Slovakia - Country Commercial Guide
eCommerce

Describes what a company needs to know to take advantage of e-commerce in the local market and covers prominent B2B websites.

Last published date: 2021-10-15

Assessment of Current Buyer Behavior in Market

eCommerce has been a fast-growing segment over the past several years. The most commonly purchased products by individual consumers and companies are consumer goods, electronics, software, voice, data and TV services, household appliances, furniture, hobbies, music, video on demand, cosmetics, toys, airline tickets, holiday trips, tickets for cultural events, and clothes. The situation during lockdown was favorable for buying groceries online. U.S. providers of online services, such as video on demand, software, games, and music, should make an effort to penetrate the Slovak market for those products and offer fee-based services to consumers who already have fiber optic and broadband Internet connections at home. Many younger Slovaks speak English, and the general population is interested in American entertainment products. Many consumers have already purchased fiber optic connections and are receptive to cutting-edge technology.

Online shopping is an increasingly common way of purchasing goods in Slovakia. In 2020 there were about 12,600 e-shops that generated sales of EUR 2 billion (USD 2.39 billion). The strongest season is traditionally Christmas. The majority of Slovaks use their mobile devices when purchasing online, so mobile versions of shopping sites are important. The e-commerce market’s largest segment is electronics & media, which makes up almost half of the market share. The hobby segment ranked second, followed by “clothing, food and drinks” and then “toys and kids.” Slovaks prefer to choose from several delivery options. Brick and mortar collect stores that have an ecommerce arm and allow free shipping to the store are becoming more popular as the physical collection of goods is offered for free. Ecommerce current user penetration is 78 percent and is expected to hit 85 percent in 2022.

Local eCommerce Sales Rules & Regulations

Slovakia is a part of the European Union. The European Commission removed online barriers so the people may enjoy full access to all goods and services offered online by businesses in the EU. If a U.S. company located in any EU country and offers online products in another country within the EU, the following should apply:

  • the revised Payment Services Directive and new rules on cross-border parcel delivery services that are already in force;
  • rules to stop unjustified geo-blocking;
  • revised consumer protection rules entered into force in 2020;
  • new VAT rules for online sales of goods and services entered into force in July 2021.

For background information, please visit New EU Rules on eCommerce.

The Slovak Ministry of Investments, Regional Development and Informatization is the main ministry responsible for smooth digital transformation in Slovakia. More information can be found at the ministry’s website.

Local eCommerce Business Service Provider Ecosystem

Regional events focusing on eCommerce include: Creative Summit Online; Upterdam and Reshoper.

To learn more about promoting digital services to U.S. businesses, see the eCommerce BSP directory, which is currently aggregating the U.S. based ecosystem of service providers.

Domestic eCommerce (B2C)

There are currently 3.5 million eCommerce users in Slovakia, with an additional 500,000 Slovaks expected to be shopping online by 2022. These 4 million eCommerce users will represent 74 percent of the total population. The average user spends USD 360 online per year, which is expected to grow to USD 400 by 2022. 98 percent of 16-24-year-olds log on daily. Products most likely to be sold on social media include real estate, insurance, and consumer goods.

Cross-Border eCommerce

Cross-border eCommerce is common. The most popular eshops for Slovaks are eBay, Amazon UK and Amazon DE, Alibaba and AliExpress. Several local eshops including mall.sk, alza.sk and tpd.sk are popular in neighboring countries.

B2B eCommerce

This is the second fastest growing segment of eCommerce. Local companies offer products and services to business clients. Companies usually start with the purchase of office supplies and then look for other products and services to increase their efficiency and lower operational, transportation, and storage costs.

Popular local eCommerce Sites

Alza.Sk; Mall.sk; Nay.sk; Martinus.sk; Bonprix.sk; Hej.sk; DrMax.sk; Datacomp.sk; progamingshop.sk; Andreashop.sk, Aboutyou.sk

Online Payment

The most common forms of payments are made by electronic debit and credit cards. They are considered safe and there are minor additional surcharges. Another popular payment method is ‘pay on delivery’ that usually includes a USD 1-2 surcharge for purchases under USD 100 - 200.

Mobile eCommerce

Mobile eCommerce grew in popularity thanks to increased numbers of local eCommerce applications. The majority of local websites have implemented Accelerated Mobile Pages to facilitate the reading of their content on mobile devices.

Digital Marketing

Many local companies that are using digital marketing have implemented machine learning to better target potential customers.

Major Buying Holidays

The major buying holidays are Christmas, Black Friday, Valentine’s Day, and Easter.

Social Media

YouTube and TikTok have overtaken television in Slovakia as the most watched video content providers among younger audiences. Younger and middle-aged populations often get their news from social media channels. Instagram is popular among the younger generation of Slovaks. Facebook is more popular with Slovaks in their forties and up. Hoaxes are a growing problem, which can impact public opinion, and spread quickly via multiple social media channels.