Cypriot businesses are lagging behind the rest of Europe when it comes to selling their goods and service online, according to a new Eurostat survey.
The highest share of turnover from e-sales were in Ireland and the Czech Republic with 37% and 30%) respectively, followed by Slovakia, Finland and the United Kingdom – all 21%.
“At the opposite end of the scale, a limited share of turnover originated from e-sales in enterprises located in Greece 1%, Bulgaria 5%, Cyprus 6% and Romania 8% compared to an EU average of 17 per cent,” the report said.
In all EU Member States, the proportion of enterprises selling online on the domestic market, to other businesses or consumers, was higher than that of those selling online abroad, and the proportion of cross-border e-sales within the EU was higher than that of e-sales to non-EU countries.
On average, 18% of EU enterprises made e-sales within their own country, while 8% sold to another EU Member State and 5% to customers outside the EU. in Cyprus the corresponding figures were 10%, 9% and 7% respectively.
When it came to buying, online purchases in Cyprus were also low compared to the EU average.
In 2015, the share of e-buyers was highest in the United Kingdom where 81% of the total population aged 16 to 74 purchased online, Denmark was 79%, Luxembourg 78%, Germany 73%, the Netherlands, Finland and Sweden all 71%. In contrast, Romania had 11% e-buyers, Bulgaria 18%, Cyprus 23% and Italy 26% registered the lowest proportions.
Overall, in half of the Member States, the share of e-buyers was above 50%.
Among the younger age group – those aged 16 to 24 – the share of internet users having purchased online in 2015 was above 50% in most EU Member States, while for those aged 65 to 74, the proportion was above 50% only in the United Kingdom, Luxembourg and Germany.
Overall, in an overwhelming majority of Member States, the highest share of online purchasers among internet users was found in the age group 25 to 34 years.
In Cyprus, only 33 per cent of those aged 16-24 buy online compared to the EU average of 68 per cent. In each age bracket Cyprus comes in around half when it comes to buying online.
The biggest purchases across member states are clothes and sports goods, tourist services, event tickets and books.
Cyprus was no exception with clothes buying, accounting for 60 per cent of online purchases, followed by travel services at 51 per cent, but books and magazines only 15 per cent.