Lithuanian e-commerce growing but lagging behind neighbours

“Geographical location or formal business registration in one region or another is no longer an obstacle for entering larger markets for any company – whether it operates in Vilnius or other regions,” said Swedbank business client service chief Antanas Sagatauskas.

Swedbank statistics indicate that, during the first quarter of this year, most e-businesses were based in Vilnius and Kaunas. Vilnius is the country’s clear leader, with 52% of the country’s e-businesses. 24% were based in Kaunas.

Small and medium enterprises make up 99.7% of the country’s companies, and they employ 75% of the country’s workers. The Statistics Department indicates that 76,458 companies were operating in Lithuania in 2013 and that about 72,000 of these were classified as very small companies.

Eurostat data indicates that almost 2/3 of all internet users in the EU (65%, or about 292 million people) shopped online. In Lithuania, this number is lower by half at 32%.

“We are more securely tied to traditional shopping methods than our close neighbours. For example, 38% of internet users in Latvia shop online, 37% in Poland, and 59% in Estonia. It seems like we have nothing to be proud of here, but to conclude that Lithuania has insufficient potential for an e-commerce market would be hasty and wrong,” said Baltic Post CEO Juozas Buitkus.

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