. About 41% of sellers are from the EU, and 19% are from other countries. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.8% during the forecast period (2022 - 2027).

Key Highlights

  • Economic growth in the Bulgarian market has also changed the behavior of Bulgarian consumers. More cities are showing great interest in organic and healthy foods in big cities. The wealthier part of society prefers smaller local stores to global supermarket chains. More Bulgarian people are also shopping online. Despite growing interest in online shopping, this market still has significant growth potential. Bulgarian consumers are not yet 100% sure about online shopping.
  • The use of applications for mobile e-commerce has increased, especially last few years. It provides a quick and easy way to buy goods and services. Excellent broadband network coverage and 3G and 4G services make it very attractive. All major e-stores have developed mobile applications that complement their customers.
  • The popular payment method is mobile, covering 80% of the Bulgarian payments market. For instance, Mobiano is a mobile payment solution in Bulgaria. Another solution in Bulgaria is MINT, a prepaid card solution that allows users to make secure and easy payments.
  • Digital marketing technologies and methods such as search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing, display advertising, and digital campaigns make products, goods, and services more popular, and target audiences and are widely used in Bulgaria, leveraging the e-commerce market in the coming days.
  • Bulgaria has the lowest percentage of online purchases in the EU. Unlike neighboring countries, where e-commerce is booming, many retailers are not sustainably profiting from an online shift during a COVID-19 pandemic.

Key Market Trends

Food and Personal Care market on rise in the country

  • Food and beverage e-commerce remained in the top performance category of Bulgarian e-commerce in 2021. During the reporting period before the pandemic, the growing demand for a busy lifestyle and convenience was the main driver of Bulgarian food and beverage e-commerce. On the other hand, Bulgarian online grocery stores have grown by more than 100% after orders have increased since the pandemic.
  • More online grocery retailers compete in high-speed commerce and are often affiliated with high-speed delivery apps. For example, Glovo, a local partner of the German hypermarket Kaufland, acquired food panda in Bulgaria and Romania, a delivery service previously owned by Delivery Hero in 2020.
  • Companies in the country are focused on expanding the e-commerce market through investments and collaborations. For instance, in April 2021, Bulgarian funding agency HR Capital invested EUR 250 million in local online grocery store eBag.bg through subscribing for 730 everyday stocks from the capital growth of the local agency Convenience.
  • Further, in 2022, HR Capital will strictly adhere to its publicly introduced funding policy - participation in revolutionary generation companies and growing its interest with maximum success investments.
  • According to the European Cosmetics industry, the cosmetics and personal care market is thriving in Bulgaria, growing over 6%, primarily due to increased consumer power. New product launches, increased brand availability, updated marketing campaigns, and more westernization have dramatically changed attitudes and demand for higher-end, specialty cosmetics, with many adopting mobile phones. Highly digitized, it is revitalizing the e-commerce market.

Growth of Internet and Online Payments during COVID-19 Pandemic

  • In Bulgaria, pandemics have exponentially increased digital shopping and consumption, involving users previously excluded from this trend. This decline in business was partially offset by the massive adoption and demand for card payments online and in-store, within the limits of international travel, which contributes significantly to transactions worldwide. Users were looking for a safer, faster, and more convenient way to pay for goods, where COVID-19 dominates.
  • In March 2021, Norwegian financial technology group Settle entered the Bulgarian market by launching an instant mobile payment application in Bulgaria. The Settle Group will operate through Settle Bulgaria, a local entity established as a joint venture with a local strategic partner. Bulgaria is the third country where the Settle Group will establish an entity and the 22nd market in Europe where the Settle application works. With this application, individual users can instantly send, receive and manage money from their mobile phones.
  • Similarly, in July 2021, Paysafe, a UK-based online payment company, announced that it opened a new office in the coastal city of Varna, Bulgaria. About 40 employees are already working in the new location. The company plans to increase the number of employees by placing 40 new employees in the office. The office is located in the Varna Towers building and offers 1,600 square meters of office space. These expansions by the online payments companies will
  • The fashion sector has seen some improvements, especially concerning homeware, but demand for other types of shoes and garments remains low. However, most respondents pointed out that the accelerated digitization of businesses in Europe due to the COVID-19 pandemic will lead to continued growth in the e-commerce sector, which companies and consumers similarly promote. This leverages the e-commerce market in the country as well.
  • Increasing demand for high-value / high-value products creates more import opportunities. The growing food processing industry is looking for new imported food ingredients. The movement of people from rural areas to urban areas is progressing rapidly. The usage of mobile payments and online ordering of food and grocery has increased, especially during the pandemic.
  • The Bulgarian market is accessible from the sea and has an efficient domestic distribution network. Marketing and advertising costs are relatively low. Consumer habits are changing towards higher quality and healthy foods, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

