Today, we look at e-commerce across the European Union on the day after the UK vote to leave the EU. Most UK and EU e-commerce companies saw Brexit as a strong negative to their business and so the industry will be assessing the impact of the negative vote. We start with several EU overview highlights along with profiles of the EU and its sixteen largest EU e-commerce markets. We’ve linked to the most recent e-commerce sales data from several sources. Our country profiles are drawn from e-commerce news.eu which is an excellent source though some country data is somewhat out of date. Their country profiles do contain other useful e-commerce data.
E-commerce Europe estimates 2015 e-commerce sales surpassed $569.8 billion. The UK was the largest at $179 billion, more than one-third of all EU sales and double its nearest competitor France which had more than $79.8 billion in e-commerce sales. Europe is the world’s second largest e-commerce market after China and surprisingly is larger than the US e-commerce market according to a report in Internet Retailer. LCP Consulting published the ‘The Omni-Channel Journey‘ report which highlighted the importance of omni-channel strategies for EU e-commerce. A new proposal issued by the European Commission hopes to eliminate geoblocking and increase consumer benefits.
European B2C e-commerce market breaks through €500 billion ($569.8 billion) mark
New analysis by Ecommerce Europe – an alliance of players in the European e-commerce sector – shows that in recent years there has been a sharp increase in the turnover of the European e-commerce market. Last year the market reached €455.3 billion, on the back of 13% growth, and while this is impressive double-digit growth, the growth rate was even higher in 2013 and 2012. Between 2011 and 2015 the revenue of online B2C players took off with a compound annual growth rate of 17% (‘CAGR’) – an increase of over €200 billion ($227.9 billion) in online sales.
Size of the European B2C e-commerce market
The researchers, however, predict that the ceiling has by no means been reached. Although growth is expected to weaken somewhat further, the market will continue to show double-digit growth in 2016, with a projected increase of 12%. This would mean that the European e-commerce market will, in the current year, for the first time achieve a turnover of more than €500 billion – more specifically €510 billion ($581.2 billion). Of this amount, Western Europe will make up the largest segment, with a total of €252 billion ($287 billion), while Central Europe is foreseen to account for €89.5 billion ($102 billion).
A comparison of the top 10 largest B2C e-commerce markets in Europe shows that the UK is out well ahead, with a turnover of €157.1 billion ($179 billion) in 2015 – more than a third of the total European market sales. France follows in second place, last year the country saw sales of €64.9 billion ($73.9 billion), followed by Germany with €59.7 billion ($68 billion). Outside the top three sales of European e-commerce market is much lower, with fourth place Russia accounting for €20.5 billion ($23.4 billion). Spain closes the top five with €18.2 billion ($20.7 billion). Via consultancy.uk
E-commerce sales top half a trillion dollars in Europe in 2015
Retailers ranked in the Internet Retailer 2016 Europe 500 grew web sales to 145.01 billion euros ($161.60 billion) last year, up by 16.8% from 124.16 billion euros ($138.36 billion) in 2014. That rate outpaced overall retail sales growth in Europe, which Ecommerce Europe placed at 13.3%.
E-commerce sales grew in all of Europe in 2015 to 455.30 billion euros ($516.39 billion) from 401.85 billion euros ($455.91 billion), Ecommerce Europe says in a new report. The top performers in European e-commerce—those companies ranked in the 2016 Europe 500—accounted for 31.8% of those online sales.
Europe still leads the United States in total e-commerce sales. In 2015 U.S. web shoppers spent $341.73 billion, by the U.S. Commerce Department’s measurements, up by 14.6% from 2014. Europe is second only in worldwide web sales to China, where 2015 online sales reached $589.61 billion, up by 33.3% from 2014, according to the National Bureau of Statistics in China. Via internetretailer.com
Ecommerce in Europe
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.
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 is expected to increase with this same growth rate in 2015, so it will be worth €185.39 billion at the end of the year.
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.
