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Ecommerce in Europe

Information about ecommerce in EuropeThe ecommerce industry in Europe consists of three major players, upcoming markets and thriving startup scenes. But it’s difficult to see the European ecommerce industry as one, as it consists of several regions that all play their own role. Let´s have a look at ecommerce in Europe.

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EUROPE
Population 742.45 million people
– % internet users (EU) 76.5%
Online sales €534 billion (2017)
Online stores worth mentioning: Otto, Tesco, CDiscount, Bol.com, Zalando, H&M

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Ecommerce customers in Europe

Cards account for the largest share of business-to-consumer ecommerce transactions in Europe, as research from yStats.com shows. Digital wallets are second best. In the UK, credit cards are very popular: about four in ten online transactions are paid this way. Debit cards account for 35 percent of all online transactions, while PayPal is the country’s third most used online payment method. Germans like to pay with invoice, while French consumers use debit card Carte-Blue, MasterCard, American Express and PayPal. In the Benelux, iDeal (the Netherlands) and Bancontact (Belgium) are very popular. For more common payment methods in Europe, check out this overview.

A Mastercard survey from 2017 shows that one in four Europeans who have internet access have shopped online at least once a week, while over 60 percent shopped online once a month and 6 percent even bought products or services via the internet every day. You can read more about online consumer behavior in Europe on our dedicated page.

The ecommerce market in Europe

PostNord researched big ecommerce countries in Europe. Based on data from the UK, Germany, France, the BeNeLux, the Nordics, Spain, Italy and Poland it found out that clothing and footwear are amongst the most popular product categories, just like home electronics and books.

Popular product categories in Europe 2014

Ecommerce sales in Europe grew to 534 billion euros in 2017. Most of the online turnover is still being generated in Western Europe, which accounts for approximately 68 percent of total European online retail turnover. Southern Europe, Northern Europe and Eastern Europe show a much lower share of European ecommerce with 12, 8 and 6 percent respectively.

As the Centre for Retail Research has found out, apart from the UK and Germany, market shares are comparatively low in many European countries. In 2016, the average online share of the European countries surveyed was 8 percent, while it’s expected to reach 8.8 percent in 2017. Countries where the ecommerce industry accounts for a fair share of total retail sales are the UK (17.8 percent forecast for 2017), Germany (15.1 percent) and France (10 percent). Not surprisingly, these are the biggest ecommerce countries in Europe. Other countries with high market shares are Sweden and the Netherlands.

Source: Centre for Retail Research

Big online stores in Europe

Of course, in Europe major American retailers have their influence on local ecommerce industries. As a matter of fact, Amazon was the most-visited online marketplace in Europe in 2018. But that’s not to say Europe doesn’t have its own ‘Amazons’. In Internet Retailer’s top 10 list of biggest online retailers in Europe, Amazon, Staples and Apple are the only American retailers. The list also contains Otto (Germany), Tesco (UK), Groupe Casino (France), Shop Direct Group, Home Retail Group (both UK), Zalando (Germany) and John Lewis (UK).

Latest news about Europe

‘Google Shopping enables fake competition for ads’

In Europe, Google was forced to open up its shopping service to outside competitors. But now it seems that digital marketing agencies are profiting from the changed auction model instead of the traditional comparison shopping sites: 23 percent of all ads seem to be from marketing agencies.

EU ends geoblocking in ecommerce

The European Union has called an end to geoblocking for online shoppers. This means that ecommerce websites in the EU can no longer block visitors from other EU countries. The new law has come into force this week.

The average shipping costs in Europe

Shipping costs are one of the most important factors for ecommerce businesses. If you’re an online retailer, it’s important to know how much sending a package will cost you. But the average cost of shipping is different in every country. The 2018 Shipping Price Index shows you what the most… Continue reading

Ecommerce Foundation acquires Scamadviser

Ecommerce Foundation has acquired the British website Scamadviser, which aims to help online shoppers make a well-informed decision before they buy something online. With the technology behind the website, Ecommerce Foundation wants to further strengthen its global ecommerce trustmark solution.

40% of new sellers Amazon Europe are based in China

Amazon Marketplace is growing fast worldwide. In one year’s time, there are one million new sellers on the Amazon marketplaces across the globe. Many new sellers are Chinese. In Europe for example, 40 percent of new sellers are based in China.

Read all our articles about ecommerce in Europe.

Last update: October 2018