Albania flag Albania: Buying and Selling

E-commerce in Albania

E-commerce

Internet access
As of December 2017, there were 2.9 million people in Albania, out of which 1.93 million were internet users, making the penetration rate 65.8%. When it comes to how they access the internet, 48% of Albanians use computers (laptops and desktops), 49% use mobile phones, 3% use tablet devices and 0.03% use other devices. Compared to the previous year, there was a 13% drop in computer users. At the same time, there was an increase of 19% in mobile phone internet users, a 21% drop in people who access the internet through their desktops and a 200% increase in 'other devices' usage. Albania is one of the only countries in Europe that doesn’t have a neutral Internet Exchange Point. There are ongoing government efforts to improve broadband availability and access conditions throughout Albania. However, fixed line and broadband penetration remains very low by international standards. As mobile network infrastructure improves, consumers continue to prefer this platform for voice and data services, and as a result the mobile sector will be the focus for future growth in the overall market. In 2017, 69.3% of Albanians had mobile-broadband subscriptions, while 41% of households had internet access at home. As of September 2018, the most popular search engines in the country by market share were Google (96.27%), Yahoo! (2.38%), and Bing (1.15%). As for browsers, the most popular ones were Chrome (68.45%), Safari (18.43%), Firefox (4.25%), Samsung Internet (3.47%), Android (1.48%) and Opera (1.25%). 
E-commerce market
There is no public data available about e-commerce in Albania. There is only a limited number of domestic merchants offering the option of e-commerce in the country. Albania is still a cash based economy and credit cards are not commonly used outside of major hotels, restaurants and department stores. To promote their use, local banks have started to introduce special discounts on various consumer goods in partnership with companies. Cross-border internet shopping is in its early stages, and it's still not disseminated, especially due to the low use of credit cards, low purchasing power and the high cost of shipping. Additionally, many online merchants do not ship to Albania. In 2016, the government reduced the duty free amount from EUR 150 to 22, which significantly reduced cross-border online shopping. Even though e-commerce is still developing in the country, there are some popular e-commerce shops in Albania. Some of the most popular ones include Megatek, 123.al, and EBuy.al. The most popular product categories bought online are electronic devices, followed by clothes and shoes, books and cosmetics. Albania’s telecommunications infrastructure is perceived as an obstacle to expansion of the e-commerce market. According to the World Bank, a significant  number of Albanian companies have reported that inadequate and costly telecommunications services hamper business.

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Latest Update: April 2022

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