Don’t know about you but I find Poland’s lowly position extremely difficult to match with real life. To be fair, the producers of the chart (Centre For Retail Research) do say:
The statistics are problematic as state statistical research organisations tend to underestimate the size of the sector. There are problems in determining online sales from abroad, because foreign firms may not wish to comply with the UK statistical authorities and in accurate sampling given that the sector is changing rapidly.
Despite that I’ve seen a few other references online with the same or similar percentages. They all say it is growing rapidly here but remains a tiny percentage of overall spend.
I find it hard to believe because of how difficult it is to buy many things in a shop here and yet how easy it is to find, buy and have delivered online. Just in the last couple of weeks I’ve hunted for; water filters for the fridge, more RAM for my iMac and coloured thread (the sort that can be woven into bracelets in an arty crafty way) and drawn a complete blank in the shops. Resorting to the WWW, I found and bought everything. No problems with payments, quality of goods or delivery.
The more this happens, the less inclined you are to even bother trying the shops first and so the frequency of Internet shopping grows.
My life in Warsaw compared to my life in the UK is considerably more reliant on the Internet to buy the things we need and also to sell the things we don’t. Part of that is the growth of technology and broadband connections over the last 15 years but a lot of it just a change in common practice. The days of knowing which shop to go to to collect any kind of widget you need appear to be gone.
Except in Italy, which is bottom of the list, the only one below Poland. Having done some shopping there recently on holiday it was a joy to find a proper collection of shops even in the small or medium sized towns and villages. Obviously a good collection of food, wine, oil stores, including a specialist horse meat butcher we noticed in Cesena, but you get the feeling there’s not much you couldn’t lay your hands on within a very short drive of where you happened to be located.
I was keen to get a photo of the horse meat shop, given all the recent publicity, but either the shop owner or the guy running the jewelry shop next door always seemed to be hanging around out front with suspicious looks so I didn’t bother.