Online shopping

Online shopping in e-shops outside the EU is rapidly losing popularity – Baltic News Network

Ordering goods from countries outside the European Union is rapidly losing popularity among residents. AliExpress, which is one of the most popular online shopping platforms in the world, lost its leading position among internet platforms last year. On top of that, the platform’s popularity among Latvian residents has dropped by more than half, according to Citadele Bank’s data on residents’ online shopping habits.

As a result, the leading positions are held by EU-based online shopping sites – and, BNN told Citadele Bank.

For years, the Chinese online store AliExpress has been the most popular online store among Latvian residents. In 2020, according to registered purchases among Citadele Bank customers, AliExpress was among the TOP 3 most popular e-commerce platforms in Latvia. However, since July 2021, the number of purchases made there by Latvian residents has decreased by 47% compared to the first six months of 2021.

The decline in popularity of AliExpress will continue in 2022, which is indicated by the 57% drop in purchases recorded in Latvia in March compared to the same period of 2021.

“AliExpress’s biggest drop in popularity is due to the decision of European authorities to change the VAT rate for online purchases made outside the EU. These changes came into effect on July 1 – VAT is applied to goods sold outside the EU. This makes purchases more expensive and takes longer to arrive. According to the data, this has a direct impact on residents’ habits as people turn to EU-registered online stores. However, it is not impossible that Chinese and other non-EU based online stores may revert to their previous positions once people adjust to the new regulations and understand that declaring goods to customs is not a complicated process,” comments the Carts and Transactions bank. Head of Office Andris Lazdiņš.

The Chinese online store’s place as the most popular online store in 2021 has been taken by money transfer platforms like Transfergo and Paysend. because the most popular online clothing store in Latvia after AliExpress. This platform has become more popular than and, according to data from Citadele Bank for 2021.

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Compared to 2020, a 16% increase in purchases was observed on the online platform in 2021.

Despite Covid-19 restrictions in Latvia being lifted and infection rates falling, residents continue to order food online. For example, in March 2022, residents spent 6% more money on Rimi’s online store compared to the previous year.