Ten amazing facts you should know about e-commerce in Europe

1. The total e-commerce market in Europe is larger and growing faster than the U.S. e-commerce market. While American entrepreneurs rightly take credit for inventing e-commerce and the Internet, the European e-commerce market grew 18.2% to $259.5 billion. By comparison, all American e-retailers in 2011 grew 16.1% last year to $194.3 billion.

2. American e-retailers in Europe are growing faster than European e-retailers. In fact, much of the total e-commerce market growth in Europe is driven by American e-retailers, led by Amazon.com, which is the largest e-retailer in Europe by far. Amazon reported European e-retail sales of $16.7 billion last year, more than double Europe’s second largest e-retailer, German-based Otto Group, which had $6.2 billion in online sales. As a group, American e-retailers operating in Europe increased their web sales 27% last year.

3. As in the U.S., web-only merchants (those without stores or catalogs) are growing faster than any other type of online merchant in Europe. These so-called pure plays grew online sales in Europe by 26% last year, compared to just 12% for retail chains. Consumer goods manufacturers emerged as a force in European e-retailing last year, growing 18%.

4. The fastest-growing merchandising category in European e-commerce was sporting goods, which grew year over year about 30.2% to $1.05 billion from $806.5 billion. This online category is relatively new and dominated by aggressive web-only retailers. For instance U.K.-based Sports Direct International (No. 105) was Europe’s fastest growing online sporting goods retailer last year, growing its e-commerce sales by 97% to $62.9 million.

5. Poland was the fastest-growing e-commerce market in Europe, growing web sales 33.7% to $5.83 billion in 2011.

6. Who are the Top 10 e-commerce operators in Europe?
-Amazon
-Otto Group
-Tesco
-Staples
-PPR SA
-Home Retail Group
-Shop Direct Group
-Apple
-CDiscount.com
-3 Suisses

7. While there are thousands of online retail sites in Europe, the market is concentrated and getting a little more so each year. In 2011 the top 100 merchants accounted for 86.1% of total e-retail sales of the Top 400 Europe group (up from 85.7% in 2010), while the 10 largest merchants accounted for about 44.3% of total Top 400 web sales, up from 42.8% in the prior year.

8. In percentage terms, the fastest growing European e-retailer last year was U.K. web-only apparel retailer Missguided.com, whose online sales grew 380% in 2011. In terms of incremental online volume growth, the leader is top-ranked Amazon, which added $4.6 billion in new online sales in Europe last year.

9. Europe’s shows a growing appetite for mobile commerce—40% (158) of the 400 largest retail web sites in Europe operate at least one mobile commerce site and 27% (108) have developed a mobile app.

10. Tesco PLC, Europe’s largest mass merchandise chain retailer, generated online sales of $5.46 billion in 2011, up 11% from web sales of $4.92 billion in 2010.

Source: InternetRetailer

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