The Austrian online payment market

Discover Austria’s e-commerce market and its favourite digital and online payment methods.

Countries Austria

Intro Austria

Austria is a lucrative e-commerce market with shoppers who are used to buying from online merchants. There are few barriers to entry, particularly for EU firms. Austrian consumers are open to new providers and to cross-border shopping.

They also have money to spend. The country’s GDP per capita is US$49,000 [1]. That’s 28% higher than the average for the Euro Area and 42% higher than the EU average [1]. The European Commission forecasts that the Austrian economy will grow by 4.3% in 2022 and 2.3% in 2023 [2].

But to succeed in the Austrian e-commerce market, you must know the preferred payment methods of Austrian consumers and be able to offer them at your checkout. Austria’s e-commerce market

The Austrian e-commerce market is worth $13.2 billion. The average annual spend per consumer is $1,481 [3]. 83% of Austrian online shoppers have bought something from a merchant based outside the country [3]. The value of these transactions is US$7.4 billion a year [3]. Astonishingly, Austrian consumers complete just 10% of all online transactions on a mobile device [3].

A study conducted in the second half of 2020 found that while a third of all Austrian e-commerce merchants had increased sales during the pandemic [4], this has continued in 2022, with 42% of Austrians saying they now shop online at least once a week [5]. Even more startlingly, the Austrian Institute for Business, Sales and Marketing calculates that Austrians now buy 62% of online purchases “cross border”, from merchants based outside the country [6].

Austria’s e-commerce market

The Austrian e-commerce market is worth $13.2 billion. The average annual spend per consumer is $1,481 [3]. 83% of Austrian online shoppers have bought something from a merchant based outside the country [3]. The value of these transactions is US$7.4 billion a year [3]. Astonishingly, Austrian consumers complete just 10% of all online transactions on a mobile device [3].

A study conducted in the second half of 2020 found that while a third of all Austrian e-commerce merchants had increased sales during the pandemic [4], this has continued in 2022, with 42% of Austrians saying they now shop online at least once a week [5]. Even more startlingly, the Austrian Institute for Business, Sales and Marketing calculates that Austrians now buy 62% of online purchases “cross border”, from merchants based outside the country [6].

Payment methods in Austria

Austrians’ payment preferences differ from those of countries such as the US and the UK. Local Payment Methods (LPMs), often referred to as credit-card alternatives, dominate Austrian payment culture. Only 32% of all online purchases are paid for using a credit card [3].

Austrians use bank transfers in 14% of online transactions [3]. They use e-wallets in 20% of all purchases. While most Austrians prefer cashless payment methods for online purchases, 6% of shoppers still use cash, a form of payment more common in developing markets [3]. They use a range of other payment types in 28% of digital payments [3].

Enabling and limiting factors

The digital infrastructure in Austria is good. 89% of Austrians have an Internet connection — an impressive achievement for a country that’s dominated by some of Europe’s most fearsome mountain ranges [3]. 70% of Austrians have an Internet-enabled smartphone, making it vital for merchants to support mobile payment apps [3].

Under its broadband strategy 2030, adopted in 2019, Austria aimed to have ultra-fast broadband available in the whole country by the end of 2020 [7]. In 2021, the government pledged to spend US$1.7 billion (€1.4 billion) by 2026, to speed up the roll-out of fast broadband [8]. The goal is for high-speed connections to be 57% of the total by 2025 [8].

Physical limiting factors in Austria are few. The main restrictions faced by new competitors are likely to be the high expectations of already well-served customers in a sophisticated market. Austrians are open to new merchants and have already shown themselves enthusiastic about cross-border e-commerce.

Footnotes

  1. https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.CD
  2. https://ec.europa.eu/info/business-economy-euro/economic-performance-and-forecasts/economic-performance-country/austria/economic-forecast-austria_en
  3. Original PPRO research
  4. https://ecommercenews.eu/42-of-austrians-shop-online-at-least-every-week
  5. https://www.vienna.at/studie-zu-online-handel-und-corona-32-verzeichnen-mehr-geschaeft/6782342
  6. https://retailreport.at/jku-und-wko-auslaendischer-online-handel-nicht-zu-stoppen
  7. https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/policies/desi-austria
  8. https://www.verdict.co.uk/austria-fixed-broadband-5g-rollout/

Popular Payment Methods in Austria

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Quick facts

Austrians are huge cross-border shoppers. 83% of all Austrian online shoppers have shopped cross-border with more than half of their purchases coming from outside the country.

It may be that Austrians are canny shoppers or it may be down to the incredibly short returns period. Unlike other European countries that offer at least 2 weeks grace, Austrian consumers have one week to return unwanted purchases.

From 1st July 2021 taxes are charged on all e-commerce purchases made in Austria whether the purchase is shipped from within the EU or not and is chargeable from the first cent.

Austria’s economy dropped by 6.6% in 2020 but is forecast to grow by 3.5% in 2021 and 4% in 2022 according to the IMF. Inflation also rose in 2020 by 1.4% and is expected to rise by 1.6% in 2021 and by 1.8% in 2022.

General Information

  • Population 9.0m
  • Population 15 + 7.6m
  • Online Population 8.0m
  • Area 83,879 km2
  • Currency EUR
  • GDP 428.6bn USD
  • GDP per Capita 48,154 USD

Payment types

  • Card-based payments
  • Cash-based payments
  • Bank transfer
  • Wallets
  • Other
[{"label":"Card-based payments","value":"32"},{"label":"Cash-based payments","value":"6"},{"label":"Bank transfer","value":"14"},{"label":"Wallets","value":"20"},{"label":"Other","value":"28"}]

Banked population
  • Austria 98%
  • Western & Central Europe 94%
  • World 67%
Credit card penetration
  • Austria 47%
  • Western & Central Europe 46%
  • World 19%
Internet penetration
  • Austria 89%
  • Western & Central Europe 91%
  • World 62%
Smartphone penetration
  • Austria 70%
  • Western & Central Europe 75%
  • World 70%

The E-Commerce Market

Top e-commerce segments 2019 | 2020

  1. Airlines & Hotels: 47% | 29%
  2. Health & Beauty: 15% | 21%
  3. Electrical Goods: 14% | 18%
  4. Toys, DIY, & Hobbies: 10% | 13%
  5. Homeware & Furniture 7% | 10%

Cross-border e-commerce

  1. Cross-border proportion of total e-commerce – 56%
  2. Value of cross-border e-commerce ($US billion) – 7.4
  3. % of online shoppers who have shopped cross-border – 83%

Top 3 cross-border shopping origin markets

  1. Germany: 70%
  2. China: 15%
  3. UK: 3%
E-commerce % of total retail
  • Austria 13%
  • Western & Central Europe 17.6%
  • World 20%
E-commerce completed on a mobile device
  • Austria 10%
  • Western & Central Europe 43%
  • World 53%

E-Commerce Trends

  • E-commerce market size ($US billion) 13.2bn USD
  • E-Commerce spending per capita ($US) 1,481 USD
  • E-commerce spending as % of GDP 2.9%

The Credit Card Split

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Other
[{"label":"Visa","value":"15"},{"label":"Mastercard","value":"83"},{"label":"American Express","value":"1"},{"label":"Other","value":"1"}]

The information on our Insights pages has been compiled by us in cooperation with Datamatics and Wright & Brown. The data shown is partially owned by us and partially owned by GlobalData. © 2021 by PPRO Financial Ltd. No data and information can be used for any further publication without the explicit approval of PPRO.

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