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Greeks buy holiday trips, films, music and software online

23 January 2012 / 23:01:47  GRReporter
3541 reads

Victoria Mindova

Greeks buy mainly travel services, holiday trips, films, music, software and computer components online, according to a survey by TNS ICAP, which was presented by the company's managing director Lina Sari. She spoke at the online commerce forum 3rd Distance Selling & E-Commerce Conference. Sari stressed that the data the European statistical office Eurostat presents according to which only 55% of Greeks are Internet proficient does not represent the whole truth. The majority of non-users are the elderly, which is not uncommon for an ageing nation. However, almost 80% of Greek Internet users are in the range of 15 to 44 years. This age group is most productive and most active, and determines the overall consumer disposition.

From this perspective, now is the best time to open an online shop in Greece. The most powerful consumer groups have increased interest in online shopping and 94% of young people use the Internet and at least one social network. Online shopping saves time and sometimes money and it has not yet become a mass phenomena, i.e. not every shop has an online shop for distance sales. This is the opinion of the head of the new business opportunities department at Lighthouse, Kostis Papadopoulos.

Papadopoulos stressed that it is still possible to take a significant market share with not much money, which will be not possible in the near future. Despite the tempting opportunities, beginners should be aware that huge volume and variety of products are not necessary. It should be known that the interest of customers can be very easily lost, which requires good visualization of individual components. Design in this sense is important, but it is more important how the use of the specific online shop will be made easier.
The future may be in e-commerce, but not everyone can handle it, says the executive manager of the travel services website, Nikos Ulyss. In his opinion, the most common mistakes when entrepreneurs start dealing with e-commerce is that they invest a lot in software and design, but they are not aware how much successful marketing could cost them. "Technology has become very cheap and everyone can develop a good website, but it is very difficult to find customers who want to buy and knowledge and focused efforts are required." Ulyss insists that at present, e-commerce is a "sport" for large companies and organizations. Greek e-shops now give priority to development in the Balkans and the former eastern bloc, because the more developed countries in this area such as the USA, England and Germany have not yet entered these markets.

The common expert opinion is that the highest barriers to e-commerce are related to courier services, their costs and the shipment price-security relation. Furthermore, they are adamant that making an online shop does not mean in itself that it will be successful. A model for targeted network marketing is required, the results of which must constantly be revised and if necessary, the direction of offering or advertising should be changed to attain the highest results and not to lose money on ineffective forms of promotion.

"On average, 70% of the visits to an online shop reach the stage before the last purchase step and still cancel it," said George Fragakis from Forestview, which analyzes the data and consumer behaviour of Internet shoppers. They are clear that in order to increase sales, online merchants should integrate systems to provide automatically a 10% discount for the product that a customer has refused to buy at the last minute up to three hours after the last logging into the site. Forestview ensures that at least 30% of these users will return to shop online, and 16% of them will actually buy the product with the proposed reduction.

"If you seek to sell properly you should understand how consumers shop," said Thanassis Petmezas, who is the head of CosmOne. The company is part of the holding of the Greek telecommunications company OTE and offers cost optimization in electronic services having only business-2-business relations with other companies. He is adamant that customer interests should be carefully researched to achieve the highest results.

Stefanos Komninos, Secretary General of Commerce at the Ministry of Development, Competitiveness and Shipping, honestly said that the state has no particular legal framework that specifically defines distance marketing activities, but stressed that its development is really necessary, especially during periods of fiscal stagnation.

"We seek to relate the state and electronic merchants, because they do not have a special relation yet." Greeks are traditionally good at trading, said the Secretary General and stressed that a new framework is to be developed, which will be broader and more specific than the European Directive, which currently applies in the country. The Ministry has undertaken to develop a special website where users can fill in their weekly shopping. The website, in turn, will provide accurate information on where the consumer can find the most competitive prices in their living area. "We know that entrepreneurs want less state involvement and users want more information, and these goals can be achieved with the use of new technologies."

Tags: Online shopNetworksTrendsSoftwareGreece
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