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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 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

Eve Sleep backs off in Europe

UK mattress startup Eve Sleep no longer sells its mattresses in Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and many other countries in Europe. There is no official reason given for this radical change, but fact is that Eve Sleep is now focusing on France and its home market in the United Kingdom.

JD ready to enter European ecommerce

Chinese ecommerce giant JD.com is ready to launch in Europe. The retailer was aiming for this continent for quite some time now, but it now wants to have finalized its strategy for entering the European ecommerce market by the end of this year.

Ecommerce in Europe was worth €534 billion in 2017

Ecommerce in Europe has once again shown some double-digit growth. The total ecommerce turnover in Europe increased by 11 percent last year, making it worth 534 billion euros. For the current year, a growth rate of 13 percent is expected, which would mean ecommerce in Europe will be worth 602 Continue reading

Online marketplaces pledge to remove unsafe products

Four major online marketplaces that are active in Europe – Alibaba, Amazon, eBay and Rakuten France – have signed the Product Safety Pledge from the European Commission. This commitment means they will remove dangerous and unsafe products from their online marketplaces faster.

EU: Google has improved Google Shopping

The European Union has seen a steady increase in the number of rival products showing up in Google Shopping’s search ads. But this doesn’t mean the internet giant has done enough to avoid more fines on top of the 2.4 billion euro penalty Google got last year.

Read all our articles about ecommerce in Europe.

Last update: September 2016