Cross-border ecommerce flourishes in Europe

Partly as a result of lawmakers wanting to create a single online retail infrastructure and regulation, cross-border ecommerce is thriving in Europe. As a matter of fact, more than a quarter of online shoppers in the European Union have made purchases from other EU countries. In the Euro area this share is even higher.

The United Kingdom was the most popular country for cross-border online shopping among European online consumers spending money abroad last year, according to research from Research and Markets. Germany and France are two other popular cross-border destinations. Germany is actually one of the most active countries worldwide in terms of import and export in the business-to-consumer ecommerce industry. Especially people from the Nordics and in France like to order something from a German online store. Online shoppers in Germany who spent their money abroad last year were doing this mostly in the United Kingdom, the United States and China. In Austria over 70% of total online shoppers order something outside their own country in 2013; this percentage is a lot higher than the EU average.

Cross-border ecommerce in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is one of the biggest cross-border ecommerce export countries worldwide. That may not come as a surprise, as British brands are very popular around the world and the English language is widely used. But while the UK exports a lot to EU countries, it doesn’t import that much from online retailers in other European countries. The USA, China and Hong Kong are among the more popular destinations for British online shoppers looking to spend their money abroad.

Cross-border ecommerce in France and Italy
In France, cross-border online shoppers order their products mostly from the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States. On the other hand, there’s a quarter of online stores in France that ships internationally. Popular products to export can be found in the fashion and beauty sector. In Italy it’s also fashion that’s a popular product category for cross-border ecommerce exports, but also tourism and food are among the leading categories of B2C exports. Imports from Italian online shoppers were dominated by discount flight purchases, the research shows.

Cross-border ecommerce in Russia
Cross-border online shopping is also a growing trend in Russia. Online sales to the Eastern European country from foreign retailers have grown considerably over the last few years and exceeded €1.44 billion in 2013. On the other hand, traffic to top international online stores by Russian users almost quadrupled. According to Borderfree, cross-border sales in Russia account for 10-15% of total ecommerce sales in the country.

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