By Annette Chrysostomou
The number of Cypriots shopping online is on the rise even though Cyprus is among the EU countries with the lowest online transactions, a newly published Eurostat report reveals.
With 39 per cent of its population shopping online in 2019, Cyprus is now at the same level with Portugal and Greece. Only Bulgaria (22 per cent), Romania (23 per cent) and Italy (38 per cent) are ranked lower.
In 2018, the percentage in Cyprus was 32 per cent, and it was ranked the third lowest among EU member-states, with Bulgaria (21 per cent) and Romania (20 per cent) reporting lower numbers.
Sixty per cent of people in the EU aged between 16 and 74 shopped online in 2019, compared with 56 per cent in the 2018 survey. The percentage of the EU’s online shoppers is almost double the 32 per cent of 2009.
In Cyprus, the numbers are up from 16 per cent in 2009 and a mere 9 per cent in 2008.
A high proportion of people shopped online during the previous year in Scandinavian countries. The highest was in Denmark (84 per cent) and Sweden (82 per cent), followed by the Netherlands (81 per cent). However, the highest increase over the last 10 years was in Estonia, with the share of online shoppers up 51 percentage points from 17 per cent in 2009 to 68 per cent in 2019.
“Online shopping is continuing to increase in the European Union (EU). Together with increasing use of the internet and improving security standards, consumers appreciate the possibilities of being able to shop anytime, anywhere, with access to a wide range of products and easy price comparisons,” Eurostat said. “During the current coronavirus pandemic, with high streets in lockdown and consumers under social distancing restrictions, e-commerce can be expected to grow further.”
Men tend to shop online slightly more than women, with 61 per cent of men and 59 per cent of women shopping online. The share of online shoppers has increased more among women over the last 10 years (from 29 per cent in 2009 to 59 per cent in 2019) than among men (from 35 per cent in 2009 to 61 per cent in 2019).