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PMR: Nearly 70% of young people buy online

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Online shopping is growing on popularity. In a survey conducted by PMR in April over 40% of respondents stated that they had shopped online over the last 6 months. Among people below 35 the proportion amounts to nearly 70%. Clothing, shoes, jewellery, books and cosmetics are among the products bought on a regular basis online.

The e-commerce market has been growing robustly. This would not be possible without the increasing access to the Internet seen in Poland. In the first half of, as many as 73% of Poles had a computer with Internet access at home (according to the results of a nationwide survey, Diagnoza Społeczna). However, slightly fewer people actually utilised it: 60% of Poles aged 16 years and above. Internet users are largely young people who are studying or well educated. The greatest number of Internet users is found among people with the highest income.

Young, educated – the most loyal clients of e-shops

Nearly every second Pole declares that they shop in the Internet. E-commerce is the province of young people with high both education and income. Among people aged below 34 as many as 68% stated that they had bought a product online in the last six months, while in the age group 35 – 54 years the percentage amounts to 42%, in case of the oldest people aged above 55 the number was only 14%. The level of education acts in favour of e-shopping – 68% of people with a university degree opt for the Internet and only 20% of people with primary education. It is linked to the fact that lower education level is typical mostly for older people who use neither the computer nor the Internet.

The higher the income, the greater is the penchant to online shopping. In the group of people with monthly income per capita in a household between PLN 3,000-4,000 as many as 76% buys over the Internet and among people with income above PLN 4,000 practically 80% shops online.


Place of residence wields influence on shopping over the Internet too. 41% of countryside residents buy online. High as the percentage may seem one needs to be aware of the fact that the access to stores in the country side is limited at the same time e-shopping provides home delivery. Residents of cities up to 100,000 inhabitants use the electronic way of shopping the least frequently. The people buying over the Internet make 35% in towns below 20,000 of residents, 32% in cities with 21,000-49,000 residents and 38% in cities between 50,000-99,000 residents. Definitely, residents of large cities do shopping online most frequently (about 50% of them). Slightly more men than women buy online (43% of men and 39% of women).

A typical e-client is then a young person, educated, coming from a large city and with good salary. Residents of rural areas also make a substantial group of clients.

Clothing and shoes – most often chosen products

When buying over the Internet Poles go for clothing, shoes and jewellery. Products from this category are online by as many as 77% of people aged 18-24 and 33% of them do it on a regular basis. Women tend to be more interested in these products than men (70% of women shopping online go for clothing, shoes and jewellery compared to 54% of men buying over the Internet).

Apart from clothing, books, CDs and films are often bought over the Internet (46% of people declare it). Due to the possibility to easily compare product prices in the Internet combined with the chance to read comments and opinions more expensive products, such as white and brown goods and computers, are gladly bought in the internet, also because of lower prices offered at e-stores. For obvious reasons they are not purchased regularly but on special occasion or when a need arises.

One of the most frequently bought over the Internet products are cosmetics. It is 46% of women and 33% of men who buy them this way. 27% of Internet shoppers declare having bought tickets for cultural events online. Most often these are residents of larger cities who have higher education.

In their online shopping Internet users frequently go for sports equipment, interior furnishing, toys and children products, computers and computer games. Medicines and food belong to the products least frequently bought online included in the survey. Still, their sales may substantially increase in the coming years.

Online auctions enjoy greater popularity than e-shops

While shopping online Poles most frequently use online auctions, such as Allegro (80% of people buying over the Internet), and only later they turn to e-stores (45% of people). Far less individuals use group-shopping websites and services with paid or free advertisements are the least popular.

The most critical factors in online shopping are the product quality (for 87% of clients), price (81%) and confidence in the seller (70%). These are also the most often qualities listed with regard to traditional shopping. Other significant aspects are possibility to return the product, to pay upon delivery and shipping costs. E-clients pay less attention to the possibility to personal collection of the product or in self-service parcel machines. Below are the average grades of individual factors.

When it comes to payment method 59% of respondents use bank transfer to pay for their online shopping while 29% prefers to pay for them on delivery. Other payment methods, such as post transfer, card and e-payments processed by dedicated services, are chosen far less often.

Why do we not buy over the Internet?

A straight majority of online shoppers (63%) believes that cheaper products and real bargains can be found over the Internet. It is also a popular opinion that better-quality products can be bought online and the comments and product reviews of other users encourage to this type of shopping. Many respondents choose Internet in order to buy products difficult to find which cannot be purchased in any other way. Convenience and home delivery are also important.

The popularity of online shopping is growing. However, nearly 60% of Poles do not buy this way. According to the PMR survey 46% of them claims they do not need to, 39% of respondents not buying online do not have access to the Internet or do not use it and 6% does not know how to buy in the net. It is worth noting that 16% of people who do not buy over the Internet state that someone else does it for them. Only 2% of respondents mentioned their bad experience with e-shopping. People who prefer traditional stores believe also that online shopping does not take more time than traditional and they are not afraid of poor quality or problems with product warranty. Such opinions prove that the number of online shoppers will be increasing. Only 7% of respondents stated they do not like and want to buy over the Internet.

To sum up, online shopping and e-commerce are rapidly developing in Poland, particularly among the young, rich and well educated (or still studying). Products most frequently bought are clothing, shoes, cosmetics, CDs and books, as well as white and brown goods and computers. Poles prefer online auctions, and they pay with bank transfer.

The nationwide consumer survey was conducted by PMR in April on a representative sample of 600 adult Poles, with a maximum estimation error of 4%.
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