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 €455 billion (2015)
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% 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 / Mister Cash (Belgium) are very popular. For more common payment methods in Europe, check out this overview.

Data from Statista shows that almost 80% of British Internet users used online shopping in 2014. Huge growth can be found in Italy: 24.7% of internet users shopped online in 2014, but this percentage will grow to 32.9% by 2017. In Spain, ecommerce adaption will also grow strong: from 36.1% in 2014 to 43.1% in 2017.

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 from €131.61 billion in 2013 to €156.28 billion in 2014, which corresponds with a growth rate of 18.4%. And the European ecommerce industry increased to 455 billion euros in 2015, and is expected to reach 509.9 billion euros in 2016.

As the Centre for Retail Research has found out, apart from the UK and Germany, market shares are comparatively low in most European countries. The weighted average share was 7.2% in 2014 and is expected to increase to 8.4% in 2015. Countries where the ecommerce industry accounts for a fair share of total retail sales are the UK, Germany and France, not surprisingly the biggest ecommerce countries in Europe. Other countries with high market shares are Sweden and the Netherlands.

Source: Centre for Retail Research
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 retailer in Europe in 2012. But that’s not to say Europe doesn’t have it 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

Amazon to create 15,000 jobs in Europe this year

Amazon has announced its plans to create 15,000 new full-time jobs in Europe this year. It would mean the European-based workforce of the US retail giant will grow from over 50,000 today to more than 65,000 by the end of the year.

377,500 merchants use Shopify

More than 133,000 new merchants began selling on Shopify last year. The ecommerce software of Shopify is now being used by 377,500 merchants across the globe. With the Shopify-plugin for WordPress launched last year, more and more retailers in Europe are using this ecommerce software to sell their products online.

UK among biggest ecommerce complainers in Europe

If consumers in Europe have a problem with something they’ve bought online, they can use the Online Dispute Resolution of the European Commission to try to reach an out-of-court settlement. Most complaints came from Germany, but per capita the United Kingdom is one of the biggest complainers about online purchases.

February: ecommerce events in Europe

The holiday season is over, so it’s finally time to attend some interesting ecommerce events in Europe! Again we’ve made a handy overview for you, so you know when and where an ecommerce event takes place this month in Europe.

Shoptalk Europe secures €1.86 million for its event

Event organizer Shoptalk announced it secured 2 million dollars (€1.86 million) in venture capital funding to support the launch of its first European ecommerce event, Shoptalk Europe. The company also announced the first group of speakers for the event that takes place in Copenhagen from October 9 until October 11.

Read all our articles about ecommerce in Europe.

Last update: September 2016