Preparedness for E-Commerce

Starting in 2015, UNCTAD introduces the UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index covering 130 economies, and reaching 152 in 2020. To assess the e-commerce potential in a market, a set of key facilitating factors determine the extent to which enterprises and consumers are able to engage in online commerce. Simplified e-commerce process for successfully purchasing transactions needs: affordable internet access, mechanisms for paying for goods and services ordered online, and effective solutions for their delivery (electronically or physically). The Index allows markets to compare their e-commerce readiness with that of others and also indicates their relative strength and weaknesses with regard to different elements of the e-commerce process (for example, Internet access, e-commerce sites, payment, and delivery).

The UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index is strongly positively correlated to the variation in the share of individuals shopping online. The results for the CEFTA markets excluding Kosovo are presented in the interactive graphs below.
Best ranked in 2020 out of 152 markets is Serbia (rank #43 with index points 75) and Albania Worst (rank #86 and index points 50).
Share of individuals with an account at a financial institution or with a mobile-money-service provider (% of population ages 15+). The best in this indicator is North Macedonia (77) and the worst Albania (40). Data are sourced from the World Bank Findex survey, which is carried out every three years. The latest survey was conducted in 2017.
North Macedonia is the best (81) and Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania the worst (70).
  • https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Pages/stat/default.aspx)
The Postal Reliability index is best in Moldova (95) and worst in Montenegro (21).
Secure Internet servers (per 1 million people) are important for safe e-commerce payment transactions. Serbia is the best with 73 secure internet servers per 1 million people, and the worst with 54 are North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Albania.
Logistics is understood as a network of services that support the physical movement of goods, trade across borders, and commerce within borders. It comprises an array of activities beyond transportation, including warehousing, brokerage, express delivery, terminal operations, and related data and information management. Logistics is one chain in the e-commerce process and measuring performance along the logistics supply chain within a market is important.

The World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index (LPI) analyzes markets through six indicators:
  1. The efficiency of customs and border management clearance.
  2. The quality of trade- and transport-related infrastructure.
  3. The ease of arranging competitively priced international shipments.
  4. The competence and quality of logistics services.
  5. The ability to track and trace consignments.
  6. The frequency with which shipments reach consignees within the scheduled or expected delivery time.
The graph shows that Serbia with 65th rank is the best among the CEFTA markets and Moldova is 116th worst.
The efficiency of customs and border management clearance is rated from “very low” (1) to “very high” (5). Among CEFTA markets Bosnia and Herzegovina is rated the best ( 2.63) and Moldova the worst (2.25).
The quality of trade- and transport-related infrastructure is rated from “very low” (1) to “very high” (5) in the survey question and the best rated is Serbia (2.6) and the worst is Moldova (2.02).
The ease of arranging competitively priced international shipments rated from “very difficult” (1) to “very easy” (5) in the survey question is the best in Serbia (2.97) and the worst in Montenegro (2.68).
The competence and quality of logistics services are rated from “very low” (1) to “very high” (5) in the survey. Bosnia and Herzegovina have the best (2.8) and Moldova the worst score (2.3).
The ability to track and trace consignments rated from “very low” (1) to “very high” (5) in the survey question is best in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2.89) and worst is Moldova (2.21).
The frequency with which shipments reach consignees within the scheduled or expected delivery time is rated from “hardly ever” (1) to “nearly always” (5) in the survey question. Serbia and Montenegro are the best with a score of 3.33 and the worst is Moldova with a score of 3.17.