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One in three online shoppers in the CEE region, owns a smartphone

BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA: According to the findings of the latest CEE Telco Industry Report 2011, 14.2% of mobile phone owners in the CEE region have a smartphone.
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Looking at specific countries, the largest share of consumers who own -one of these high-end mobile devices can be found in Slovenia, Turkey and Lithuania, whilst Slovakia, Ukraine and Romania bring up the rear of the league chart. Accessing the Internet from one's own handset is a trend that goes hand in hand with the expansion of smartphones. This progressive group of consumers is also very appealing for retailers because smartphone owners account for 31% of the CEE online-shopping population. These are some of the findings of the CEE Telco Industry Report 2011, an international study conducted in 15 CEE countries on a sample comprising more than 15 000 respondents.

The smartphone is far from being a purely male domain

Men slightly dominate among smartphone owners; however this does not imply that these handsets are a purely male preserve in the CEE region. It is quite the other way round - males lead in smartphone penetration by only 3%. Moreover, in countries like Lithuania, Latvia and Russia, the penetration of smartphones between men and women is comparable. Conversely, the most substantial differences in male/female smartphone ownership can be seen in Slovenia and the Czech Republic, where this type of handset is more often found among males.

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Smartphone owners are a progressive target group

Owners of smartphones represent an attractive target audience for the advertising industry because the likelihood of reaching them via online marketing is considerably higher compared to owners of regular handsets. In contrast to users of mobile phones that do not fall into the smartphone category, they are much more intensive in accessing the Internet from their handset and they are more avid uses of web-based services, such as online shopping and internet banking. Smartphone owners also access the Internet in order to use social networks. It is certainly of interest, that as many as 75% of smartphone users in the CEE use social networks to communicate with other individuals.

In general, less than one in five online users in the CEE region actually shops online. In the Czech Republic, where online shopping is the most popular among CEE countries, as many as 54% of the online population use the web to hunt for bargains. Slovakia and Slovenia are also CEE leaders in terms of online shopping. In contrast, there is much space for growth in online shopping for countries such as Turkey, Ukraine and Kazakhstan that bring up the rear of the chart.

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The survey

CEE Telco Industry Report 2011 provides unique information on the use of Telco services and the Internet in Central and Eastern Europe. It includes information on the use of landlines and mobile services. It also takes a de-tailed look at mobile phone brands, the use of mobile Internet, places used to access the Internet, intensity of internet use, as well as the use of web-based services such as online banking, online shopping, and social networks. In addition, the study includes an in-depth analysis of the use and spending on the packages of services provided by the respective Telco operators.

The survey was conducted on a sample comprising 15 000 respondents in 15 countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine). Respondents were interviewed from May to July 2011 and the findings are representative of the populations of the respective countries participating in the survey.
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The GfK Association was established in 1934 as a non-profit organization for the promotion of market research. Its membership consists of approximately 600 companies and individuals. The purpose of the Association is to develop innovative research methods in close cooperation with academic institutions, to promote the training and further education of market researchers, to observe the structures and developments in society, the economy and politics that play a key role in private consumption, and to research their effects on consumers. Survey results are made available to the membership. The GfK Association is a shareholder in GfK SE.
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