Allegro: from a start-up to the largest trading platform
Allegro is one of the biggest e-commerce companies in Poland and Europe, and relies on modern technologies. Since 1999, Allegro has been making shopping easier for Poles, offering the best prices, comfort and absolute transaction security.
21 million accounts have so far been created on the platform. Every day customers buy over million products, 90% of which are new items, sold at a fixed price, with a warranty and recently even insurance. Thanks to the cooperation with partners from the financial sector, it has been possible for Allegro to also offer other modern on-line services, such as 0% financing and leasing. There are 100,000 businesses selling through Allegro: not only leading global brands but mostly small and medium Polish trading companies. This allows Allegro to keep contributing to enhancing standards on the e-commerce market, protecting the rights of the consumers and fostering entrepreneurship.
Allegro was established in 1999 in Poznan, and today has offices also in Warsaw, Torun, Wroclaw and Krakow. Initially the company was run by a few people from the basement of a computer hardware wholesaler, and the first version of the site fitted on a single diskette. The Polish e-commerce market was still in its infancy at that time, and Allegro played one of the leading roles in its development. Since then, the company has evolved greatly over the several years: from an auction site for hobbyists to the most popular on-line shopping platforms. Today, Allegro employs 1,500 people, half of whom are top experts in technology.
Allegro is one of the strongest Polish brands, standing out with the quality of customer services. This is confirmed by the top positions in the Superbrands, Customer Service Stars or OC&C Retail Proposition Index rankings.
Allegro in 2017
Top 10 e-commerce
platforms in Europe**
71% of Poles Allegro is the most recognised
76% of on-line shoppers in Poland Allegro is the first choice site
100 thousand+ Enterprise accounts.
21 million registered customer accounts
The most recognised e-commerce brand in Poland*
*2017 Superbrands ranking
**European Retailer 500 (Top500Guide)
***“E-commerce in Poland in 2017. Gemius survey for e-Commerce Polska” for the Chamber of Digital Economy.
Allegro – how does it work?Our business model is based predominantly on the transaction fee. We only charge sellers when they actually make a sale. Allegro is completely free for its customers.
Allegro is a platform that connects sellers and buyers. Our business model is based predominantly on the transaction fee. We only charge sellers when they actually make a sale. In a few categories, because of their specific nature, we charge for publishing a listing. Seller are also offered several other paid options to additionally promote their offers.
The many solutions that we keep improving allow our customers to comfortably and safely use our platform. These include, among all, the intuitive search engine, recommendations, seller evaluation, various payment methods in the Allegro Finance scheme, and the Coins loyalty program. Customers can now take advantage of additional services without leaving the platform. The additionally offered services include buying selected merchandise in installments, as well as leasing or insuring them. All of the solutions implemented by us make the entire shopping process quick, easy and safe. Sellers have access to a convenient system for listing items for sale, managing transactions and promotion.
Allegro Financial Services Director
Payments are inherent in e-commerce transactions. Allegro’s scale of operation and tens of millions items sold each month stand for immense potential and area an incredible challenge, not only in simple card or pay-by-link transactions but also in financial services, e.g. installment plans, loans and leasing. We will continue developing this part of our business because we believe that payment methods that customers can take advantage of to pay conveniently, quickly, and, most importantly, completely safely, are an essential part of the positive shopping experience. Mobile shopping is a particular challenge, which is why we strive to enable our customers to pay with just one click. We have recently introduced the option to insure selected merchandise thanks to the cooperation with PZU, the leading Polish insurance company. I expect 2018 to bring many more interesting solutions, both for the buyers as well as businesses selling their products on Allegro.
Allegro is a system of well thought-out services and schemes supporting business development and convenient shopping, among all:
A distinction awarded to customers with Enterprise accounts for meeting certain criteria, e.g. not having their accounts blocked in the past two months or having over 100 positive feedbacks concerning sale. The Super Seller flag guarantees that the purchased goods will be as described and delivered within the specified deadline.
An innovative technology-driven advertising system on our platform that consists in displaying sponsored listings. It allows to present the listed item at the top of the list in the most popular categories on Allegro. Fee is charged only for clicks, i.e. for drawing the attention of a prospective customer, and the ads are displayed in a way that is as consistent with the user’s queries as possible.
Cooperation in Protection of Rights
As part of our CPR initiative we protect: the rights of brand owners, sellers against the legal consequences of often unintentional infringements, and buyers against buying illegal products. We mainly focus our efforts on preventing the sale of illegal merchandise or products that are inconsistent with our Terms and Conditions. We react to notifications regarding infringement of industrial property rights or copyright.
Buyer Protection Scheme
We strive to make shopping on Allegro as safe as possible. That is why we have introduced the Buyer Protection Scheme. It allows customers to recover their money if they experience issues with their purchases. We refund the amount paid (up to PLN 10,000) plus the cost of shipping. Joining the scheme is free of charge, and every transaction on the Allegro platform is covered.
