Czech e-commerce is booming with 2017 racking up over 10% of the total retail sales in the country. The domestic market is becoming too small for the over 40,000 existing e-commerce players in Czech Republic. So where can they go next? Into cross-border business of course.
According to an article by 150sec.com, reporting on research made by Acomware (a Czech e-commerce consultancy), 16% of online shops see expansion to foreign markets as their business goal this year, while 18% of them see it as an opportunity for investments (published by TyInternety magazine).
What The Industry Gurus Have To Say
“Czech e-commerce is among the most advanced in the world. It is due to a huge level of competition on the domestic market. The opportunities to expand are enormous,” said Jan Vohryzek, manager of Google for export and development, for economic daily E15.
“[The online stores] have an ideal chance to penetrate foreign markets. Alza or Zoot started this business trend two years ago, and now another wave of expansion is awaiting,” said Jan Kvasnička, an expert in enhancing the performance of online shops.
“We belong to the world’s top tier – we can personalize, segment, work with data. Whereas three years ago many companies failed while entering the Polish or German market, they are more mature now and able to analyze competition and local specifics,” Kvasnička added.
How The Big Players Play
Alza.cz is the largest player in Czech Republic and their largest foreign market is Hungary. They are also thinking about opening a branch in Germany whilst continuing to focus on the Austrian market.
Notino is also planning on expanding into a further two countries. The perfume and cosmetics seller is not sure into which markets they want to expand, but they are already active in 22 markets around the globe including the US.
Vemzu.cz is currently focusing on the consolidation of the Czech and Slovak markets but plans on expanding to another three countries next year. “We’re deciding between Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia. We want to establish ourselves through our brick-and-mortar shops. There will be one flagship store in each of these countries,” said Michal Do Viet, the company's founder.
These are just 3 of the 40,100 existing players, so it stands to reason that there are a lot more Czech companies that are ready to go cross-border. The future will most likely show many other players from Czech Republic expanding out of their domestic market.