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 it 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). Via ecommercenews.eu
European countries approach omni-channel differently
For ecommerce players, having an omni-channel approach is getting more and more important as customers continue to demand ever-higher levels of service. This requires retailers to adapt new models and be everywhere the customer wants them to be. Specific approaches to omni-channel however, differ widely from country to country.
That’s one of the things LCP Consulting found out in the ‘The Omni-Channel Journey‘ report. In its third annual omni-channel research report, the consulting firm focuses on the omni-channel transformation, the benefits of this retail approach and Black Friday, but also on how some countries in Europe handle omni-channel. Because every country does this different. “Some of this is to do with technology. Some is to do with infrastructure. Some is cultural.”
Germany is familiar with omni-channel
In Germany for example, retailers are generally very familiar with the definition of omni-channel but still has some way to go to offer it in practice. With big online players like Zalando, Amazon and eBay looking to think beyond the boundaries of the digital world, other retailers can’t stay behind. They are working on delivering multi-channel retail services with properly developed websites and important functions in-store, such as online reservation and total view of stock and pricing. “With 60 million smartphones in Germany, it’s clear that the omni-channel future will be driven by mobile”, LPC Consulting writes. Via e-commerce news.eu
Could New EU Geoblocking Rule be Good News for Small eCommerce?
Online retailers could be banned from blocking purchases based on a consumer’s geographical location under a new proposal issued by the European Commission.
According to lawmakers, an increasing number of global retailers have started ‘geoblocking’ consumers so that web users can only access country-specific versions of their online stores. As a result, consumers in some countries are said to end up paying more for the same goods and services.
In eradicating this practice, big companies could ultimately be forced to offer one, universal platform for all continental users. But the ban would also impact location-specific services like rental companies, hotels and event sites. Via smallbiztrends.com
Ecommerce in the United Kingdom
According to an article in the Daily Mail 82% of British internet users regularly shop online, which is the highest of the 28 EU member states. It’s estimated 70% of UK consumers now owns a smartphone. In the last quarter of 2013, one in three online sales in the UK took place via mobile devices.
The ecommerce market in the UK
According to data from the Centre for Retail Search online sales in the United Kingdom account for 10.7% of total retail sales. It’s worth 110.5 billion euros according to IMRG/Capgemini.
Big online stores in the UK
The biggest players in the UK’s online retail market are Amazon (16 percent market share), followed by Tesco (9%) and eBay (8%). Other big online retailers are Asos, Argos, Play.com, Next and John Lewis. Via ecommercenews.eu
Ecommerce in France
The ecommerce market in France
France is one of the biggest ecommerce countries in the world. It’s ranked as the sixth biggest ecommerce market worldwide and in Europe only Germany and the United Kingdom are bigger. The Western European country has an online retail market that’s expected to reach 65 billion euros by the end of 2015. According to data from the Centre for Retail Search online sales in France account for 6% of total retail sales.
Big online stores in France
Expectations are that there are more than 120,000 active ecommerce sites in France. The most visited online store in this country is Amazon, with more than 15 million unique visitors per month. Other big online players are Cdiscount, eBay, Fnac and Priceminister. Whereas fashion is a popular product category, retailers La Redoute and 3 Suisses are amongst the biggest fashion players in French ecommerce.
Based on information from Médiamétrie/NetRatings, the top 5 of most visited ecommerce websites in France consists of Amazon, Cdiscount, Fnac, eBay and Voyage SNCF. Via ecommercenews.eu
Ecommerce in Germany
Online fashion is the most popular product category in Germany, followed by consumer media and electronics. Especially in the categories ‘consumer electronics & computers’ and ‘media’ (books, music, movies, video games) German consumers are more keen on shopping online instead of shopping offline. According to a study from BITKOM, 65% of German citizens have shopped online during 2012, up from 53 percent in 2008. The current European average is 45 percent. In Germany, 85% of the people have access to the internet.
Germany is known for its high return percentage. Some reports claim that 50% of all orders gets sent back.
