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: 11/29/2017


Overview

E-commerce is still in its infancy, with a few merchants offering this option in Moldova and a few Moldovans used to ordering on-line.  However, growing use of the Internet, credit cards, paypal and online banking in Moldova is favoring e-commerce development.  Use of e-mail for business communication, is increasingly common. Most companies have their own websites. Some domestic businesses have recently initiated on-line ordering and other e-commerce techniques. Internet banking is becoming increasingly popular.  Access to internet and mobile internet is increasing as the use of smartphones is spreading and the local operators are upgrading their infrastructure to 4G and expanding optic fiber networks.
 

Current Market Trends

Moldova passed a law on e-commerce in 2004 regulating the main aspects of transactions over the Internet introducing such terms as electronic contract.  New changes to the law were recently passed in line with Moldova’s EU Association Agreement/Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (AA/DCFTA) focusing primarily on the protection of personal data.  Moldovans shop online primarily for clothings, shoes, electronic appliances and travel. Recent surveys estimate that 270,000 Moldovans purchase goods and services online every month.
 

Domestic eCommerce (B2C)

Electronics retailers were among the first to set up on-line stores.  Several traditional brick-and-mortar electronics stores followed suit and established specific online stores.  Nevertheless, there are a number of eCommerce websites that cover a wide range of consumer products.  Unlike traditional retail business, trade entry barriers in this sector are fewer.
 

Cross-Border eCommerce

Popular among Moldovans are China-based as well as U.S.-based e-commerce websites for on-line purchases of primarily consumer electronics.  Footwear and clothing are purchased from France and the U.K.
 

B2B eCommerce

There is big potential for B2B eCommerce as many on-line stores may be used by small businesses to purchase products.  There is potential as companies and SMEs could sell and buy online or shift procurement transactions through the internet, given efforts by the government to promote electronic signatures and use of e-documents. 
 

eCommerce Services

There are a few domestic e-commerce aggregators that compare prices on products sold online (All Prices), digitize sales of tickets for different public and social events (iTicket), deliver restaurant food (Straus, FoodHouse) and help deliver products purchased online from a wide range of US etailers to Moldova (Fullship, Pesoto).
 

eCommerce Intellectual Property Rights

Protecting intellectual property rights (IPR) online is challenging.  There are laws in Moldova protecting IPR in the physical world, it is unclear how they apply to ecommerce.  IPR considerations for eCommerce
 

Popular eCommerce Sites

Among the international and domestic eCommerce websites, which are used by Moldovans are the following:
Ali Express
Amazon
ASOS
Bestseller
eBay
iHerb
La Redoute
Net Market
Panda Shop
Rozetka
Smad Shop
Smart
Sports Direct
Zap

 

Online Payment

Online payment is rarely used by domestic e-commerce websites, mostly preferring cash on delivery or wire transfers.  Credit cards, paypal and webmoney remain the only viable solution for on-line international transactions.
 

Mobile eCommerce

With growing rates of mobile penatration and widespread use of smartphones, mobile eCommerce may become a supplement to the e-commerce industry.  Mobile internet penetration rates represented 53.3% in 2016, while the total number of mobile internet users grew 30% to reach 1.893 million.
 

Digital Marketing

In the online media, most digital marketing happens on news and entertainment websites, social networks and classified ads sites.
 

Major Buying Holidays

While stores in Chisinau announce sales on various occasions linked to national or international holidays (e.g. Valentine’s Day or International Women’s Day), by far the largest buying holidays are Christmas, New Year’s Eve and to some extent Easter.
 

Social Media

Use of social media has been growing for business promotion and direct marketing. However, most businesses lack well-defined social media strategies.  Restaurants and fast food deliveries are usually among the biggest users of social media to promote their business. Facebook, odnoklassniki, and to a lower extent, twitter are the most popular social media websites.

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.



Moldova eCommerce Industry Trade Development and Promotion eCommerce