Located in Central Europe with a population of nearly 38 million, Poland has experienced rapid economic growth and development since the end of Communism in1989, when it transitioned from a planned economy to a market economy. As one of the most populous members of the European Union, it’s an important trading partner for many countries in Europe and around the world and is often seen as a gateway to Eastern Europe.
Poland: Key Market Data
In 2020, Poland’s e-commerce market achieved revenues of $13 billion making it the world’s 18th largest, between Sweden and Mexico. Thanks to an expanding middle-class in terms of spending power, and a diminishing offline shopping infrastructure, Poland has one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in Europe, making it an extremely attractive proposition for online retailers.
Digital Marketing in Poland
In January 2020, there were 30.63 million internet users in Poland, indicating an Internet penetration rate of 81%, placing it slightly below the Eastern European average of 82%.
During the same period, there were 51.84 million mobile connections in the country, equivalent to 137% of the total population – far more individuals have multiple devices in this region than in most other countries.
Google is the dominant search engine in Poland, taking 96.88% of searches in this market in September 2021. Other search engines don’t even come close, with Bing achieving 2.24% of searches, followed by Yahoo!, DuckDuckGo and Yandex (0.55%, 0.18% and 0.06%, respectively).
There are no native Polish search engines at present.
Search Engine Optimisation
Using the same SEO techniques as those for English speaking markets will work well for Polish market websites. Be mindful of the complexities of the Polish language. The complexities of Polish grammar compared to English mean that using simple, nominative word forms will not be sufficient for a Polish audience. This could also result in Google assuming your page was machine-created, thereby reducing the likelihood of ever ranking that content organically. The solution is to ensure you use a native Polish-speaking translator and localisation specialist who can correctly craft your content for a Polish audience and SERPs.
Social media penetration in Poland stood at 50% in January 2020, significantly lower than in other Western European countries. This figure is however gradually growing at an approximate rate of 8% per year.
Facebook is the most popular platform in use (79% of social media users) followed by Twitter (8.23%), Pinterest (5.84%), YouTube (2.97%) and Instagram (1.43%).
Pay Per Click
Where Google exists, so does Google Ads and Pay Per Click advertising. PPC is less competitive in Poland than in the UK and USA, so expect lower a lower cost per click for your target keywords, and respectively, a lower overall cost per conversion. Given the projected growth of Poland’s e-commerce market though, this may not be the case for much longer. Facebook ads are also popular in this region but make sure you localise your content if you want to ensure good engagement.
As Poland is part of the EU, you must abide by GDPR laws when running email marketing campaigns in this market.
There are no significant barriers preventing foreign companies from conducting e-commerce business in Poland. There is no need for a business entity to establish a local presence: products and services may be sold from abroad. However, foreign entities wishing to sell their goods/services online in Poland may also perform such activity through a subsidiary or local branch.
Selling from abroad may require tax registration even without an established presence.
What is also important is that where commercial activity specifically targets Polish consumers, e.g., the website offers a Polish language version, or advertising or marketing is directed to consumers in Poland, the activity must comply with Polish consumer regulations, even if the business entity does not have an established presence in Poland.
Conversion Rate Optimisation
The Polish TLD is .pl, and in order to achieve the best conversion rates (especially for e-commerce businesses), using this as opposed to .com or other geographical TLDs will improve your CRO.
In spite of a rather turbulent 20th-century history, Polish design managed to flourish and is characteristically similar to Scandinavian design from the same period, if not a little more industrial. This appears to have trickled down to Polish web design, which favours bold but clean lines, and strong primary colours, but nothing brash such as neon. Minimalism is preferred to clutter.
UX is important, so make sure your website is as clear and functional as possible, although this should be the case no matter which market you are trading in!
Contact the ALM team today if you’d like to find out how to localise for success in Poland!