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23% of ecommerce in Europe is cross-border

The online cross-border market in Europe represented a turnover of 95 billion euros in 2018. This corresponds to a cross-border share of total online sales in Europe of 22.8 percent. Within these countries, 36 billion euros is generated by the top 500 cross-border ecommerce companies.


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These are the main conclusions from the first edition of the Top 500 Cross-Border Retail Europe research by Cross-Border Commerce Europe. With the study, the organization wanted to measure the performance of cross-border retailers that are headquartered in Europe.

A note with regards to the study: when the researchers talk about ‘Europe’, they mostly talk about countries within Western Europe and Scandinavia, called EU16.

Cross-border ecommerce in Europe: €137 billion
Last year, cross-border ecommerce revenue in Europe (including travel) was worth 137 billion euros. This is an increase of 13.2 percent compared to the situation one year before. The cross-border share of total ecommerce in Europe is 22.8 percent.

Most cross-border trade comes from EU retailers
When travel isn’t included, cross-border ecommerce still accounts for 95 billion euros, with 55 percent of it generated by EU retailers and the remaining 45 percent coming from retailers that are located outside the European Union.

Within the EU16, 36 billion euros are generated by the 500 biggest cross-border retailers that are located in Europe. A quarter of this money comes from online marketplaces, while 40 percent is generated by pure players.  When we look at retailers from outside the EU, 80 percent of cross-border sales are generated through online marketplaces. Amazon is leading with 32 billion euros in sales.

Consumers believe in cross-border ecommerce in Europe
“One in four Europeans appreciate the convenience of cross-border ecommerce and asks the European decision-makers to further simplify tax and cross-border rules”, Cross-Border Commerce Europe writes. “Despite Brexit, they strongly believe in a promising future for cross-border ecommerce in Europe.”

Cross-border ecommerce in Europe (2018).
Cross-border ecommerce in Europe (2018).

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