Describes how widely e-Commerce is used, the primary sectors that sell through e-commerce, and how much product/service in each sector is sold through e-commerce versus brick-and-mortar retail. Includes what a company needs to know to take advantage of e-commerce in the local market and , reputable, prominent B2B websites.
Last Published: 6/16/2017

Overview

A 2013 Kosovo Association for Information and Communication Technology (STIKK) study found 84.8 percent of households and 76.6 percent of individuals regularly use the internet.  While Kosovo has the highest internet penetration rate in the region, the ecommerce sector is in its nascency.  The service and trade sectors are the primary users of ecommerce, but the majority of their sales are still done through traditional methods.  Most commercial banks have introduced internet banking, and all utilities offer online bill payment options.

Current Market Trends

eCommerce is regulated by the 2012 laws on Information Society Services and Consumer Protection.  Kosovo follows EU standards for ecommerce and consumer protection.  The average consumer in Kosovo does not make purchases via ecommerce, but online sales have increased since 2016.  Existing market data is limited, but the Kosovo Agency for Statistics plans to begin gathering detailed data on ICT usage and ecommerce rates in 2017.

Domestic eCommerce (B2C)

Kosovo’s domestic ecommerce market is growing.  There are a handful of new websites offering consumer goods, including:

Notably, Kosovo does not have a country-code top-level domain, so most domestic ecommerce businesses use U.S.-registered domains.

Cross-Border eCommerce

Cross-border ecommerce increased dramatically in 2016.  Per Kosovo Customs data, online purchases increased from 12,000 in 2015 to more than 200,000 in 2016.  Well-known ecommerce websites, including Amazon and ASOS, recently added Kosovo to the list of countries they ship to, simplifying purchases and increasing the number of online transactions.  Consumers still manage to use other large ecommerce platforms – such as Alibaba – that do not ship directly to Kosovo but support shipments to neighboring countries.  Per Kosovo Statistics Agency data, the majority of online purchases in Kosovo are made with EU and U.S. retailers.

Online Payment

Payment methods for ecommerce transactions include e-banking, credit cards (Visa and Mastercard), and cash-on-delivery for the domestic market.  While third-party methods such as PayPal and Payoneer generally do not offer services in Kosovo, some users find work-arounds leveraging banks in neighboring countries.

Major Buying Holidays

There are no major buying holidays in Kosovo similar to Black Friday in the U.S., but retailers generally offer discounts around major holidays.

Social Media

Kosovo users are active on social media – particularly Facebook and Twitter.  Per 2016 Internet World Stats data, Facebook has a 45.7% penetration rate in Kosovo with an estimated 860,000 users.  A growing number of local businesses use social media to promote their products and services. 

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.



Kosovo eCommerce Industry Trade Development and Promotion eCommerce