Covid-19 has caused a boom in online shops in Kosovo, propelling the era of digital transformation. A market expected to reach in sales by 2025!
Covid-19 is responsible for a lot of global problems, ranging from the deaths of thousands to economic recessions and others. But one thing is for sure, Covid-19 has propelled the world to the digital era, or the so-called digital transformation period.
This is the case with Kosovo as well, where the number of online stores just keeps growing on a daily basis. From supermarkets that offer online delivery to fashion stores, watchmakers, tech stores, and restaurants, the range of eCommerce shops is booming in the small and young country of Eastern Europe.
During the closedown period, at the beginning of the pandemic period, many were initially confused and didn’t know how to move on. After a couple of days, those who were already digital didn’t stop business but just kept pushing things forward and investing in delivery, online payments, and more. While the rest was looking on the sidelines, those who were digital were thriving.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, and suddenly everyone saw the importance of digitalization. It’s not something you can ignore. Especially during pandemic times, which might be expected again in the near future when Covid-19 ends, being digital is the key differentiator to surviving.
Some of the online shops that are popping up in the market are being listed in a Kosovo Digital business directory by our friends over at digjitale.com, while one of the most dominant players in the local market is definitely Gjirafa, through its e-commerce stores for tech, Gjirafa50.com, and virtual shopping mall gjirafamall.com.
Fintech disruption, mobile payments, and more
Now, we’re seeing the results of hard work of development of various agencies, freelancers, and solution providers come to life for different industry verticals in the market.
There’s also a growth banking payment gateways, not only provided by TEB, Raiffeisen Bank, and ProCreditBank but also through new fintech companies such as Paysera and IBAS. The last two are especially interesting but we’ll talk about them in a separate article. Banks are also going digital, especially Raiffeisen bank, how just recently launched a mobile app for digital payments through NFC technology called RaiPay.
A report from Google says that e-commerce in Kosovo will grow US$150 million in sales by the year 2025, and from what we’re seeing lately, that will be probably the case and even more. There’s also a crazy growth of postal services, which has increased the competition in the market to a level of having prices drop to 1.5€ for internal shipping inside Kosovo. And the products arrive at the relevant destination in less than 24 hours, due to the increase in purchase power as well as online shopping trends.
Growth of domestic entrepreneurs and shops!
With the number of shops growing in the domestic market, there’s a growing trend of entrepreneurs who have found a niche for a certain product and are making their products available to the world. This has been made possible especially due to more investment in the payment gateway options, and it will potentially signal to the likes of Paypal and others that there’s something interesting going down in Kosovo. Such cases include the boom of the fashion industry to sell online from Kosovo to the world, skin-care products, hand-crafted products like cups or plates with unique drawings, paintings, etc.
As the saying goes, if you’re not digital, you do not exist.