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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.

CONTINENT
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

2018’s state of cross-border ecommerce in Europe

Cross-border ecommerce is becoming increasingly popular in Europe. Of the parcels bought cross-border last year, 38 percent were purchased from China. And consumers prefer more and more to shop across the borders using their smartphones.

Shopify sees revenue increase by 59 percent

Shopify has passed the 1 billion dollar revenue mark. The company’s full revenue growth for 2018 reached 1.073 billion dollars, which corresponds to 950 million euros. This revenue mark is a 59 percent increase from the situation last year.

Online food & personal care in Europe worth €56bn by 2022

Sales of food and personal care are going well in European ecommerce and are set to increase by 54 percent in the next years. This means the online food and personal care industry will be worth over 56 billion euros by 2022.

Annual retail sales via internet are up

The volume of retail sales via mail order houses or the internet keeps on growing in Europe. In 2017, the figures show a year-on-year increase of 12 percent in the European Union. Estonia showed the largest annual growth, while there were falls in Finland and Portugal.

February: ecommerce events in Europe

February is over, so it’s time for a fresh new month with fresh new ecommerce events to visit across Europe! So, as always, we’ve made a handy overview for you, so you know when and where an ecommerce event takes place this month in Europe.

Read all our articles about ecommerce in Europe.

Last update: October 2018