Poland – Online Pharmacies to report a rapid growth until 2022


As demonstrated by the latest PMR report entitled “Online OTC products market in Poland 2017. Market analysis and development forecasts for 2017-2022”, in 2016, an OTC medication was purchased by 7 out of 10 persons in Poland (in various sales channels, with brick-and-mortar pharmacies remaining the main purchase location). Twice fewer people bought a dietary supplement, while a quarter – a dermocosmetic product. The above-mentioned products are purchased online by a few percent of people, but the significance of the channel in the next few years will increase.* The reason for that is e.g. growing proportion of Poles using the Internet, including elderly people and residents of smaller towns. In addition, the m-commerce segment is expanding dynamically, which contributes to the market development.

Online sales account for a couple percent of the OTC market in Poland

The online channel of OTC products sales in Poland is represented by online pharmacies which besides parapharmaceuticals can sell over-the-counter drugs, as well as by online stores operated e.g. by manufacturers, retail chains, distributors and sports outlets. According to PMR forecasts, in the coming years, the sales via online pharmacies in Poland will grow faster those through non-pharmacy websites. However, it should be noted that this is still a scant proportion of the OTC products market in Poland.

Drug price to remain a key factor in online selling

Despite sustainable economic growth in Poland, a product price is a key factor that encourages consumers to buy OTC drugs online.

When purchasing an OTC medicine, young people are most frequently driven by advice from friends or family members, as they do not have much experience in using drugs. In turn, elderly persons more often follow a piece of advice given by a doctor or pharmacist.
What is crucial for one in three e-buyers is how a given drug works, while every fourth respondent declares buying online exclusively brands they really trust, whereas it strongly depends on income – the higher the income, the less importance is given to the brand confidence, because a consumer can afford to buy a novelty, even if it appears a failure.
Likewise, respondents choose a package size depending on their income – for less affluent consumers this is less important when buying OTC medications.

On the other hand, persons with higher income find comprehensible description on the packaging very important.

* Based on a survey conducted by PMR on a representative sample of adult Poles in January 2017.

Online OTC products market in Poland 2017