Logistics. Local infrastructure has gotten a major boost in recent years: highways and tunnels connecting hubs such as Zagreb, Rijeka and Split, but also providing smooth transition to neighbouring countries (Slovenia, Serbia and others). When it comes to couriers, GLS is the most frequent choice of delivery among online stores. DPD and Overseas Express come next. When mapping out your logistics options, take into account different prices for inland and island delivery. When shipping from your home country, remember that Croatia is not (yet) Schengen.
Legislation / administration. Croatia joined the EU as the 28th member in 2013, nearly a decade after it’s CEE neighbours, so all the EU laws, directions and standards around GDPR, general terms and conditions and consumer protection you are probably used to from your country of origin apply here. Exporting to this Adriatic country comes with quite a higher VAT: 25%. It is compulsory after hitting 270,000 HRK (35K EUR) in 12 months straight. There is a reduced 13% VAT on accommodation, food and newspapers. VAT at a rate of 5% is applicable to selected food, books and medical equipment.
Payment. Pre-pandemic, credit card payments were highest in popularity (39%), followed by cash on delivery (34%), PayPal (22%) and bank transfers (4%). Interesting compared to Czechia, where bank transfer is second favourite and PayPal is down low, right? Covid-19 nevertheless moved the tendency to opt for cards even higher: nowadays 91% believe cashless methods are the safest and 61% intend to use it more often.
Delivery. 61% opt for home delivery while 25% regularly pick up their orders in the store or warehouse and 13% at pick-up points. All in all, the best delivery is cheap delivery. Two thirds assume 20 HRK (2.64 EUR) is appropriate for packages under 2 kg whereas only 1% would buy if shipping cost was above 30 HRK (4 EUR). One in four Croats only buys items with free shipping. Customers are used to 5 day delivery, so anything faster serves to your advantage. It is expected that 2 day delivery will be demanded as a norm soon.
Grey market, trust and trademarks. Due to large parts of Croatian e-commerce market lying in the grey zone (some stores are operating informally via social media or portals), stamps of quality and collecting reviews on price comparison sites are highly recommended best practices.