An overview of the Czech and Slovak e-commerce market

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Even before the pandemic, the Czech and Slovak e-commerce markets were on the rise. 2020 finally saw a significant reorientation of consumers from over-the-counter selling to online trade and both countries experienced a rapid increase in sales growth in this segment: in the Czech Republic by 26 percent and in Slovakia by as much as 29 percent.1, 2 This also opens up great opportunities for foreign investors to gain a foothold in these markets.

The German Chamber of Foreign Trade for the region of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) conducted a survey among executives mainly from German companies. The results showed that the Czech Republic is among the top three most attractive investment locations in CEE, while Slovakia also makes it into the top five. 8

We have compiled a list of the ten most important facts about the e-commerce market in these two countries:

10 facts about e-commerce in the Czech Republic and Slovakia

1. The population of the Czech Republic is 10.7 million, and in Slovakia 5.45 million.

2. E-commerce market turnover in 2021 was 5 billion US dollars in the Czech Republic and 1 billion US dollars in Slovakia. 1, 2

3. In Slovakia, annual sales growth (CAGR 2022-2025) is expected to be 13.6%. For the Czech Republic growth of 9.6% is forecast by 2025. 9, 10

annual growth rate

4. By 2025, the e-commerce market is expected to reach a user penetration of 65% in the Czech Republic, and a rise to 57% is predicted in Slovakia. 3, 4

5. In 2021, 51% of the Czech population had already bought at least one product online, compared to 46% in Slovakia. 2, 1

6. In the Czech Republic, the top 3 segments with the highest turnover in e-commerce are: electronics & media with 29%, fashion with 27% and in third place toys, hobby & DIY with 24%. In Slovakia, the distribution is different: the fashion segment leads with 34%, followed by electronics & media with 29% and hobby & DIY with 18%. 1, 2

top 3 segments with the highest turnover

7. According to a study by E-Commerce Germany, price and quality are the most important factors for online shoppers in the Czech Republic and Slovakia when selecting products.3, 4

8. 54% of Czech e-commerce shoppers made purchases via smartphone in 2020, while in Slovakia the figure was as high as 65%. 6, 7

9. Customers in both countries state convenience and quick comparison of products as the main reasons for shopping online.

10. In the Czech Republic, the top 3 shipping service providers are Zásilkovna, Česká pošta and PPL. Slovenská pošta is the market leader in Slovakia, followed by UPS and GLS. 1,5

top 3 shipping providers

High growth and brand awareness

Germany is the most popular country for Czechs and Slovaks when it comes to cross-border shopping. Both Slovak and Czech customers favour German products and companies. In both countries, Kaufland is among the top retailers and is an established brand. With the marketplace expansion into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, sellers benefit from Kaufland’s extensive brand awareness and a high-growth e-commerce market.

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