Serbia’s potential for the development of e-commerce was discussed at a conference organized by USAID, the Ministry of Trade, Tourism, and Telecommunications and Serbia’s E-Commerce Association on the 13th of June.
Tatjana Matić, State Secretary at the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications,stated that amendments are being made on Serbia’s Law on E-commerce and Law on Trade in order to accelerate the expansion of e-commerce in Serbia.
According to Tatjana Matić, the volume of e-commerce in Serbia has been growing year-on-year. Last year, it amounted to USD 317 million, and this year it is expected to reach USD 354 million. The expected growth rate of e-commerce is 9.6% and the value of e-commerce in 2023 could reach USD 510 million.
She added that the future efforts on developing the sector need to be focused on the fact that around 44.5% of internet users in Serbia have never made an online purchase.
According to the results of the Electronic Commerce survey, which was carried out under the auspices of the “Strengthening of Electronic Commerce in the Republic of Serbia” project and which assisted by the Serbian Ministry of Trade and USAID, it was mostly young people that make online purchases, and when it comes to people who are apprehensive about this form of commerce, 43% still fear that a wrong product will be delivered to them.
Out of all companies in Serbia that are engaged in the sale of products and services, nearly three quarters have online sales. They cite the lack of education in both vendors and shoppers as the biggest obstacle to the further development of this sector.
With daily Internet users accounting for two thirds of Serbia’s population, the country has the potential to unlock new opportunities and help its companies establish their presence in global markets through e-commerce.
At the moment, the online shopping market in Serbia is relatively underdeveloped and needs to leverage new laws and regulations, as well as new information and communication technologies, to realize its full potential. To that end, the government is stepping up efforts to regulate the market better and provide a high level of support for all digital participants – e-commerce operators and buyers.
Many international retailers operating in Serbia and the rest of the South East Europe region are now offering their products and services online.