Foreign sales fall in Portuguese Internet stores

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The weight of orders online from abroad has been decreasing quarterly among Portuguese e-commerce stores, according to an analysis by the Unicre / Vector21 panel for the months between July and September 2004.

In the third quarter of last year, the percentage of stores that reported having sold abroad decreased by 15 percent compared to the previous quarter, from 85 percent to 60 percent. The weight of orders originating in countries other than Portugal decreased by 5.9 percent between quarters, representing 20.9 percent of the total transactions carried out by stores.

Despite this less positive result, the responses of national traders who are part of the Unicre / Vector21 panel regarding commercial expectations for the next six months show a very optimistic soul state, classified qualitatively between «optimistic» and «very optimistic», and therefore higher than that recorded in the previous four quarters.

According to what is mentioned by the merchants, the range of products most in demand, nationally and internationally, on their websites throughout the third quarter of last year was composed of only six items. Computer products led sales, with 27 percent of store managers referring online headquartered in our country, followed by books, bookings in accommodation units, CDs / cassettes, all with 18 percent and, still, ticket reservations for shows, food and drinks and films / other Videos.

These were the product categories that consolidated over the last seven quarters in sales online, a sign that, according to Unicre / Vector21 analysis, they are the ones that best fit the typical offer of electronic commerce.

On the other hand, products that in the past were also mentioned as the best sellers have lost this status, as is the case with sports articles, gifts delivered at home, perfumes and beauty products, travel reservations, clothing, household goods of large dimensions and subscription to periodicals.

Regarding the payment methods preferred by consumers, mention should be made of the diversity of forms used for card payment – with the introduction of the card number on the website, by MBNet or by Multibanco reference, the growth of the index by 57 percent of use of the MBNet system by the manufacturers. It should also be noted that the payment method against sending collection and the appearance for the first time with some representation of the modality by SMS, indicated by nine percent of merchants, remained in a prominent place. Payment by check declines sharply.

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