Greece is a country with many islands and rich cultural heritage. The cradle of the entire Western civilization is associated not only with breathtaking views but also with slow living which became a real icon of Ellada. But how do the Greek mindset and never-ending calmness affect the economy? What can you do to prepare for entering the Greek market and selling products there? And last but not least, how to do SEO if a non-Latin alphabet comes into play? Continue reading our today’s article to find out all the answers! Let’s get it started!
Greece is located in south-eastern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. It’s a member of the European Union and one of the founding fathers of the United Nations. Apart from the tourist-friendly atmosphere, Greece is known for its lifestyle that perfectly reflects the mindset and mentality of local citizens. Slow living in Greece can be described as a celebration of the moment, without dwelling on the past or focusing too much on the future.
Do you want to find out how it affects business? Keep reading!
Greece in a nutshell – basic facts about the country
The sunshine land is inhabited by more than 10 million people. Greek is the official language and its alphabet clearly stands out from the one used in the Latin culture. The Greek economy is heavily dependent on tourist services, shipping, and agriculture. Due to numerous financial crises, caused by the poor condition of the market as well as lack of trust in the government, the country struggled many times with banking system inefficiencies and bankruptcy.
However, recent years have proven that Greece’s economic potential is so influential that the geostrategic location of the country and a visible advantage over its neighbors can be a real bargaining chip for a gradual resolution of the crisis.
As a member of the European Union, Greece received special loans from the International Monetary Fund which aimed not only at balancing public finances but also at boosting the economy. Unemployment in the country amounted to 29% at its peak. The support package totaled billions of euros and the loans granted by the European Union were aimed at stabilizing the financial sector. The support package came to an end in August 2018 and the elections in July 2019 gave citizens hope for stability.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic which will definitely have a negative impact on many sectors of the economy (especially tourism), 2020 hasn’t been the most abundant year so far.
What’s in store for the Greek economy?
When the crisis arrived, Greece and its entrepreneurs were prepared for various scenarios. In 2019 there was a considerable, gradual improvement when compared to the preceding decade. Now, the economy is experiencing growth (by about 2%), unemployment is decreasing, moreover, the budget and current expenditure accounts are more balanced. We can also observe a surplus of the public finance sector which reached 3.5% of GDP. Although the situation isn’t settled yet, we can definitely state that there’s been an improvement which is very promising for all entrepreneurs.
Unfortunately, entering the Greek market can be hindered due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. According to the authorities in Greece, the country is gradually loosening its restrictions on the spread of coronavirus which gives great hopes to all businesspersons.
Leading economic sectors in Greece. What’s the most profitable?
There’s probably no one that needs to be convinced that due to the location, climate, and well-developed hotel and catering services, tourism is one of the main economic branches in Greece. Every year, Ellada is visited by more than 30 million people from all over the world who are very willing to take advantage of the prepared products and offers. Sadly, no one expected such a beginning of 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected the owners of holiday resorts.
As approximately 21% of the country’s area constitutes farmland, the agricultural and agritourism sectors also have great potential. Greece boasts the largest transport fleet in the world, which is why transport is ranked among its main economic sectors. When it comes to the profitability of investments, it’s worth mentioning about ICT and logistics branches as well as services and technologies that use energy-efficient solutions.
The e-commerce market in Greece
Over 7 million people in Greece, which equals about 66% of the population, are internet users. The value of the Greek e-commerce market is constantly growing. So what are the buying habits of Greeks and what do they usually purchase online? Electronics and all sorts of gadgets definitely dominate the ranking. Toys and accessories that allow self-development and realization of hobbies, as well as creative DIY sets, are also incredibly popular. The fashion industry and home furniture and appliances are almost joint third in the Greek e-commerce ranking. Greeks love to buy online tickets for various cultural events.
What websites and services are most frequently browsed by Greek internet buyers? All kinds of price comparison engines that store products from many manufacturers are an unquestionable favorite of Greek internet users. Such platforms enable finding all the necessary goods from almost every industry at attractive prices. Greeks love comfort, therefore, they want to have everything near at hand. For online stores, cooperation with price comparison engines is seen not only as an attractive form of advertising but also as an opportunity to increase traffic to the website.
There’s one more thing that needs to be discussed. What devices are usually used by Greek internet users? Almost 63% of society goes for desktop devices. However, mobile devices are also gaining increasing popularity in Greece. If you decide to run your own online store, you need to ensure that the website design is responsive so that online shopping equals everything that’s associated with comfort and pleasure.
SEO in Greece – what to focus on?
Although the e-commerce market in Greece has all the necessary potential to develop and new investors are supported by governmental organizations, it’s still worth remembering about SEO activities. Thanks to them, you can get more traffic to the site and increase its visibility in the search results which will lead to attracting new potential customers or clients. See what to focus on!
Search engines in Greece
The statistics on the picture below prove that the Google search engine is an unquestionable tycoon that gains over 98% of the Greek market share. As you can see, the competition is far, far behind, therefore, it’s pointless to base your SEO activities on anything else than Google algorithms. Appropriate website optimization will have a visible impact on the visibility of your page in Google which – as you know – is of key importance when running your own business.
The .gr domain is the leading one in Greece. It’s also possible to choose the .com.gr domain. If you’re planning to enter the Greek market, you need to know that you, as a domain buyer, are required neither to register your business activity in the country nor to have a local representative. Moreover, the domain is available to all entities operating in the European Union.
What about the language?
The Greek alphabet consists of 24 characters and it’s not used in any other country. Non-Greek people can take advantage of transliteration and transcription thanks to which they can write Greek words in their own language and alphabet. But how does it affect running an online business?
The correct structure of URLs is extremely important when doing SEO for online stores. Google puts great emphasis on usability, therefore, you should get rid of special characters, underscores or diacritics. But what if you create your website in a non-Latin alphabet, such as the Greek one? It’s essential to maintain an appropriate structure that doesn’t combine or confuse two different alphabets. When it comes to SEO, texts can be transcribed into Latin. Thanks to it, the search engine robots find it easier to index the website and consequently they assess it better.
Being active on social media enables creating a community that favors a given brand. Staying in touch with people is also a great way to earn customer trust and adapt the offer to the needs of users. Facebook is the most popular social media platform in Greece and it’s used by almost 90% of the internet users. Pinterest and Instagram are respectively second and third in the ranking. As you can see, it’s worth taking care of your social media accounts to show users your product ranges enriched with graphics and links to the mentioned goods.
Although the Greek market has been exposed to the financial crisis over the last decade, international economic research institutions have noticed a significant improvement. Moreover, the authorities in Greece announced that they managed to fight the coronavirus which may have a positive and significant impact on the recovery of the local economy.
E-commerce in Greece is developing steadily and people willing to enter the market can count on support. Understanding the local economy and needs of Greeks is key to attracting new potential customers or clients. A proper website optimization that takes into account elements such as language, domain, or most popular social media platforms will definitely facilitate the task.