Ordering goods from countries outside the European Union is rapidly losing popularity among residents. AliExpress, which is one of the world’s most popular online shopping platform, lost its leading position among internet platforms last year. On top of that, this platform’s popularity among Latvian residents has dropped by more than half, according to data from Citadele Bank on residents’ online shopping habits.
As a result, leading positions are held by EU-based online shopping sites – bestsecret.com and aboutyou.lv, BNN was told by Citadele Bank.
For years China-based online store AliExpress was the most popular online store among Latvian residents. In 2020, according to purchases registered among Citadele Bank’s clients, AliExpress was among TOP 3 most popular e-commerce platforms in Latvia. However, since July 2021 the number of purchases made there by Latvian residents has declined 47% when compared to the first six months of 2021.
The decline of popularity of AliExpress will continue in 2022, which is indicated by the 57% decline of purchases registered in Latvia in March in comparison to the same period of 2021.
«The biggest drop in popularity for AliExpress can be explained with the decision of European authorities to change VAT rate for online purchases done outside the EU. These changes came to force 1 July – VAT is applied to goods sold outside the EU. This makes purchases more expensive and longer to arrive. According to data, this directly impacts residents’ habits because people switch to online stores registered in the EU. However, it is not impossible Chinese and other non-EU-based online stores may return to their previous positions once people have adapted to the new regulations and understand that declaring goods at customs is not a complicated process,» comments the bank’s Carts and Transactions Office manager Andris Lazdiņš.
The place of the Chinese online store as the most popular online store in 2021 was taken by money transfer platforms like Transfergo and Paysend.
Bestsecret.com because the most popular online clothes store in Latvia after AliExpress. This platform became more popular than aboutyou.lv and asos.com, according to Citadele Bank’s data for 2021.
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When compared to 2020, a 16% increase in purchases was observed on csdd.lv online platform in 2021.
In spite of the fact that Covid-19 restrictions in Latvia are lifted and infection rates are in decline, residents continue ordering food online. For example, in March 2022 residents spent 6% more money on Rimi’s online store than a year prior.