Sharp insights into the behavior of Romanian internet users

Mobile internet used to be a luxury that only few could afford and use on a daily basis. Nowadays almost everyone, from children in playgrounds to seniors, have mobile phones or/and tablets connected to the internet.

With these devices, internet access has become practically unlimited and this influences our everyday lives more than we can imagine. To be able to understand this new reality, Gemius conducts an international study that researches the online behavior of internet users, their socio-demographical profile, the frequency they browse the web and the most popular websites in each country.

Romania is the biggest Balkan country in terms of online audience. In April 2015 the total internet population reached 9.2 million users, while the internet penetration rate was 55%*. (*This value is calculated for the population aged 14+). Although the penetration rate is still among the lowest in the region, there is a visible growing trend of specialized foreign investments into the Romanian online market which will lead to the development of the market.


Romanian internet users mostly live in urban areas (68%). In terms of gender distribution, there are a few more female users (50.5%), than male users (49.4%), but they are equally active online. The age segment 25 to 45 comprises half of the online population and 77% of users are medium and highly educated. Trivial subjects such as adult content, gambling and piracy are still hot among users.

Online shopping is now on an ascending trend with 6.35 million users visiting ecommerce websites in Romania in April 2015. Over 4.2 million people, so almost half (46%) of all the Romanian online population, visit websites with classified ads. The most popular service is Olx.ro, that attracted more than 3.3 million users in April. Another website with classified ads enjoying great popularity in Romania is Okazii.ro, which is visited by one in six internet users. Men are usually more interested in classified ads than women: 55% of the audience of these websites is comprised by male users and 45% by female users. 



As another Gemius study shows,  Romanians buy online mainly clothes and accessories (58%), consumer electronics (47%), movies, books and music (44%), and gadgets such as smartphones and tablets (42%). Based on users’ interest in future purchases, electronic products will continue to dominate the e-commerce scene, while interest in previously dominant categories will suffer from disillusionment by customers: clothing and accessories (-18pp), computer and hardware (-11pp), books, film and music (-7pp). While interest in clothing and accessories is declining among experienced e-shoppers, for those with no previous online shopping experience, it ranked as the most interesting category, followed by electronics categories. Therefore, it can be said that clothes and electronics are the “gateway products” to online shopping according to the “Ecommerce Romania 2014” Gemius study.


The same research reveals that in the future we can expect growth in the e-commerce segment, with 40% of current online shoppers anticipating an increase in their spending and only 1 in 5 users indicating decreasing spending for the following year. 


Mobile traffic has increased in Romania from 1% in January 2011 to 9% in June 2014 (Source: gemiusRanking, June 2014). It has developed constantly, not in a giant leap, but rather through a steady growth in terms of mobile penetration, mobile business and time spent by users on mobile devices. This dynamic growth of mobile traffic that could be observed in the past years is constantly developing, so in the future we expect users to migrate more and more towards mobile.

As far as the most popular websites in Romania are concerned, the audience data are convergent to the trends in the region, therefore big, global websites are among the first in the ranking: Google and Facebook open the ranking, with respectively 90% and 82% reach. Third place, with 70% reach, belongs to YouTube – Google’s global video content site. Online video content is becoming more popular in the whole CEE region and Romania is not an exception here. After Yahoo, situated fourth, we find 4 major news websites in Romania: stirileprotv.ro, adevarul.ro, romaniatv. net and realitatea.net. Another news website, a1.ro closes top 10, while the portal rol.ro hits number 9 among the top 10 global and local publishing websites in Romania.


You can gain deep knowledge about your visitors
Check socio-demographical profiles of users visiting your websites and track the trends. Knowing these allows to adjust your site and its content to users’ needs and to prepare better offers for advertisers basing on trustful data.

You can benchmark your website with competitors
With which competitor do you have the biggest audience duplication? Where to plan your campaigns? With whom are you sharing your visitors? What are your users doing when they are not visiting your website?

You can increase your income from advertising
Results of the gemiusAudience study are the basis for gaining advertisers’ budgets! When taking part in the study, your website’s audience data will reach media agencies and online advertisers directly as Gemius provides them with data for online media planning and buying. 


You can optimize your online advertising campaigns
With these data you can learn on which websites your target group is available and spend meaningful time. Knowing this you can optimize your campaigns in terms of choosing the websites with high affinity, reach & engagement of your target audience. You can also minimize advertising waste and save money!