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Less than 20 Percent shop online in Macedonia

A mere 19.5% of internet users in Macedonia have shopped online in the past 12 months, show data of the State Statistical Office and Eurostat. 59% of the users have never ordered something online, whereas 18% said they have never done it because they don't have the right skills.

The data were unveiled Thursday by the newly established Macedonian E-Commerce Association, which is preparing a comprehensive analysis on e-commerce in Macedonia.

Nina Angelovska, Grouper.mk CEO and chairwoman of the Association, said that the lack of digital skills and the small number of online companies on the market was the reason behind the insignificant percentage of online shopping in the country.

578 websites for online shopping were active in 2017, which are mainly focused on retail, services and tourism.

"We need a better offer. We need to give them a good reason to shop online and to raise public's awareness," Angelovska stated.

In comparison, 74% in Macedonia use the Internet, whereas 1,8 million credit cards have been issued in the country, i.e. 0.9% per capita. The average in the EU is 1.5%.

According to Angelovska, 67% of the citizens in Macedonia use the cards to withdraw cash. Only 3% falls to online transactions. 

According to the National Bank of Macedonia (NBRM), the value of e-commerce in 2017 is EUR 105 billion, which is a 21% increase compared to 2016.

Macedonians online usually shop electronic devices, clothes and toys.

Welcoming the formation of the E-Commerce Association, Minister of Information Society and Administration Damjan Mancevski said that awareness about e-commerce needed to be raised in terms of the citizens to be taught how to use e-services of the institutions.

The government, he noted, is committed to improving digital literacy in Macedonia and more needs to be done to boost the penetration of broadband internet in rural areas.

DEUTSCH/German translation

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