The ecommerce market in Germany
According to data from Ecommerce Europe the online retail market in Germany is up for almost 50 billion euros. And wwd.com thinks it’s expected to grow 12 percent yearly through 2017, faster than any other Western European country. Revenue from German ecommerce has grown with 44% in 2013 and ecommerce now account for 83% of all revenues made online. It’s expected ecommerce revenue will account for 53% of the total gross domestic product in Germany by 2017. The estimated share of online retail in Germany in total retail is 6,6% at the moment. Via ecommercenews.eu
Ecommerce in Spain
The ecommerce market in Spain
Spain had to deal with a big financial crisis, but that was barely visible in the ecommerce sector. In fact, the ecommerce industry was one of the few sectors that experienced a double digit-growth in 2011 and 2012. The total ecommerce turnover accounted 11 billion euros in 2011, which was 22% more than the year before. Nonetheless, ecommerce sales only account for 1.2% of Spains gross domestic product.
A lot of Spanish shoppers order their stuff on foreign websites. Last year it was for the first time in history the total amount of purchases made on foreign online shops were lower than the ones on local sites. In terms of percentages ecommerce isn’t that big in Spain. It accounts for only 3% of total retail sales.
Big online stores in Spain
Popular online stores in Spain are El Corte Inglés, eBay, Amazon, Mil Anunacios, Segunda Mano, Lets Bonus, Groupon, Bing, eBay and Groupalia. Via ecommercenews.eu
Ecommerce in Italy
According to research from PayVision, Italy has an internet penetration of 60%. The country has 61 million inhabitants of which 13 million are online shoppers. Apart from services such as vacations and travel tickets, clothing and consumer electronics are quite popular in Italy, followed by media and groceries.
The ecommerce market in Italy
Italy is one of the fastest growing ecommerce markets in Western Europe. The ecommerce industry in Italy amounted 9.6 billion euros in 2012 and it’s expected to grow 17% to 11.2 billion euros in 2013.
Big online stores in Italy
When ranked by unique visitors per months, Zalando is the biggest B2C ecommerce site in Italy, followed by Amazon, Euronics, IBS and BonPrix. Another very popular ecommerce site is Yoox. Via ecommercenews.eu
Ecommerce in Portugal
The ecommerce market in Portugal
According to data from ecommerce solution Ekos Global, the ecommerce market in Portugal amounted 951 million euros in 2011. And although things in Portugal aren’t going that well economically, the ecommerce industry saw its sales increase with 64% during the first quarter of 2013. One in ten Portuguese sites recorded a 100% growth in the number of customers, according to data from the Quarterly Barometer ACEPI / Netsonda.
Big online stores in Portugal
When ranked by unique visitors per months, Zalando is the biggest B2C ecommerce site in Portugal, followed by Amazon, Euronics, IBS and BonPrix. Other popular ecommerce sites in Portugal are Yoox and Portuguese online stores Salsa and Parfois. Via ecommercenews.eu
Ecommerce in Poland
The ecommerce market in Poland
Ecommerce in Poland accounted for approximately 4% of all retail sales in the country. According to info from Warsaw Business Journal, online sales in Poland grew between 25 and 30 percent year-on-year in 2012. Total ecommerce sales in Poland that year reached 5.76 billion euros. Based on the latest numbers, Polish ecommerce is now worth 5.9 billion euros and it’s estimated it will grow to 7.17 billion euros in 2014.
Big online stores in Poland
According to a report from Dotcom River there are over 12 thousand online stores in Poland. A very popular shopping site in Poland is that of mass merchant Allegro.pl. In 2011, it was the leading website in Polish ecommerce, with 40 million users in its homeland and a 50% annual revenue increase in April 2012 compared to the previous year. Other popular online stores in Poland are Groupon.pl, Neo24.pl, Opineo.pl, Komputronik, Empik Digital & Publishing and Merlin.pl. Via ecommercenews.eu
Ecommerce in Hungary
The ecommerce market in Hungary
Based on data from a study conducted by eNET, the total ecommerce volume in Hungary should’ve reached about 833 million euros (266 billion Hungarian forints) in 2014. Just as in previous years, the online retail trade volume of Hungary increased considerably.
The most popular product categories in the Hungarian ecommerce are computers and electronics, home equipment, toys and presents, and clothing. Ecommerce in Hungary accounted for 3.1% of total retail sales in 2013.
