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Economy

COVID Pandemic Sees Greeks Jumping to Online Shopping

December 31, 2021

ATHENS – A trend that saw more shoppers in Greece use e-commerce to buy goods, including food, online instead of going to stores during the COVID-19 pandemic continued through the end of 2021 with expectations it will grow.

E-commerce turnover in Greece will exceed 14 billion euros ($15.87 billion) for the, estimates released at the 7th Economic Forum of the Hellenic Entrepreneurs Association showed, reported Kathimerini.

Georgios Doukidis, a professor in the Department of Management Science and Technology at the Athens University of Economics and Business said the sector is on an upward curve, especially with people reluctant to go out.

There are more about 18,000 Greek businesses with online sales sites and it could grow to some 30,000 and have annual sales of more than 20 billion euros ($22.66 billion) although consumers have to be wary of fake sites.

It’s no shocker but people in Greece locked down at home during the raging COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 used online shopping more, although they were allowed to go to supermarkets, many shunning them for deliveries instead.

Greece had the highest annual increase in Europe in electronic commerce during that year, said the yearly report on the industry released by Ecommerce Europe and EuroCommerce, the paper reported in September.

The turnover of online purchases in 37 European countries averaged 10 percent higher in 2020 from 2019 but in Greece it was a roaring 77 percent, far ahead of Moldova in second at 49 percent.

The relatively small rise in turnover in the rest of Europe – smaller than the 14 percent in 2019 – was attributed to the pandemic, especially in plummeting tourism numbers and hotel and short-term rental bookings.

The big jump in Greece wasn’t just because of using the Internet to get goods from stores which shoppers otherwise would visit but getting more of what they want from e-stores not designed for in-house shopping, the survey also found.

While the rate of Internet users rose just three percent, from 76 to 79 percent in 2020, the share of those making online purchases jumped 19.67 percent, to 59 percent, up from 51 percent in 2019, the paper also reported.

the use of the Internet and online shopping is expected to keep dominating the market as people become accustomed to deliveries and not have to take the time to go out, park, shop and return home, a long process.

The report by the group that’s made up of the federation of national online retailers and the confederation of European retailers and wholesalers saw Internet penetration hitting 82 percent this year and online shopping at 63 percent.

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