Voice of the Industry

Krzysztof Korus: "Well-organized infrastructure supports ecommerce business in Poland"

Wednesday 28 May 2014 11:50 CET | Editor: Melisande Mual | Voice of the industry

According to recent estimates, there are around 14,000 online stores on the Polish market

The Polish ecommerce market has been growing at double-digit rate every year for the last 10 years and it is expected to increase at about 16% - 17% in 2014. Total revenue of the whole sector industry will reach between EUR 8 billion and EUR 9 billion. In light of these statistics, the Polish ecommerce market becomes one of the most dynamic in Europe.


. Up to 2 citizens, on average, are employed in almost half of them, while companies with more than 50 employees represent 3.3% of retailers. The number of online stores in Poland is constantly growing, although the growth rate has slowed down in the recent years. It means that the process of market maturation has begun. Further market development will be achieved through widening the products range and greater specialization of online shops. The structure is expected to be heavily impacted by the entry of global giants like Amazon which, so far, has been absent in Poland.

What makes the Polish ecommerce market stand out from the crowd is that many ecommerce merchants do operate neither online nor in brick-and-mortar shops but, rather, use online auction platforms such as Allegro. They mainly rely on price competition with no other real value added.

Infrastructure environment

Well-organized infrastructure supports ecommerce business in Poland. There are providers who offer e-payment services for online stores. They offer various forms of payment (cards, pay-by-link, e-wallets, vouchers) and innovative ones are being added all the time.

Online shops enjoy a large selection of professional delivery services. Polish Post, with nearly 7000 physical manned branches, is the strongest player in the market. Other providers make a strong competition (UPS, DHL, DPD, GLS). What distinguishes Poland in this area is that it is the first country in which parcel machines (1,100 unmanned machines) operate at large scale and, thus, reaching high shares in the delivery services market. Parcel machines are located in strategic locations and allow for package pick-ups around the clock. A number of physical delivery networks (petrol stations, kiosks) are reaching early market adoption


Ecommerce players complain that regulations are one of the biggest obstacles for their business development. In 2014, a new Consumer Rights Act transposes the Directive on consumer rights (enters into force from the early 2015). The upcoming changes mostly do not fix the major regulatory shortcoming which is the legislation and practices regarding the unfair clauses. The clauses which have been found unfair by the Court in a special proceeding are being entered into special registry and, as of this moment, cannot be used in further B2C relations. The application of such clauses may result in a fine of up to 10% of the merchant’s revenue. The registry contains, currently, 5600 unfair clauses. There are consumer associations which report unfair clauses to the Court only in order to make profit instead of protecting consumers.

Consumer law is very strict and causes a lot of difficulties for ecommerce merchants but, on the other hand, consumer awareness of their high level protection drives ecommerce popularity.

Dr. Krzysztof Korus is a lawyer and economist, associate member of the European Payments Consulting Association (EPCA), member of the Polish Bar, the author of several dozen publications and analyses on issues of his key areas of expertise. He is a founding partner of dLK Korus Okon Attorneys At Law, and a founder and CEO of Prudentiz. Known as an expert in Polish and European financial market with key focus on payment services, consumer finance, clearing and settlement infrastructures, e-commerce and general new technologies law, anti-money laundering, competition aspects of financial services. He advises multiple Polish and international providers of financial services and their contractors.

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Keywords: Krzysztof Korus, Poland, ecommerce, revenue, online sores, online sales, infrastructure, retailers, regulations
Countries: World

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