European E-commerce Market Trends

European online sales in key markets (Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and the UK will rise an average of 12% annually between 2012 and 2017, to reach €170 billion ($217 billion) at the end of the forecast period, according to a report by Forrester Research entitled ‘European Online Retail Forecast 2012 to 2017′.

eMarketer, which published new forecasts for digital sales in January 2013, also has confidence in the medium-term future of regional ecommerce, anticipating that annual B2C ecommerce sales in Western Europe will reach $438.31 billion by 2016.

B2C eCommerce sales in Western Europe, 2011-2016:
– 2011: $250.48 billion (+16.5% change)
– 2012: $292.96 billion (+17.0%)
– 2013: $333.61 billion (+13.9%)
– 2014: $371.85 billion (+11.5%)
– 2015: $407.29 billion (+9.5%)
– 2016: $438.31 billion (+7.6%)

Forrester also predicted that more mature markets, such as the UK, France, Germany and the Scandinavian countries, will see momentum decline, while Italy and Spain will maintain a compound annual growth rate of 16% and 18%, respectively.

In 2011, 58% of internet users aged 16-74 in the EU27 had ordered goods or services over the internet (e-commerce) within the last 12 months, according to the European Commission’s Eurostat statistics arm. The highest shares were observed in the UK (82%), Denmark and Germany (both 77%), and Sweden (75%)

In contrast, there is much space for growth in online shopping for countries such as Turkey, Ukraine and Kazakhstan that bring up the rear of the list.

Use of online shopping in CEE countries, 2011:

– Czech Republic: 53.6% of online population in the country
– Slovakia: 48.0%
– Slovenia: 47.8%
– Estonia: 40.8%
– Romania: 37.2%
– Lithuania: 35.8%
– Latvia: 35.1%
– Hungary: 28.4%
– Croatia: 19.9%
– Russia: 19.8%
– Serbia: 16.0%
– Bosnia-Herzegovina: 11.8%
– Turkey: 10.0%
– Ukraine: 8.5%
– Kazakhstan: 6.9%

B2C eCommerce sales in Western Europe, by country, 2010-2015:

– UK: US$91.5 billion in 2010 / US$143.6 billion
– Germany: US$33.7 billion / US$53.5 billion
– France: US$25.4 billion / US$41.8 billion
– Spain: US$12.3 billion / US$26.4 billion
– Italy: US$9.4 billion / US$26.7 billion
– Other: US$36.6 billion / US$51.6 billion

Other key findings in the research include:
– 30% of respondents indicated an increase in online spending during 2010, with the fastest growing e-commerce market in Europe being Spain, where 44% of consumers reported a willingness to spend more online.
– 62% of respondents purchased clothes and footwear online making this the largest category of spend in the survey (this was followed by more ‘traditional’ online items such as books and magazines (59%), with online travel accounting at 47% of spend).
– The group of highest spenders online in Europe (each spending around Euro 1, 500 per year) tend to be aged between 35 to 54 years.
– Nearly 30% of respondents are using, or plan to use, mobile devices for some kind of e-commerce. Within this group there is a 10% core of respondents that are already using their mobile/smart phones for retail search, price comparison or online purchasing. In addition, another 20% of respondents are planning to do this in the future, so a full third of respondents will be using the mobile channel in the short-term for e-commerce.
– On average multichannel shoppers spend 15-30% more than someone who only uses one channel.


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