Bosnia and Herzegovina flag Bosnia and Herzegovina: Buying and Selling

E-commerce in Bosnia and Herzegovina


Internet access
By the end of 2017, Bosnia and Herzegovina had a population of 3.5 million people, out of which 2.8 million were internet users, making the penetration rate 80.7%. Internet cafes are relatively rare, but almost all hotels and most cafes offer free wi-fi. Some towns also have free wi-fi hotposts. BH Telecom is the leading network provider in the country. Thanks to the widespread use of smartphones, there is a rise in consumption of media over the internet. In 2017, there were 98.1 Mobile-cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, and 66% of homes in the country were connected to the internet. According to the The Global Information Technology Report published in 2016 by the World Economic Forum, the country's mobile network coverage ranked 49 out of 139, making it above average, while their internet bandwidth speed ranked 59 out of 139. The number of websites is constantly increasing, but ownership of online media is unregulated and there is no effective oversight. There are no government restrictions on access to the internet, but in 2016 the Law on Public Peace and Order was amended to expand the definition of "public space" to include the internet, which coud have negative effects on freedom of assemby and journalism. Average cost of Internet is USD 17 per month. As of September 2018, the most popular search engines in the country by market share were Google (97.84%), Yahoo! (1.13%), bing (0.77%), MSN (0.15%), DuckDuckGo (0.04%) and Ask Jeeves (0.03%). As for browser, the most popular ones were Chrome (77.49%), Firefox (6.35%), Safari (5.77%), Samsung Internet (3.55%), Opera (1.8%) and Android (1.65%). 
E-commerce market
E-commerce is not well developed in Bosnia. Citizens and businesspeople generally do not shop or conduct business on the internet. Many companies maintain websites, but ordering online through use of a credit card is very rare. According to a research study carried out by students at the Burch University in Sarajevo, the reason e-commerce has not taken off in Bosnia is not infrastructural nor technological but cultural. They point out that the technologies needed for the implementation and development of e-commerce in the country are available, and online shops do exist in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but the population is not yet accustomed to shopping online. However, internet users are willing to pay for content. That same study showed that 65% of the internet users they interviewed had paid to download or access some kind of online content from the internet including music, software and apps. As for the methods of online content access, the majority of the internet users pay for subscription services (23%), versus downloading an individual file (16%), or accessing streaming content (8%). Still, the biggest segment online is the financial sector, with many commercial banks offering e-banking to their clients. Mobile devices are not yet used for doing business online as much as in other more developed countries, mainly due to high mobile internet service prices. The fastest-growing e-commerce pages in Bosnia are Mbuy, and Bosnia was one of the last countries in the region to develop and adopt a major law and related regulations regarding e-business.

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Latest Update: April 2024