For the past five years the share of those shopping from all Internet users has grown at a fast pace, however, there is still great potential in Bulgaria. According to information presented by UniCredit Consumer Financing, towards the end of last year 27% of the Internet users and 18% of all Bulgarians made purchases from websites and online stores. This is still far from the average level for the EU, where nearly 70% of all Internet users are also buyers. “Customer experience when shopping online is a key factor and includes all components - speed, ease of access and security. This is a segment of the market that will grow at a fast pace. This is why we, together with our customers, develop new services that will make things considerably more convenient for them,” said Levon Hampartzoumian, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Management Board of UniCredit Bulbank, during a media event.
This trend of increase of the share of online purchases makes it necessary to create a faster and easier access to financing. This is why as of the end of last year UniCredit Consumer Financing has offered a completely online POS loan application and utilisation process. The new product has been very well received by consumers since it considerably simplifies the traditional process of granting a loan where the borrowers had to sign agreements on paper.
“Online market has grown more than twice for the past five years. This entails simplification of the online shopping process and UniCredit Consumer Financing has worked in this direction. This is why we are particularly happy to present a completely online process for POS loan application that is already operating", said Ivaylo Glavchovski, Chief Executive Officer of UniCredit Consumer Financing. He explained that the process of online application for purchase of goods on lease is developed entirely on the basis of communication with customers and their desire to have the aforementioned online customer experience. Up until now this process took nearly a week and that was why most people would choose to pay cash on delivery when shopping online.
“Now, however, UniCredit Consumer Financing offers a structured, fast, easy, transparent and safe process for online financing of POS loans. Choosing this option the customer can see the interest rates, the cost increase and the general terms & conditions so that they are fully acquainted with the agreement,” Glavchovski explained.
“The new process is environment-friendly, because it makes it possible for 24 trees per year to be saved since “signing an agreement’’ is in fact an email confirmation”, added Ekaterina Kirilova, Chief Sales Officer of UniCredit Consumer Financing.
Who takes out POS loans online?
The data gathered by UniCredit Consumer Financing shows that married men, between 30 and 39 years old, with an average monthly income of BGN 1,000, working under a permanent employment contract, are the ones to most frequently shop using an online loan. The average amount of a purchase is BGN 864.
What do people in Bulgaria buy using a loan?
From physical stores customers most frequently buy on lease mobile phones, white goods and brown goods. The three categories have relatively the same share of approximately 20% of all purchases. The goods purchased online and financed with a loan are similar - computers, brown goods and mobile phones.
According to the statistics of UniCredit Consumer Financing the share of online purchases is still relatively small in comparison with the purchases in physical stores, but experts expect this to change thanks to the new online service. Currently 1/4 of the goods in physical stores are bought on lease, while half of goods are paid for in cash. In contrast, 5% of the online purchases are financed with a loan. The share of payments by card, however, is the same - exactly 1/4 of all purchases.
Bulgarians prefer Bulgarian online stores
Internet users in the country still prefer shopping in Bulgarian online stores - close to 90% shop in precisely such stores. Thus, as the number of online shoppers has grown, so has the number of online stores. For the last eight years the number of shoppers has tripled and now one out of every six Bulgarians shops online. The number of Bulgarian online stores has grown four times to nearly 4,500 during the same period. There has been a trend for the past years of more expensive goods being purchased online.
Additional media information:
Victoria Blajeva, tel +359 (0) 2 9264 993, wjlj/ebwjepwbAvojdsfejuhspvq/ch
Beatris Nikolova, tel +359 (0) 2 9232 528, cfbusjt/ojlpmpwbAvojdsfejuhspvq/ch
Ekaterina Ancheva, tel +359 (0) 2 9264 963, flbufsjob/bodifwbAvojdsfejuhspvq/ch