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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 €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

VAT rules for online retailers simplified

The finance ministers of the European Union have agreed on simplified tax rules for online retailers. So, instead of registering for VAT in each EU country, online retailers in the future will be able to file a single tax return for the entire European Union. This should reduce costs for Continue reading

363 thousand new sellers joined Amazon in Europe

So far this year, 363.439 new sellers joined Amazon marketplaces in Europe. Among new sellers on all marketplaces that Amazon has worldwide, 36.3 percent registered on Amazon in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France or Spain.

Europe ends unjustified geoblocking

The European Union will make an end to unjustified geoblocking for consumers who want to buy products or services online within the EU. According to the union, these new rules will boost ecommerce for the benefit of consumers and businesses.

54% European e-shoppers made cross-border purchase

Around 14 percent of all online shoppers in Europe purchase fresh food and beverages online. And over half of European e-shoppers shopped online at foreign websites this year. This is shown in the latest E-shopper Barometer report from DPDgroup.

Italian ecommerce association AICEL joins EMOTA

The pan-European ecommerce association EMOTA has welcomed another member. The Italian ecommerce association AICEL, which is short for Associazione Italiana Commercio Elettronico, is the latest to join the club.

Read all our articles about ecommerce in Europe.

Last update: September 2016