European ecommerce grew two- to threefold amidst pandemic

European ecommerce grew two- to threefold amidst pandemic

Ecommerce in Europe has grown exponentially during the Covid-19 pandemic last year. The digitization of both consumers and retailers has accelerated by two to three years, in some countries even by five years.

The pandemic and the accompanying measures have led to an increase of online shopping in Europe. With stores closed, consumers needed to find a way to still buy the products and services they want. Ecommerce in Europe has clearly grown in 2020.

The shift from the physical store to the online store is likely to continue, with retailers continuing to accelerate their investments in ecommerce, as part of an omnichannel solution for their customers. This is shown by Nets’ annual ecommerce report that is based on 11,000 consumer interviews across eight European countries: Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland.

In Poland, 42% of people shop online more since pandemic

In these countries, the share of consumers shopping online more often nowadays than before the Covid-19 pandemic is significant:

Country % of consumers shopping online more often today than pre-Covid-19
Poland 42 percent
Austria 38 percent
Germany 33 percent
Switzerland 30 percent
Finland 24 percent
Norway 22 percent
Sweden 22 percent
Denmark 19 percent

“In the Nordic countries where we have historical numbers, we see that the growth in online purchasing of physical goods has been the largest in the 14 years since we started the surveys”, Nets writes in its report [pdf].

Clothes and food most purchased items online

The study also shows that the most purchased items in all countries were clothes and food. “This was probably connected to local lockdowns where physical stores were closed and consumers were unable or less able to shop in person”, it writes. “When forced to stay at home, consumers most likely discovered the convenience of buying food online and having it delivered to their doors.”

Electronics, such as computers and smartphones, beauty products, and pharmacy items were also very popular last year.

Ecommerce spending estimates for 2020.
Ecommerce spending estimates for 2020.

Physical goods accounted for 68 percent of all money spent online in Austria. Clothes were purchased the most, followed by pharmacy items. In Denmark, 58 percent of online shopping was spent on physical goods. Consumers in Denmark are particularly keen on clothes, food and alcohol, and takeaway food. In Germany, almost three-quarters of online spending went to goods. Last year, they spent an estimated value of 26 billion euros on clothes.

Physical goods accounted for 68 percent of all money spent online in Austria.

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