Hints and tips for expanding your e-shop into the Polish market

News release date: 19. 5. 2021
Are you planning to expand abroad with your e-shop? What about Poland, one of the markets closest to the Czech Republic? It borders the Czech Republic in the north-east and, following Slovakia, it is the closest to our country linguistically. Unlike Slovakia, however, it is an almost 10 times larger market, with almost 40 million inhabitants. Why does the expansion into the Polish market cause such problems for Czech e-shops? Translating your e-shop into Polish is most likely not enough to succeed in Poland. Below we have prepared for you a few tips that will significantly help you with your expansion into the Polish market.

Differences of the Polish market

The Polish market is completely different from the Czech or Slovak market, so it is necessary to adapt to local specifics. These are related to shopping behaviour, the offer of transport and payment methods, as well as access to marketing campaigns.

“Of the neighbouring markets, Poland, with a population of almost 40 million, is the second largest after Germany.“

Distrust of foreign entities is strongly entrenched in Poland. Therefore, it is advisable to have a bricks-and-mortar shop or collection point which will be used, among other things, for complaints about goods. Due to the strong competition of e-shops and the general penetration of products on the market, the Polish customer pays attention to reviews and “star” ratings of the e-shop.

Compared to Czech customers, Polish customers are therefore much more influenced by customer reviews and experience of other clients. That is why it is important to obtain and actively work with customer evaluations. Make sure you always respond to a negative evaluation and put it right. There are several trusted and used services in Poland that provide ratings. The biggest one is ceneo.pl, which compares e-shop offers and collects reviews (like Heureka). The second is opineo.pl, which only focuses on the evaluation of e-shops and annually awards the best e-shops with the prestigious prize “Best E-Shop of the Year”.

It is not worth saving on investment in the Polish version of your e-shop. If you use a Czech payment gateway in other neighbouring markets, we do not really recommend it for the Polish market. The most frequently used payment gateways in the Czech Republic cooperate with ČSOB and Česká spořitelna (Erste). However, neither of these banking groups operates on the Polish market. Polish customers don’t even know their logos. The Czech payment gateway is not trustworthy enough for Polish customers, which is the reason for not completing the order and leaving the e-shop. Judging from our experience, the cancellation rate of such orders can be more than 30%.

If a wrong payment gateway is chosen, the order cancellation rate can exceed 30%

The largest Polish and world-known player is the PayU payment gateway. Przelewy24 is also very widespread. In addition to payment by card, both of these services also support bank buttons, i.e. instant bank transfer. In Poland, this payment method is very popular, significantly exceeding the use of cash on delivery.

If you are considering suitable modes of transport, forget about Polish Post. Due to its “reputation”, you can hardly find an e-shop in Poland that offers its services. On the other hand, courier services are widely used, so you will definitely not make a mistake with DPD or DHL. What is important to know is that in Poland it is not customary for people to have parcels sent to work, as is the case in the Czech Republic. From our point of view, this makes it more complicated for the Polish customer to collect the shipment. But our northeastern neighbours coped with it easily. More than 100 years ago, when no one even thought about the internet, they founded the Paczka w Ruchu service. Parcels could be collected at newspaper stands. Now it is a network of kiosks offering not only newspapers, but also refreshments and the possibility of picking up online shipments. The trend of recent years is also the Paczkomat service, i.e. collection boxes. There are more than 15,000 of them all over Poland and they are available 24/7.

What else should you know about the Polish market?

  • Polish has many dialects, so a successful e-shop needs to be translated into standard Polish. Choose translators carefully.
  • The Polish market is approximately 4 times larger than the Czech market and 8 times larger than the Slovak one. If you want to expand without compromise, expect larger marketing budgets in advance.
  • Poland and Greece have the highest share of AdBlock users (up to 40% of internet users). For this reason, almost all campaigns are paid in CPC mode.

If you also want a successful e-shop in Poland!

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