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Estonians are turning away from Chinese e-commerce and looking towards Europe

The COVID-crisis has changed the direction of e-commerce. If the parcel volumes arriving to Estonia were previously dominated by Chinese e-commerce giants, then as a result of the changes in 2020, local consumers increasingly prefer local and European e-commerce platforms, said acting Omniva chairman of the management board Andre Veskimeister.

"During the first peak of the corona crisis, the volumes of several Estonian major e-merchants doubled or tripled," Andre Veskimeister said. "The parcel volumes of some Omniva clients grew tenfold in just a few weeks. Several major international e-commerce companies have said that the Baltic States is the region where e-commerce increased the most in the corona spring. We are certainly very happy about that."

The number of parcels arriving from further away in Europe has also increased, but the share of Chinese e-commerce platforms has considerably decreased at the same time. "Estonians are turning away from Chinese e-commerce and looking towards Europe instead," Veskimeister explained. "There is a clear trend that Estonian people are more demanding of both products and services."

If the Chinese parcel volume ratio last year was 80/20 compared with European parcels, then over this past year, the European volumes have increased significantly. The respective share is currently 60/40 and the trend favouring Europe is on the rise.
The 70-75 percent decrease in Chinese parcel volumes in spring compared with last year can be explained by logistics issues – delivery times extended considerably and consumers value smooth service. Over the last months, the Chinese volumes have restored and delivery problems have mostly been resolved, but the Estonian and European parcel volumes continue to hold an impressive share.

In the middle of September, the Omniva Estonia home market parcel business service volume exceeded the total volume of 2019. This means that more parcels have moved in Estonian e-commerce in the first nine months of this year than the whole of last year. But the Christmas season is only just beginning.

"I can currently say that we at Omniva are ready for the Christmas period," Veskimeister said. "Our logistics centre has launched well, we have increased the parcel machines' capacity and taken other measures to tackle the network overload. Nevertheless, we ask people to collect their parcels as soon as possible so that others are able to receive their anticipated parcels as well."

The company will grow the parcel machine network by one-tenth in the Baltics this year. In Estonia, new lockers will be added to more popular machines. The 24 most popular Omniva parcel machines will get additional lockers this year.

Omniva has more than 250 parcel machines; together with post offices, there are over 500 pick-up points in Estonia. In the Baltic States, Omniva has nearly 800 parcel machines, making it the service provider with the largest network in all three states.


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