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A snapshot of e-commerce in Europe

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With more than 16,000 retail companies located in Barcelona, it was the perfect destination for this month’s annual Global E-commerce Summit. The event was hosted by our partners from BBP Media, a Dutch multimedia company, and Ecommerce Europe, a leading global association for business-to-consumer e-commerce. Executive Director Vicki Cantrell took the stage along with industry leaders from retail companies around the world, including Butlers in Germany, Debenhams and Marks and Spencer from the United Kingdom, and Mango in Spain to share insights on driving e-commerce sales across Europe, optimizing omnichannel best practices for consumer expectations and advancing retail innovation. Attendees (especially retail data junkies like me) were thrilled to dive into facts, figures, and background on some of the leading and emerging e-commerce markets in Europe. Presenters from Ecommerce Europe shared the findings from Europe B2C Ecommerce Report 2013 during a particularly engaging session. If you couldn’t be in beautiful Barcelona for the event, here (or via this great infographic) are a few stats you missed:

  • The top five e-commerce countries in turnover are the UK, Germany, France, Spain, and Russia.
  • UK online shoppers are the highest spenders of all, reaching 2,466 Euros (2,107 British Pounds or $3,254 U.S.) per capita in 2012. Twelve percent of all e-sales were done with a mobile phone, up from 4 percent in 2011.
  • With 37 million online shoppers and more than 68.9 million Internet users, Germany has a well-developed market for e-commerce.
  • In Denmark, 87 percent of households have broadband access. After travel, the most-purchased items online are electronics, fashion/clothing/shoes, and books.
  • The top four emerging countries in percentage growth in 2012 were Turkey, Greece, Ukraine, and Hungary.
  • The e-commerce market in Russia is growing at an annual rate around 35 percent.
  • M-commerce in Europe grew to 17 billion Euros ($22 million U.S.) or 5.5 percent of total e-sales in 2012.

Language, culture, laws, promotional preferences, mobile and Internet usage, value added tax, and payment and delivery regulations all vary significantly across countries in Europe. For retailers in the United States considering or in the midst of expansion, understanding these idiosyncrasies of these markets and their consumers are critical to success. We hope this snapshot from our friends at Ecommerce Europe is helpful for future planning.