Western Europe is the second largest B2C ecommerce region in the world in terms of sales and is set to retain this position through 2019. But, due to an expanding share of Asia-Pacific, Western Europe is predicted to lose about one percentage point in its share of global B2C ecommerce. Nevertheless, it will still account for one quarter of the world’s ecommerce sales.
That’s the main conclusion from a report by yStats.com [pdf], which covered the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and Austria. It also said Western Europe ends second after Asia-Pacific in terms of the region’s B2C ecommerce’s share of total retail sales. The European region, consisting of huge online retail markets like the UK, France and Germany, is generally advanced in terms of internet and online shopper penetration. Last year, eight countries in this regions had an internet penetration rate of above 90 percent, while in four countries 80 percent of internet users were considered online shoppers.
‘Only moderate growth in ecommerce sales’
The report also shows that in countries such as Germany and the Netherlands, B2C ecommerce already accounts for a high one-digit share of total retail sales, and in the UK this share reaches a double-digit number and is one of the highest worldwide. “Due to this fact, the majority ecommerce markets in Western Europe are projected to see only moderate growth rates in ecommerce sales in the coming years, though still outpacing general retail significantly”, the German agency explains.
In Western Europe there’s a rise noticeable of mobile commerce and omnichannel retail. More and more consumers are using more devices and locations to make a purchase. For example, in Italy the mobile share of ecommerce sales is predicted to more than double between 2014 and 2017. And click-and-collect is becoming increasingly popular in the UK, where this delivery method was used by over two thirds of online shoppers last year.
Chinese ecommerce players are gaining popularity
Among the huge ecommerce players in Western Europe is Amazon, which continues to hold the leading position in almost all major markets there, in terms of sales, website visitors or both. “Other pan-European leaders include Germany-based Otto Group and Zalando, while France-based Cdiscount and UK-based Tesco generate significant sales and website traffic in their respective domestic markets”, yStats writes. “Furthermore, Chinese ecommerce websites Alibaba and Aliexpress are gaining popularity among Western European online shoppers, already finding place among the top online shopping destinations in Spain.”