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

The time Europeans take to buy something online

Consumers rarely buy something online directly after they have seen it in an online store. It takes some time between visiting an ecommerce website and completing the purchase. Shopalike analyzed the buying behavior of European consumers and discovered some interesting findings.

Alibaba joins EMOTA as corporate member

EMOTA has announced it attracted the Alibaba Group as its latest corporate member. The Chinese ecommerce company wants to do more with European companies and policymakers, as Europe is an important market for Alibaba.

ASOS sees EU sales increase by 49 percent

British online fashion retailer ASOS saw its total retail sales increase by 36 percent during the four months ended 31 December last year. Especially in the United States and Europe the online-only retailer saw its sales grow strongly. In Europe, sales increased by 49 percent during that period.

AnyPlan app lets retailers meet at ecommerce events

A new mobile app, called AnyPlan, has been released which aims to make it easier for online retailers and other ecommerce professionals to meet others at ecommerce events and trade fairs. The app includes a database with over 4.000 trade shows around the world.

Danish ecommerce event stops and partners with Shoptalk Europe

Total Retail, the ecommerce event of Danish ecommerce association Foreningen for Dansk Internet Handel, will cease to operate. Members of FDIH will instead be invited to attend Shoptalk Europe, a large ecommerce event which will be held in Copenhagen on 9, 10 and 11 October.

Read all our articles about ecommerce in Europe.

Last update: September 2016