The loyalty program enables customers to collect coins in selected listings, which they can later exchange for discount coupons for use on Allegro. It is also addressed to the sellers, as Enterprise account holders can reward their customers with coins.
Space for manufacturers and official distributors of well-known brands to offer their products. Buyers can be certain that the products are genuine and of top quality.
Official Allegro Store
In 2015 we joined other sellers on the platform and launched our Official Allegro Store, which operates on the same terms as every other business on the platform. This enabled us to enhance the quality of the offer and of customer service, by offering, for example, free return of products within 30 days of shipping without giving a reason.
A special type of account for our youngest customers, namely children between the ages of 13 and 18. Young customers can buy and sell items, give feedback and post on forums. However, until they turn 18 their access to certain services will be limited. To create a Junior account, they need their parents’ or legal guardians’ consent.
Allegro today – statisticsThanks to our platform we connect millions of customers with sellers and we do it on an unprecedented scale in Polish business. Over 500 transactions take place every minute on the Allegro platform, and we are visited by 17 million Poles every month.
Over 1 million sellers every day
50+% of traffic comes from mobile devices
Over7 million downloads of the Allegro mobile app
Over17 million Internet users visit the site every month*
Over3 mldbillionpage views every month*
Nearly1.2 mldbillionsearches in the Allegro search engine every month
70 million offersevery month
* source: Gemius
Chief Technology Officer
I have worked at Allegro nearly since day one. Always on the technology team. That’s why I know the history of the platform from the technological perspective very well. I can proudly talk about how much we’ve achieved and how many things we’ve managed to improve. Allegro’s source code surely still includes lines of code written at the very start of our journey, yet the platform keeps evolving. The team of a few hundred engineers and developers works non-stop on improvements to our platform. Please note that the changes are introduced in real time. Unlike brick and mortar stores, we can’t carry out our renovations at night or put up a “Be Right Back” sign. There is no other company in Poland like ours, that would challenge engineers with equally ambitious tasks. Creating software and IT infrastructure to support millions of searches, transactions, and listings is not an easy task, especially if you notice the positive social impact of our work. We make shopping, a tedious everyday chore, a much more convenient experience. We save time, ensure comfort, and give access to the broadest selection of products on the Polish Internet. We change people’s lives for the better. This gives us a lot of satisfaction.
Allegro formallyWe started off with a garage office and a few computers. Today, we employ over 14,000 people in the biggest cities in Poland: Poznan, Warsaw, Torun, Krakow and Wroclaw.
Allegro.pl is a limited liability company registered in the National Court Register on 2 November 2017. Previously, the company was doing business as Grupa Allegro Sp. z o.o. The company’s headquarters is in Poznan at ul. Grunwaldzka 182. We also have office in Torun, Krakow, Warsaw, Blonie and Wroclaw.
In March 2017 we have discontinued the allegro.de project, which meant exiting the German market. We are presently focusing on the Polish market.
We paid PLN 295 million of VAT in 2017. That’s nearly as much as the entire budget of Przemysl!
*the amount may change due to corrections that continue to be made
PLN 56 million was the amount of CIT we paid in 2017.
Since 2016 Allegro is owned by a European consortium of investment funds: Cinven, Permira and Mid Europa Partners.
The company is managed a four-person* Management Board:
François NuytsChief Executive Officer (CEO)**
Piotr SzybiakChief Technology Officer (CTO)
Damian ZapłataChief Customer Officer (CCO)***
Jon EastickChief Financial Officer (CFO)****
* Przemysław Budkowski was Allegro’s CEO and President of the Management Board until 17 May 2018
** François Nuyts joined Allegro on 1 August 2018
*** Since 1 December 2017
**** Since 1 February 2018 Anna Pardej was CFO and Board member until 14 November 2017.
The so-called exec-team, managers responsible for our key business areas, play an important role in our structure: Izabela Jarosz – HR, Marcin Skowroński – Advertising, Jakub Kłoczewiak – Customer Experience, Piotr Szybiak – Technology, Jon Eastick – Finance, Damian Zapłata – Commerce, Marcin Dyczak – Marketing, Paweł Klimiuk – Corporate Communication, Maciej Biniek – Allegro Financial Services, Grzegorz Czapski – Corporate Development, and Tom Ruhan – Legal*
*Tom Ruhan joined Allegro in April 2018. Bartosz Wojciechowski served in this role until August 2017.
Allegro has numerous boards and commissions, which help solve problems:
- Representation of Allegro employees - reviews changes to the Work Regulations and the Social Benefits Fund, submits questions from the employees to and clarifies issues with the HR department, and attends sessions of the Accidents and Social Commission,
- Social Commission - reviews applications for social benefits offered to employees by Allegro,
- Ethics Commission - investigates and reviews reported cases of the lack of compliance with our Code of Ethics,
- Occupational Health and Safety Commission - body appointed by the employer, consisting of employees in charge of work safety at Allegro,
- Accident Team reviews applications and accepts or rejects accidents at work or on the way to work.