How to expand your e-shop to Hungary

Quite often we come across e-shops that expand from one country to another. This happens for various reasons, for example, the e-shop wants to increase sales, profit and establish itself in a less competitive market. It may happen that there is already fierce competition, low margins, and low profit in the domestic market.

In this article, you can find out about what the Hungarian market is like and why e-shops should expand to Hungary. This applies especially to e-shops that are from nearby countries (Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Austria, Romania, and Bulgaria).

What is Hungarian e-commerce like?

Hungary is a fairly populated European country with roughly 8 million customers who use the Internet. The vast majority of them also shop in e-shops. The value of an average purchase is roughly €50, and a Hungarian customer spends an average of approximately €450 a year on online purchases. As for e-commerce, there are approximately 4,300 e-shops in Hungary. The competition between e-shops is a bit lower than in the neighboring countries since there are significantly fewer e-shops in Hungary than in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, or Poland.

In Hungary, you can use Google Ads (including Performance Max campaigns) and Microsoft Ads for advertising. For cheaper clicks in Shopping and Performance Max campaigns, you can use the benefits of CSS Partners. The largest price comparison site in Hungary is arukereso.hu and one of the largest marketplaces is emag. hu.

All prices in the e-shop must be stated in Hungarian forints (Ft). This also applies to product prices in the Merchant account, as well as in product XML feeds.

Specifications of the Hungarian market

As for certain specifics on the Hungarian market, it should certainly be mentioned that Hungarians require texts on e-shops in flawless Hungarian. We would recommend starting with quality translations from your best products.

It should also be taken into account that Hungary has a relatively high VAT of 27%, which can reduce your margin. This is the basic VAT rate, for some products reduced rates of 18% and 5% apply. For example, the reduced rate of 18% is for dairy products and the 5% rate is for books and medical devices.

You should not forget the little things, such as writing the last name first and then the first name and the date format in the form of year – month – day.

The shopping behavior of consumers

The Hungarian customer, like other customers in CEE, tends to consider a purchase and look at reviews and recommendations from others. It is, therefore, necessary to collect reviews on price comparison sites and, if possible, collect reviews from existing customers directly on your e-shop as well. It is also necessary to pay attention to high-quality labels for products, as well as high-quality images.

We would also like to mention that when selling in Hungary you the support should speak Hungarian fluently. If you don’t have internal people who speak Hungarian, you can use Expandeco’s customer service.

Payment preferences

Card payment is on the rise (about 30% of customers choose it), closely followed by cash on delivery (roughly 25-29%). This is followed by a card or cash payment at the point of sale (roughly 28% of buyers). Other payment methods have a significantly smaller share.

Logistics

In Hungary, the majority of the population lives in cities, so you can count on relatively fast delivery of packages to customers. Hungary has logistics centers evenly distributed throughout the country. The largest transport service providers are DPD, GLS, Express One, MPL (Hungarian Post), and Sprinter. Your delivery price (from abroad to a customer in Hungary) will probably be higher than the price of delivery from domestic e-shops, you have to take this into account in advance. And possibly offer free delivery if possible.

The largest e-shops in Hungary

The following are the largest e-shops in Hungary:

  • Emag.hu
  • ExtremeDigital.hu
  • Alza.hu
  • Tesco.hu
  • Mediamarkt.hu
  • Ikea.com

This means that you can be inspired by the largest e-shops, or their segments, which you also focus on. This way you can gain an advantage over medium and small e-shops in your segment.

Where to run your online campaigns?

Google campaigns

It is recommended to start with performance PPC campaigns, i.e. Google search campaigns. Here you have two options for advertising products, Product Text Campaigns, and Performance Max Campaigns. You can create both types of campaigns in BlueWinston and filter only the products you want to advertise in your campaigns. For Performance Max campaigns, you can use our Shopping in EU CSS as a benefit over the competition.

Through Google Ads, you can also create manual campaigns for Google search, or even for the Content Network, on YouTube. These other types of campaigns are recommended to be launched only after the successful launch of performance PPC campaigns.

Microsoft Advertising

As a supplement to Google Ads campaigns, we would also recommend launching product campaigns for the Bing search engine. So far, Bing has only a small share in Hungary (up to 10%), which can be up to 1 million. users per month. We assume that Bing’s share among search engines will gradually grow, and therefore it makes sense to solve and automate product campaigns now. You can read more about product campaigns for Microsoft Bing on our blog.

Price comparators

It is also recommended to register the e-shop on the most significant price comparison sites in Hungary. Price comparison sites are visited by users who are searching for specific products and choose in which e-shop and at what price will they buy the given product. This is very accurate traffic that is already close to buying.

The biggest price comparison sites in Hungary are:

  • Arukereso.hu

  • Olcsobbat.hu
  • Argep.hu

Summary and conclusion

Expansion into Hungary is often mentioned among the owners of e-shops in countries around Hungary (mainly in the Czech Republic and Slovakia). In recent years, Hungarian e-commerce has grown significantly and there is also less competition between e-shops. It can therefore be said that expansion into Hungary can be a great opportunity for foreign e-shops that are already well established on the domestic market.

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About the Author:

Account manager at BlueWinston & CCS Shopping in EU (I'm the guy responsible for the most effective PPC tool to create product text and Smart Shopping campaigns for Google Search)