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eMAG: key pureplay driving fast delivery operations

eMAG has expanded to become a major presence at the forefront of ecommerce in Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary and has ambitions for further expansion.

eMAG is one of the largest online retailers in Central and Eastern Europe. Founded in Romania 18 years ago, the company operates in Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria. In recent years, it has expanded from the IT and consumer electronics sector to sell across multiple categories as well as operating as a marketplace. In October 2021, it started selling groceries in Romania through a separate site, ‘Freshful by eMAG’. In March 2019, its Hungarian operation merged with fellow Hungarian retailer, Extreme Digital. Together, the companies set an ambition to triple turnover to €1bn within five years.

In 2020, the eMAG Group reported revenues of €1.8bn. The business in Romania accounts for €1.09bn, with operations in Hungary and Bulgaria reporting a significant increase in turnover of 87%. Together, the two countries reported €0.42bn in sales.

Recent developments include the opening of two bricks-and-mortar showroom stores in Hungary and installation of a network of 500 collection lockers in Budapest.

The technology to run these Easybox lockers was developed in-house at eMAG, with order fulfilment also operated by the company. If products are in stock, the customer can collect their purchase on the same day that it has been ordered.

One third of eMAG’s delivery fleet consists of electric powered vehicles. The company is working towards transitioning its entire delivery fleet.

“Although the situation with the coronavirus that accompanied this year has made parcel vending machines more popular than before, that’s not the only reason we decided to build a nationwide vending machine network,” said Balázs Várkonyi, managing director, eMAG Hungary and Extreme Digital.

“By commissioning a larger number of vending machines than currently available, we are opening up a new dimension in domestic ecommerce. There will soon be so many vending machines in Budapest that people living here will have a good chance of choosing from several reception points within two kilometres. This means that they don’t have to take a separate detour to pick up an order, but either on their way to work, to school, or near their home, they can request the product, which they take over when they want, without having to have a daily programme for the courier to arrive.”

Customers in Romania can have their order delivered in one hour by the company’s own fast delivery service. Tazz by eMAG operates independently to deliver items from eMAG, restaurants and other retailers including Mega Image, Decathlon and dm. The company is currently investigating expansion into a fourth country, possibly Germany.

This case study was originally published in the 2021 Central & Eastern Europe Ecommerce Regional Report. Download the full report here to discover more about the diverse countries within Central and Eastern Europe from a commercial and strategic perspective.

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