PHH Group brands are in the TOP10 of the most visited e-comm websites in the Baltics in 2023
Rūta Balčiūnienė „Verslo žinios“
- The big e-commerce players in Lithuania have struggled to maintain and attract traffic.
- Specialized websites attracted more traffic last year in Lithuania.
- The battle is particularly intense among betting companies, which continuously advertise and aggressively drive traffic to their websites.
- According to BPN Intense's calculations, e-sites struggled to attract more traffic in December than in November.
The top 100 most visited e-shops in Lithuania saw an 8% increase in consumer traffic in 2023, but recent years have been a bit more modest for the largest and longest-standing players, according to the periodic e-commerce ranking in Lithuania and other Baltic countries compiled by media planning agency BPN Intense.
The websites that have been the long-standing leaders in Lithuania in terms of visitor traffic - Pigu.lt, which is in first place, sees a symbolic contraction of 0.5% over the year, while Senukai.lt, in the second place, sees a contraction of almost 7%."These e-commerce leaders in Lithuania occupy high positions, but at the same time, looking at the figures, we would like to talk first of all not about the drop, which may have been caused by certain changes in the calculation methodology, as the pages "switched" from Google Analytics Universal to Google Analytics 4, but about the fact that these sites have experienced a stabilization of traffic, which indicates a certain saturation of the e-commerce market," - says Gedas Kučinskas, head of development and strategies at the media planning agency BPN Intense, referring to the changes.
According to him, the stabilization of traffic may indicate that new alternatives are emerging and that it is becoming more and more difficult for e-merchants to attract new visitors.
"Examples of this include the strong growth of online clothing stores over the last few years, such as Aboutyou.lt and Zalando.lt, which also experienced a stabilization of the market last year. Online shopping for clothes, which intensified during the pandemic, seems to be returning to a more moderate level," says Kučinskas.
VŽ reminds us that BPN Intense has been compiling monthly rankings since the beginning of 2020 by assessing and comparing the customer traffic attracted by e-commerce sites, along with aggregated annual data.
The rankings are based on the IPG Mediabrands network indexing and benchmarking methodology. The index is calculated by organizing data from different external e-commerce statistics platforms (SimilarWeb, SEMrush, Ahrefs, Alexa, etc.). Given that the data provided by these external e-commerce statistics platforms have a rather wide margin of error - the visit statistics are analyzed on the basis of actual observed data from several dozen e-commerce projects - they are indexed and compared and roughly reflect the actual website traffic.
Where the biggest changes are
"Specialised websites such as knygos.lt, vynoteka.lt, eurokos.lt attracted more traffic last year. This indicates that the chosen specialization is able to better provide an attractive range of products for online shoppers," says G. Kučinskas.
At the same time, the entertainment and services sector grew: the beauty services booking system treatwell.lt and the ticket seller kakava.lt saw higher traffic. The travel sector, skrendu.lt, kelioniuakademija.lt, and kelioniuakademija.lt also recorded growth in user flows last year.
According to G. Kučinskas, last year was also a very intense battle between betting companies, which continuously advertise and aggressively send traffic to their websites.
"It is true that from this year onwards we plan to stop including the betting segment in the ranking. We would like to make the ranking more pure and leave only e-commerce players," plans Kučinskas.
A weaker December
"According to BPN Intense's calculations, websites struggled to attract more traffic in December than in November.
"November was a more generous month for e-merchants, with people buying gifts heavily during active sales campaigns, Black Friday and Singles' Day. On the other hand, it is interesting to note that the major players in Lithuania lost more traffic compared to November 2023. At the same time, the Christmas period was more generous for e-commerce players in Latvia and Estonia," Kučinskas compares.
Researchers estimate 1.3% fewer consumer visits to e-commerce sites in Lithuania last December, 0.94% fewer in Latvia, and 0.87% fewer in Estonia compared to November 2023.
"However, the online advertising segment increased by 0.58% in Lithuania, 2.28% in Latvia and 4.79% in Estonia. E-commerce players have tried to regain traffic", says Kučinskas.
In Lithuania, the major players: senukai.lt, topocentras.lt, pigu.lt, varle.lt, eavalyne.lt, barbora.lt have invested significantly more in advertising.
What was bought the most
Asta Brazaitienė, Head of Corporate Communications for the Baltics at PHH, which manages Pigu.lt, commenting on the shopper traffic, notes that in 2023, the e-commerce field saw the emergence of more new players, including foreign companies, which increased the challenge of attracting traffic.
"The Lithuanian market and the Baltic States in general are attractive for e-commerce, so we can expect new competitors in the future. Recognizing this, we are constantly striving to improve: we offer a wider range of products, faster delivery, invest in IT and AI solutions to create the best possible shopping experience, and encourage customers to come back to us again and again," says A. Brazaitienė.
"Pigu.lt records that last year the platform was dominated by toys, homeware, and cosmetics. In 2023, almost 390,000 toys, more than 355,000 household items, and almost 290,000 cosmetics were sold in the most popular product categories.
Last year, seasonal goods were the most sought-after items, with the busiest sales taking place in January and the pre-Christmas period in November and December, the e-trader said.
knygos.lt success factors
Interestingly, Pigu, the e-commerce platform in Lithuania with the highest turnover and the largest number of visitors among e-merchants, has a more than 3 times smaller assortment than the specialized merchant knygos.lt.
Approximately 12.8 million - this is the number of different products that the specialized book platform currently offers its customers to choose from, while Pigu offers its customers to choose from 3.8 million different products.
The size of the range and the ability to deliver products quickly to customers are among the most important parameters for further growth and the ability to attract customer traffic.
"BPN Intense calculates that in 2023, knygos.lt moved up 7 positions in the e-commerce rankings to 15th position, while its visitor traffic grew by almost 39%.
Dovydas Pauliukonis, the head of the e-shop "Knygos.lt", tells VŽ that the main contributors to the growing customer traffic are probably the strong brand and its awareness on the market, as well as the large assortment and the creation of added value, as the website offers a wide range of TOP books and exclusive products.
Dovydas Pauliukonis, Head of the e-shop "Knygos.lt". Photo by Vladimir Ivanovas (VŽ)
"We have a large base of loyal customers who buy from us all the time, others come to browse through TOP and often come back later to buy one or another book, and still others come looking for a gift. In addition to books, we are expanding our range of other gift items such as candles, toys, etc. This also brings new customers," says Pauliukonis.
He adds that the growth is also due to the consistent investment in marketing and the functionality of the website.
"So, growth is a combination of actions, and there is no one magic bullet that can be singled out. A successful e-shop requires constant work, constant improvements in order to make it convenient for the consumer to find what they are looking for, and at the same time to offer them exclusive and more interesting products," concludes Pauliukonis.