North Macedonia flag North Macedonia: Buying and Selling

E-commerce in North Macedonia

E-commerce

Internet access
By the end of 2017, North Macedonia had a population of 2 million people, out of which 1.5 million were internet users, making the penetration rate 75.9% - a growth of 10% compared to 2016. Wi-fi is widely available in restaurants, cafes, hotels and hostels, although free wi-fi is not always advertised in food and drink venues. Some hotels have computers in common areas. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) sponsored the 'Macedonian Connects' project, which helped to make North Macedonia the first all-broadband wireless country in the world. Wireless access is available to about 95% of the population, even those living in remote mountain villages where people do not have phones. According to CIA World Factbook, North Macedonia ranks 92nd in the world in regards to the number of internet hosts, and 79th when it comes to fixed internet broadband subscriptions. In 2016, 61% of people in North Macedonia used the internet every day or almost every day, and 81% of internet users accessed the internet using mobile phones (most of which were aged between 15 to 24). In 2018, North Macedonia was ranked as the country with the25th highest 4G LTE penetration rate in the world, 82.62%. With no government restrictions on access to the internet, the new challenges are privacy, fake news and hate speech. As of September 2018, the most popular search engines in the country by market share were Google (95.05%), followed by Yahoo (2.62%) and Bing (1.92%). As for browsers, the most popular ones were Chrome (77.37%), Safari (7.39%), Firefox (7.29%), Opera (2.14%), Samsung Internet (1.9%), and IE (1.2%).
E-commerce market
E-commerce is growing in North Macedonia but is still relatively low, both in terms of local merchants selling and consumers shopping online. According to Statista, 5% of enterprises in North Macedonia made B2C e-commerce sales through a website in 2016. According to UNCTAD reports, 19.3% of internet users ordered online in 2016, out of which 40.8% of orders were made from local companies, 20.7% of them from the EU and 58.6% from the rest of the world. In 2016, consumers spent US$ 95 million on online purchases of clothing and sports equipment (55%), electronic equipment (16.3%), and household goods (13.1%). However, several barriers to e-commerce persist: lack of purchasing power, underdeveloped financial systems and a legal and regulatory framework that is not fully up to date. Moreover, many local consumers have poor ITC literacy and lack knowledge of e-commerce. North Macedonia's payment systems are outdated, especially when it comes to mobile commerce. Online transactions originating in North Macedonia have been blocked or restricted by several major e-commerce sites, including Amazon and e-Bay, which halts cross border commerce. Some of the most popular domestic e-commerce websites are grouper.mk, anhoch.com and setec.mk, while the most popular foreign e-commerce website is AliExpress.

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Latest Update: November 2022

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