Bulgaria has experienced a rapid growth in the number of internet users since 2000, which spiked from 430,000 to 3.4 million in 2010. Many experts link this rise to the fact that the nation enjoys one of the world's fastest internet broadband connections. In 2014, the country's online marketing value was calculated at 2.6 billion euros by the National Statistical Institute, recording more than 925,000 online shoppers. This trend indicates a yearly growth of e-commerce in the country at a fairly high rate. Besides, social media is widely followed in Bulgaria using digital marketing techniques and technologies such as Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), digital campaigns, social media marketing and display advertising. This further helps popularize goods and services for the target audience.
Social media trends
With more than three million Bulgarian citizens having Facebook accounts, Facebook is definitely the most widely used social media channel for online marketing. Over 21 percent of the population also uses YouTube, along with 14.3 percent who have a Google+ account. Other interesting channels which offer scopes of online sales are Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, which are especially popular amongst the younger Bulgarians.
A lot of budgets is spent on Pay Per Conversion ads for social media marketing via Facebook and Google. Recently, ads with post-sales direct payment have come into focus as it is through these that companies are enjoying secure profits in their income, justifying their investments in online marketing. Besides, digital campaigning is also increasing amongst e-traders as this helps in projecting their brand. Going especially popular is the "viral" approach via social media which helps gain attention from maximum consumers.
Mobile first market
Bulgaria is also considered a mobile first market, which is to stay, that most consumers here shop online via mobile devices as compared to desktops. 60 percent of online traffic in Bulgaria is mobile and this is one emerging trend retailers need to soon adapt to for easier and quicker sales as cited by Janet Naidenova, Board Chairperson of the Bulgarian E-commerce Association.
SaaS e-commerce platforms
SaaS e-commerce platforms have been trending in this part of Europe since 2015. The advantage of these platforms is that they offer immediate access to the online store to traders, complete with marketing support and software. For most of these SaaS companies, Facebook is the go-to platform for selling their goods. In a recent survey, 1,000 B2B marketers were interviewed on which social media channel they would choose and 24 percent of users voted for Facebook.
The rapid rise in online shopping over social media has projected Bulgaria as a ripe eCommerce market. Statistics promises that Bulgarian eCommerce market will continue to expand and will evolve into an important strategic target for e-retailers.