Market Intelligence
eCommerce Industry Portugal

Portugal eCommerce

The eCommerce market in Portugal is growing steadily. 

The Portuguese eCommerce market has been growing steadily and accounted for USD 3 billion in 2018. The first 6 months of 2020, eCommerce experienced a boom like never before, with a substantial increase of international and national digital shopping. According to local media, and a consumer habits study by a Madrid based consultant, more than 50% of Portuguese purchased online in the period of March through May, which contributed to the reinvention of traditional commerce and consolidated the eCommerce boom. 

According to a December 2019 report, prepared by Deloitte for APED - Portuguese Association of Retailing Companies, Portugal is ranked 30th in the global eCommerce competitiveness ranking (compiled by Eshopworld) and is expected to grow above the average of European countries by 2021. Metrics include logistics performance, sector revenues, number of buyers, online commerce penetration and its recent evolution. It is estimated that the value of eCommerce transactions carried out in 2017 by Portuguese consumers amounted to 4.6 billion euros, corresponding to 2.5% of national GDP.

As stated on a survey carried out jointly by CIP-Confederação Empresarial de Portugal (Portuguese Entrepreneurs Association) and ISCTE-Business School, sales through digital channels are worth close to a quarter of the revenues of Portuguese companies that have diversified in their sales methods and opted for digital sales. The estimated weight of digital sales in the companies selling through this channel is 23%, and this may help Portuguese companies to position themselves for EU support – which has a strong component in relation to digital channels. Of the 652 companies surveyed, 56% did not sell digitally before the pandemic and started to do so. About 15% of these companies recorded an increase between 11% and 20% in sales and 2.5% of companies recorded an increase of 40% in sales.

Simultaneously, transport operators have made a greater effort to use more eco-friendly vehicles and to reduce and/or reuse packaging, which has contributed to the reduction of the Portuguese carbon footprint. For brands and online sales platforms, this is the time to capitalize on the change in consumer habits, by adopting user loyalty strategies – such as ensuring an accessible and effective delivery process, sites that provide a simple and safe shopping experience and with different payment options.

As reported by Unicre (Portuguese credit card management system), the top 5 online shopping cities in Portugal during the pandemic were Porto, Lisbon, Coimbra, Aveiro and São Miguel. According to the previously mentioned report from Deloitte, the most purchased products online by the Portuguese are electronic products, clothing, travels, books, beauty articles, food, bets and applications.

Data from Nielson, DBI and GfK, shows that, in Portugal, purchases during the lockdown equaled the entire year of 2019. This trend will remain, as this period changed Portuguese mindsets on eCommerce, with over 30% of the Portuguese population wanting to continue to purchase online.

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