Austria: an e-commerce & payments primer
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.
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 39% of all online purchases are paid for using a credit card .
Consumers use bank transfers in 23% of online transactions . They use e-wallets in 26% of all purchases. While most Austrians prefer cashless payment methods for online purchases, 5% of shoppers still use cash, a form of payment more common in developing markets . They use a range of other payment types in 7% of digital payments .
Austria’s e-commerce market
The Austrian e-commerce market is worth 13.8 billion $US. The average annual spend per consumer is 1,658 $US . 83% of Austrian online shoppers have bought something from a merchant based outside the country . The value of these transactions is 7.4 billion $US a year . Austrian consumers complete 37% of all online transactions on a mobile device .
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 , this has continued on into 2022, with 42% of Austrians saying they now shop online at least once a week . A 2022 report found that social commerce in Austria is already worth almost 800 million $US — a figure expected to rise to 3 billion $US by 2028 .
Things e-commerce providers need to know about Austria
The digital infrastructure in Austria is good. 88% of Austrians have an Internet connection — an impressive achievement for a country that’s dominated by some of Europe’s most fearsome mountain ranges . 86% of Austrians have an Internet-enabled smartphone, making it vital for merchants to support mobile payment apps .
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 . 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 . The goal is for high-speed connections to be 57% of the total by 2025 .
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.
Austrians also have money to spend. The country’s GDP per capita is US$49,000 . That’s 28% higher than the average for the Euro Area and 42% higher than the EU average . The European Commission forecasts that the Austrian economy will grow by 4.3% in 2022 and 2.3% in 2023 .
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.
- Original PPRO research