Moldova flag Moldova: Buying and Selling

E-commerce in Moldova

E-commerce

Internet access
By the end of 2017, Moldova had a population of 4 million people, out of which 2.8 million were internet users, making the penetration rate 71.2%. Internet in Moldova is one of the cheapest in the world (US$ 9.8 monthly; US$ 2.25 per gigabyte for access via local SIM cards). In 2017, there were 90.4 mobile-cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, while 80.7% of households had internet access at home. While Moldova's penetration rates aren't extraordinary, the country's internet infrastructure is world-leading. However, even though the infrastructure is there, many people are still not connected to the internet, which is mainly due to the prices of computer devices. However, access to internet and mobile internet is increasing as the use of smartphones is spreading and the local operators are upgrading their infrastructure to 4G and expanding fibre optic networks. Wi-fi is ubiquitous at restaurants and hotels in Chisinau and other big cities, and is almost always free. However, 4G coverage is still spotty outside of urban centres. Facebook (used by 800,000 people), odnoklassniki and twitter are the most popular social media websites. As of September 2018, the most popular search engines in the country by market share were Google (92.7%), YANDEX RU (3.91%), Mail.ru (1.53%), Yahoo! (0.81%), Bing (0.53%), and DuckDuckGo (0.45%). As for browsers, the most popular ones were Chrome (73.46%), Safari (6.13%), Firefox (5.71%), Android (4.7%), Opera (2.88%), and Samsung Internet (2.45%).
E-commerce market
E-commerce is still in its early stages in Moldova, with only a few merchants in the market and a small portion of Moldovans shopping online. Nevertheless, growing use of the internet, credit cards, PayPal and online banking is favouring e-commerce development. Given the size of the market, there is still no official data on e-commerce revenue. It is estimated that mobile commerce will become a supplement to the e-commerce industry thanks to the growing rates of mobile penetration and widespread use of smartphones in the country. There is a big potential for B2B e-commerce as many online stores may be used by small businesses to purchase products for reselling. According to a statement delivered by the government, the development of the ICT sector and trade facilitation are main priorities on the economic development plan. It intends to facilitate customs procedures, integrate technology in the supply-management chain and eliminate the barriers faced by trade and e-commerce. It means that all implemented trade facilitation reforms should have a component aimed at  the development of e-commerce and the facilitation of cross-border e-commerce transactions. Some of the most popular websites are AliExpress, Amazon, ASOS, ebay, Rozetka and Zap. Electronics retailers were among the first to set up online stores. Unlike traditional retail business, there are fewer trade entry barriers in this sector. China-based as well as US-based e-commerce websites for online purchases of primarily consumer electronics are very popular among Moldovans. Footwear and clothing are mostly purchased from France and the United Kingdom. Domestic e-commerce websites rarely accept electronic payment methods, so purchases are paid by cash on delivery or wire transfers. Regarding the e-commerce services there are a few domestic e-commerce aggregator‎s that compare prices on products sold online (All Prices), digitise sales of tickets (iTicket), deliver restaurant food (Straus) and help deliver products purchased online from a wide range of international retailers to Moldova (Fullship, Pesoto).

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Latest Update: July 2022

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