Competitive Landscape

The Bulgaria E-Commerce Market is moderately competitive with various players in the market. The e-commerce market in the country is seeing the highest growth in various industries due to the high adoption of mobile phones and digitization. Also, newcomers in the market are innovating new technological solutions to retain the market share.
  • January 2022 - The Dutch trading platform group OLX announced it would work with Romanian technology startup Innoship to improve the order processing process in Romania, Bulgaria, and Portugal. With Innoship, OLX will benefit from rapid onboarding of courier services in each market and real-time visibility throughout the delivery process. In addition, this partnership provides centralized dashboards to monitor and report on multiple performance indicators, providing instant access to various pickup and drop-off locations previously unavailable to OLX users.
  • November 2021 - eMAG's third showroom in Bulgaria welcomed its first customers at Level +1 Plovdiv Mall Plovdiv. After two locations in Sofia, the e-commerce platform further expands Bulgaria's showroom network. Therefore, customers can receive another convenient shopping channel and enjoy many additional benefits.

Additional Benefits:

  • The market estimate (ME) sheet in Excel format
  • 3 months of analyst support

This product will be delivered within 2 business days.

Table of Contents

1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition
1.2 Scope of the Study
4.1 Market Overview
4.2 Industry Attractiveness-Porter's Five Forces Analysis
4.2.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.2.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers
4.2.3 Threat of New Entrants
4.2.4 Threat of Substitute Products
4.2.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry
4.3 Key Market Trends and Share of E-commerce of Total Retail Sector
4.4 Impact of COVID-19 on the E-commerce Sales
5.1 Market Drivers
5.1.1 Digitalization of Payment Methods and Financial Services
5.1.2 Regulatory and Government Support
5.2 Market Challenges
5.2.1 Lower Internet Penetration in Comparison to Neighboring Countries and Matured Economies
5.3 Analysis of key demographic trends and patterns related to ecommerce industry in Bulgaria (Coverage to include Population, Internet Penetration, ecommerce Penetration, Age & Income etc.)
5.4 Analysis of the key modes of transaction in the ecommerce industry in Bulgaria (coverage to include prevalent modes of payment such as cash, card, bank transfer, wallets, etc.)
5.5 Analysis of cross-border ecommerce industry in Bulgaria (Current market value of cross-border & key trends)
5.6 Current positioning of country Bulgaria in the ecommerce industry in region Europe
6.1 by B2C ecommerce
6.1.1 Market size (GMV) for the period of 2017-2027
6.1.2 Market Segmentation - by Application Beauty & Personal Care Consumer Electronics Fashion & Apparel Food & Beverage Furniture & Home Others (Toys, DIY, Media, etc.)
6.2 by B2B ecommerce
6.2.1 Market size for the period of 2017-2027
7.1 Company Profiles
7.1.1 The Body Shop International Limited
7.1.2 eMAG
7.1.3 Bazar.bg
7.1.4 Inter Ikea Systems BV
7.1.5 Decathlon
7.1.6 Technopolis
7.1.7 H&M
7.1.8 Fashiondays.bg
7.1.9 Obuvki.bg
7.1.10 Zora.bg
7.1.11 IKEA.bg

Companies Mentioned

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:

  • The Body Shop International Limited
  • eMAG
  • Bazar.bg
  • Inter Ikea Systems BV
  • Decathlon
  • Technopolis
  • H&M
  • Fashiondays.bg
  • Obuvki.bg
  • Zora.bg
  • IKEA.bg