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What Will Happen to Greek E-Commerce?

Jul 9, 2015
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Posted by: Marketing
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Category: General
For the last eight years, Greek e-commerce has grown as steady as any country in the world. How the country’s debt crisis impacts it remains to be seen.
Greek-E-Commerce

As Greece’s economic leaders scramble to remedy the country’s debt crisis, the effect it will have on its e-commerce industry remains unknown. Small business owners and online shoppers in Greece are hopeful of a continued pattern: For the last seven years, Greek e-commerce has grown as steady as any country or region despite a stagnant economy.

Greek E-Commerce in Limbo

On Monday, June 29, crossborder e-commerce in Greece took a hit when its government put a stop to online shopping on e-tail websites such as Amazon, Apple Facebook and Google. It was done to halt more money from leaving the country and prevent Greek banks from inching toward failure. Many businesses which rely on e-commerce, such as taxi services and discount airlines, are at a loss as to how to accept payments. Without credit card processing, some Greek e-commerce businesses are left without payment services.

In a CNBC report Tuesday, July 7, an American couple on a honeymoon spoke of many small businesses' inability to process credit card transactions – only cash.

According to E-Commerce Europe, Greek e-commerce has risen steadily for the last eight years. It rose 25 percent in 2013 to $3.2 billion and another 20 percent in 2014 to $3.8 billion. E-commerce Europe also reported there are 3.4 million online shoppers in Greece that spend an average of €1,130 ($1,250 USD). Greece has a population of 11.1 million citizens, 7.0 million of whom have online access.

An American’s Recent Visit to Greece

Greg Royce is the Director of Athletic Communications at Southern New Hampshire University. He recently accompanied the University’s men’s basketball team on a four-game, 10-day trip to Athens and Thessaloniki and said the effects of the debt crisis could be felt all over.

"After the weekend (June 27-28) when the banks closed, you could feel it," Mr. Royce said. "Ninety-nine percent of the places we went to wanted cash. They wouldn’t accept a credit card."

The One Industry Thriving in Greece

As bad as the Greek debt crisis is, its travel and tourism industry is doing well. UK travel site Skyscanner reported a 16 percent increase in online searches for flights to Greece opposed to one year ago. Travel agencies are seeing an increase in bookings. Tourists, however, should plan ahead and bring plenty of cash.

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