Big online stores in Hungary
Some of the most popular and biggest online stores in Hungary are Tesco, Media Markt, eMAG, Vatera.hu and Ujjé.hu. Via ecommercenews.eu
Ecommerce in Bulgaria
The ecommerce market in Bulgaria
Since 2000, a rapid increase in the number of internet users has occurred in Bulgaria – from 430,000 they grew to 1,545,100 in 2004 and to 3.4 million (48 percent penetration rate) in 2010. It may have had something to do with the fact Bulgaria has one of the fastest average broadband internet connections in the world.
According to sources, sales via the internet grew by 10 percent to 119 million Bulgarian levs (11 percent of all purchases) in 2013. Annual growth in 2015 is expected to be between 10-17 percent depending on the source. The total value of the market (which includes purchases from websites abroad) in 2014 was 2.6 billion euros, according to NSI. During that year, more than 925,000 people have made an online purchase.
Big online stores in Bulgaria
eMag is a major online store in Bulgaria. It offers many different products, from consumer electronics to fashion and toys. With regards to selling clothing online, FashionDays is a major ecommerce player. Other big online stores in Bulgaria are Miniprix, Koketna and MyMall. The aforementioned eMag, but also Technomarket and Technopolis are leaders with selling electronics online. VMzona, Gift.bg and Get.bg are amongst the biggest online stores with their primary focus on gifts and accessories. Major online book stores are Store.bg, Helikon.bg, and Ozone.bg. Via ecommercenews.eu
Ecommerce in Romania
The ecommerce market in Romania
Romania is one of the bigger ecommerce industries in Southeastern Europe. The ecommerce market was estimated to be worth around 1.4 billion euros in 2015, while it was worth 1.1 billion euros in 2014 and 600 million euros in 2013. However, the share of ecommerce in total retail is still quite low, between 2.2 and 2.5%.
Big online stores in Romania
There are approximately 5,000 online stores in Romania, which is 11% more than in 2013, when there were about 4500 online shops reported. The biggest online store in Romania is eMAG.ro, which expanded into Poland in January 2015. Other big online stores in Romania are Altex, Domo, Flanco and Okazii. Ecommerce News
Ecommerce in Russia
In 2013, according to InSales, the largest product categories in Russian ecommerce were (ranked in order): household appliances and consumer electronics, clothes and shoes, computers and notebooks, car spare parts, mobile phones, furniture and interior, B2B equipment and construction materials. Note that for example car spare parts (€355.7 million) is a way more popular product category in Russia than books and DVDs (€89 million). SPRS Express states that electronics and fashion represent 57% of total online spending.
The ecommerce market in Russia
According to Moscow’s Data Insight, Russia has a 10.4 billion euro ecommerce market in 2013, up 27 percent from 2012. This represented a mere 2% of the total retail market. Morgan Stanley forecasts the Russian ecommerce sector to grow 35% annually to 2015, reaching 4.5% of total retail sales. According to East-West Digital News, the Russian ecommerce sector could grow to 35 billion to 50 billion euros by the end of this decade and exceed 75 billion euros in ten years.
Big online stores in Russia
The biggest player in the Russian market is Ulmart.ru, with a diversified assortment from electronics to items for the home and garden. Its 2013 turnover reached an estimated 420 billion euros, not including VAT or an important fraction of sales via offline. Among the other important players are Ozon, which can be seen as a Russian equivalent of Amazon, KupiVIP (a copycat of Venteprivee.com), group buying platform Biglion, platform Avito and the online properties of the German Otto Group. Via Ecommerce News
Ecommerce in Turkey
Big online stores in Turkey
The Turkish ecommerce market seems to be dominated by online marketplaces, multi-category retailers and private shopping sites. Huge online stores in Turkey are Gitti Gidiyor, Hepsiburada, Araba.com and Trendyol. Via ecommercenews.eu
Ecommerce in the Netherlands
The ecommerce market in the Netherlands
The Dutch ecommerce industry was worth 13.96 billion euros in 2014. It’s estimated it will grow to 16.5 billion euros by the end of 2015. According to the Central Agency for Statistics online sales in the Netherlands account for about 11% of total retail sales.
