Bulgaria - Country Commercial Guide
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Overview & current market trends

Revenue in the eCommerce market is projected to reach USD 1.699 billion in 2023. (Source:  https://www.statista.com/outlook/243/130/ecommerce/bulgaria). Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2023-2027) of 12.32%, resulting in a projected market volume of USD 2.704 billion by 2027. The market’s largest segment is electronics, with a projected market volume of USD 694 million in 2023. User penetration will be 53.1% in 2023 and is expected to hit 65.6% by 2027. The average revenue per user (ARPU) is expected to reach USD 478.80.

Popular eCommerce Sites and Platforms in Bulgaria

The five main e-commerce categories are Electronics & Media, with 38.7% of eCommerce revenue in Bulgaria, followed by Food & Personal Care, with 20.7%; Fashion at 17.6%; Furniture & Appliances with 14.1%; and Toys, Hobby & DIY with the remaining 8.9%.

The biggest player in the Bulgarian eCommerce Market is emag.bg, which had revenue of USD 333.9 million in 2022, followed by obuvki.bg with USD 43.7 million revenue; and technopolis.bg with USD 41.3 million. Together, the top three stores account for 36.3% of online revenue in Bulgaria.

Challenges with eCommerce in Bulgaria:

Technical malfunctioning of website during ordering or payment

  • Speed of delivery longer than indicated
  • Difficulties in finding information concerning warrantees and other legal rights
  • Wrong or damaged goods/services delivered

eCommerce services

All major eCommerce services are available in Bulgaria via local and international specialized companies. Clients may choose from established professional companies or start-ups focusing on niche services. Solutions offered include:

  • Consulting 
  • Design and Implementation
  • Online Marketing
  • Platforms & Technology - such as back-office integration 
  • eCommerce Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

For more information about eCommerce IPR, please refer to the Investment Climate Statement 2023.

Online Payment

Paying for goods purchased online is fairly easy, secure, and straightforward. Bulgaria uses online payment methods similar to the rest of Europe. Credit and debit cards are popular, with all major credit cards used online since 2016.

Alternate payment methods include SEPA, Mint, Mobiamo, and TrustPay, and local payment application www.epay.bg, which is the Bulgarian system for electronic payments launched in 1999. It offers customers a way to make payments for goods and services with bank cards and microaccounts and a way to receive online payments through their microaccount. “EPay” LLC is a certified payment service provider (Level 1 Service Provider) in accordance with the rules of international card organizations. Since 2007, ePay.bg has the highest security certification from VISA and MasterCard.

The Digital Payments market segment is led by consumer transactions and includes payments for products and services that are made over the Internet as well as mobile payments at point-of-sale (POS) via smartphone applications. The following are not included in this segment: transactions between businesses (business-to-business payments), bank transfers initiated online (that are not in connection with products and services purchased online), and payment transactions at the point-of-sale where mobile card readers (terminals) are used.

Mobile eCommerce

Using applications for mobile eCommerce is rising, especially among the younger generation. It provides a fast and easy way to buy goods and services on the go. Excellent broadband network coverage—with 4G and 5G service — makes it very appealing to use. All major e-stores have developed mobile applications to support their clients.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing technologies and techniques such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), social media marketing, display advertising, and digital campaigns are widely used in Bulgaria to make products, goods, and services more popular and targeted to the desired audience.

Major Buying Holidays

‘Black Friday’ initiatives are not new to Bulgarians and have been used for years to replicate the effective campaigning introduced in the United States.  Another popular eCommerce practice is ‘Cyber Monday’ following American Thanksgiving, which has also shown good results for online sellers. One of the local trends in eCommerce is the introduction of the so-called group shopping websites where one can get a deal on airfare, hotel reservation, and clothes. Examples are: www.deals.bg; www.grabo.bg; www.zadrujno.bg.

Social Media

Facebook is the most widely used social media channel in Bulgaria, with roughly 4 million Bulgarians having Facebook accounts. More than 62.9% of Bulgarians also use Youtube, followed by 25.5% who use Instagram; 14% percent who use LinkedIn; and 3.9 percent who use X, formerly known as Twitter.