The pandemic increased online shopping in Albania, but followed by high informality

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Albanians are increasingly purchasing goods and services online, a trend that grew especially following the pandemic.

Official INSTAT data show that nearly one in every five people made purchases through online platforms or social networks in 2020, primarily for apparel, shoes, and accessories, but also for other things such as food in supermarkets or other household items.

According to some estimates, the issue is more widespread, with about 60% of the population placing orders online by 2021.

Albania’s most promising industry is e-commerce. This is because it was formerly underdeveloped, and Albanians shopped in conventional ways, preferring actual stores.

However, the rapid growth of online commerce is linked to a high level of informality. Many product-selling websites are unregistered, unaffiliated, and without an address, putting consumers in danger.