Big online stores in the Netherlands
The biggest online stores in the Netherlands are Wehkamp.nl, Bol.com, Zalando, Coolblue, H&M, Hema and Thuisbezorgd.nl. If you look at this list, it’s directly noticeable that almost all of these are local players, with exceptions for Zalando (Germany) and H&M. Amazon and eBay for example aren’t that big in the Netherlands, mostly because consumers are very hooked on Wehkamp.nl and Bol.com, two players that are online for more than 15 years. But also because the Dutch really like to pay online with iDeal, and that’s something those international players don’t offer. Via ecommercenews.eu
Ecommerce in Belgium
The ecommerce market in Belgium
It’s relatively hard for an online merchant operating in Belgium to conquer the hearts of all its inhabitants, as the country is deeply divided into two parts: Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia. In Western Europe, Belgium was relatively late with embracing ecommerce. As a result, a lot of tech savvy consumers went (and still are) shopping online abroad, especially at Dutch online shops. This also led to several big online merchants from the Netherlands opening .be-webshops that are focused on attracting Belgian consumers. This way, Belgian ecommerce is still facing the results of diving a little bit too late in the ecommerce pool.
Big online stores in Belgium
There are some big online players from abroad, like Zalando (Germany) or Bol.com and Coolblue (both from the Netherlands). There are also a few big Belgian online retailers, like ZEB, Schoenen Torfs and Bel&Bo. Via ecommercenews.eu
Ecommerce in Sweden to reach 6.2 billion euros in 2016
Ecommerce in Sweden increased by 15 percent during the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year. For the whole of 2016, an increase of 16 percent is forecasted, which would mean ecommerce in Sweden will be worth 58 billion kronor, or 6.2 billion euros, in 2016.
Postnord today published the E-barometern [pdf] for the first quarter of 2016, in which they shared these numbers about ecommerce in Sweden. It analyzed lots of data and found out for example that the DIY sector increased the most during the first three months of this year.
DIY is booming in Sweden
“Ecommerce in Sweden continues its steady growth”, the postal company wrote in an accompanying press release. Due to an increased focus on multi-channel sales and the growth of mcommerce in the Nordic country, ecommerce is predicted to increase by 16 percent during this year. Among the sectors that grew the most during the first quarter, are Furniture, Children’s Items & Toys and DIY. The latter increased the most, by 36 percent. The most popular product categories, in terms of absolute figures, during Q1 were Clothing & Footwear and Media. Via ecommercenews.eu
Ecommerce in Switzerland
The ecommerce market in Switzerland
Swiss consumers are expected to have spent 8.36 billion euros on products and services online in 2014. This is a growth of over 12% compared to the same period a year before. Approximately 40% of the 8.36 billion ecommerce market consists of the online sale of products, while the other 60% is based on services.
Big online stores in Switzerland
The top 100 online shops in Switzerland generated 3.4 billion euros in 2013, with Digitec.ch being the biggest online store in Switzerland (€414.4 million euros in sales in 2014). Other popular online stores in Switzerland are Amazon.de, Nespress.com/ch, Zalando.ch and LeShop.ch. Also Brack.ch, Coop, Microspot.ch, Nettoshop.ch and Dein Deal are in the top 10 of online Swiss stores. The top 10 of popular online stores in Switzerland, according to Y&R Group Switzerland: Ebookers, Nespresso, Digitec, Ex Libris, iTunes, Amazon, Ticketcorner, Zalando, SBB, Ricardo. Via ecommercenews.eu
UK-EU future shifting
With the UK vote to leave the European Union, we’ll be keeping a close eye on its impact on e-commerce in the UK and EU. Monday’s post will feature an in-depth look at the impact of Brexit on e-commerce in the UK, EU and globally. As always, you can get free, global e-commerce, cashback, mobile commerce, and VC news updates in your inbox weekday mornings by subscribing at the top of the page right. Enjoy your weekend!