Mcommerce is booming in Austria

Distance sellers in Austria have together sold products and services worth almost seven billion euros in the period May 2013 to April 2014. This corresponds to a growth rate of 8 percent compared to the same period last year. A new study shows ‘dynamic development’ and ‘changes consumer behavior’ in the Austrian distance trade during the period 2013/2014. Partly thanks to a booming mobile commerce industry.

The study [pdf], that was conducted by the Handelsverband who surveyed 2,000 Austrians, looks at distance selling, which doesn’t necessarily have to be online selling. But 85% of all distance selling in Austria took place over the internet, so the lion’s share of it is ecommerce after all.

25% more spending via smartphones
According to the press release, mobile commerce is booming in Austria, as there has been 25% more spending via smartphones. “So far, the mobile phone has been used primarily for obtaining information”, says Harald Gutschi, head of the Austrian ‘Versandhandel und E-Commerce’ platform. “But now the long expected sales have come. With 25% growth in spending it shows that ‘mobile’ will roll up the market.”

Although sales of distance selling have been rising, the number of Austrians who have been shopping using mail order, internet or telephone remains practically the same. However, while fewer and fewer Austrians order by telephone or by post from domestic and foreign mail order retailers, online shopping is becoming increasingly important. Now 85% of all distance selling expenditures were being made on the Internet. Distance selling in Austria now accounts for 11% of total retail in the Central-European country.

Clothes, electronics and books
The most popular product category in Austria is clothes, as these products with a total value of 1.6 billion euros were being sold during this period. This corresponds to a 20% share of the total consumption expenditure of clothing in Austria. Consumer electronics (€960mn, 25% of total expenditure in this category) and books (€750mn, 35%) are also popular among Austrian consumers.

Handelsverband (German for ‘trade association’) is a voluntary association consisting of about hundred Austrian medium and large-sized trade companies. The Plattform Versandhandel & E-Commerce serves as a central information hub for mail order and ecommerce companies in Austria.