The number of Albanians making online purchases continued to increase in 2021, with 21.4% of the population aged 16-74 saying they had made an online purchase in the preceding 12 months, a survey by statistics office Instat showed on December 13.
The number of Albanians buying online has risen significantly since 2019, when data from across Europe compiled by Eurostat showed just 7% of Albanians made online purchases, the lowest percentage on the continent. Compared to 2020, the share of Albanians buying online was up by 1.9 percentage points (pp).
Closures of bricks and mortar shops during the early months of the pandemic added to the existing trend of a gradual increase in online shopping. However, Albania’s online retailers continue to struggle with a lack of trust and a widespread use of cash rather than payment cards.
Among the products and services bought online, the most popular were clothing, shoes and accessories, bought by 88.9% of respondents, up 4.1 pp year on year. Meanwhile, the biggest y/y increase was for purchases of food and beverages, which rose by 4.7 pp to 24.6%.
The survey also showed that the use of all types of e-government services increased in 2021.
At the time of the survey, 88.3% of Albanian households had internet access, up from 83.3% last year. Mobile and smart phones were the most popular way to access the internet, used by over 98% of respondents, with only 24.4% using a laptop and 7.2% a tablet.