Ecommerce News
menu
lightspeed ecommerce

Ecommerce in Europe

Information about ecommerce in EuropeThe ecommerce industry in Europe consists of three major markets, upcoming countries 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.

Looking for ecommerce software for selling in Europe? Lightspeed and Shopify are both platforms that are well optimized for cross-border ecommerce.

CONTINENT
EUROPE
Population 743.1 million people
– % internet users (EU) 85%
Online sales €717 billion (2020)
Online stores worth mentioning: Otto, Tesco, CDiscount, Bol.com, Zalando, H&M

Contents:

Ecommerce customers in Europe

Online shoppers by region in Europe (2019)E-SHOPPERS – Data from Eurostat shows that 32 percent of European consumers shopped online 1 or 2 times in the last three months. And 17 percent did this 6 to 10 times in the same period. Also, 87 percent bought from national ecommerce websites in the last year, while 35 percent ordered from sellers from other EU countries. You can read more about online consumer behavior in Europe on our dedicated page.

Are you looking to do cross-border business? Get your free digital copy of Cross-Border Magazine now and stay informed.

Ecommerce per country

Payment methods

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 our overview of the most popular online payment methods in Europe.

The ecommerce market in Europe

Data from 2014 shows that in the UK, Germany, France, the Benelux, the Nordics, Spain, Italy and Poland 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 621 billion euros in 2019 and are set to be worth 717 billion euros in 2020. Most of the online turnover is still being generated in Western Europe, which accounts for approximately 70 percent of total European online retail turnover. Southern Europe, Northern Europe, Central Europe and Eastern Europe show a much lower share of European ecommerce with 15, 7, 6, and 1 percent respectively.

Ecommerce in Europe (2015-2020)

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, major American retailers have their influence on local ecommerce industries in Europe. 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). And then there’s this list of top 10 online stores in Europe, which features Amazon (on 7th place) as the only non-European player in that list.

Latest news about Europe

Thrasio expands budget to grow across Europe

Thrasio, a company that acquires Amazon FBA brands and then scales them, will expand its recent 200 million euros commitment to 500 million euros. It will use this money to acquire ecommerce businesses in Germany and further expand its growth across Europe.

European logistics investments: €39 billion in 2020

Logistics investments in Europe went up to 38.64 billion euros in 2020. This is, of course, driven by the massive growth of ecommerce in Europe. Last year marks the highest figure on record since 2013.

Branded raises 124 million euros to acquire Amazon sellers

Branded Group announced it has raised 150 million dollars (124 million euros) in investment capital. Since its inception in mid-2020, the institutional acquirer and operator of ecommerce businesses has already acquired 25 best-selling marketplace brands.

EU4Digital launches pilot to increase volumes in Eastern Europe

EU4Digital, an initiative to extend the European Digital Single Market to Eastern Europe, has launched an ecommerce pilot between Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Germany. Its goal is to increase ecommerce volumes.

Mondi introduces thermo-insulated packaging

UK packaging company Mondi has introduced its latest ecommerce product. It’s called BCoolBox and it’s a recyclable packaging solution that keeps perishable food cool while in transit. It uses thermo-insulation to keep items chilled below 7 degrees Celsius for up to 24 hours.

Read all our articles about ecommerce in Europe.

Last update: July 2020