Sunday, September 20, 2020

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E-commerce market 2020: Which European countries are leading the way

Although Western Europe remains the most developed e-commerce market in Europe, the biggest growth can be found in the eastern part of Europe according to the Europe 2020: E-commerce Region Report. Western Europe accounts for 70% of the total e-commerce value in Europe. The region of Western Europe has also the highest share of online shoppers (83%).

On the other hand, in Romania and Bulgaria, the e-commerce market increased in both countries by 30% last year. This is the highest growth number in all of Europe. The above countries have the lowest share of online shoppers. In Romania, the percentage of online shoppers is 31% while in Bulgaria is 29%. At the same time in Spain, the development of the e-commerce market reached an increase of 29%. The countries with the lowest growth are Belgium (7%), Ireland (7%), Austria (4%), and Iceland (3%).

Furthermore, the United Kingdom has the highest share of online shoppers (94%). Except for the United Kingdom, other countries in this list are Denmark (86%), Germany (84%), the Netherlands (84%), and Sweden (84%). In the Netherlands, also consumers prefer shopping at domestic websites (95%). The same thing in Poland (94%). In the small countries of Malta and Cyprus, online shoppers mostly (96% and 95% respectively) shop at foreign e-commerce websites.

The market of Southern Europe, including Greece, with a B2C e-commerce turnover of 98 billion euros in 2019, was the second largest in the EU, accounting for 15% of the total turnover of European e-Commerce.

B2C e-commerce turnover in Southern Europe reached 98 billion euros in 2019, up 22.49% However, its size is still less than a quarter of the 444 billion euros turnover of Western Europe, which underscores how far the European South is from making full use of its potential in e-commerce.

However, with a share of 7.69% of GDP, attributed to e-commerce, Southern Europe ranks first in Europe (in terms of e-commerce share in GDP). Also, the region, which includes, in addition to Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain, saw in 2019 the second highest growth rate of e-commerce turnover after Eastern Europe. In particular, the market value of e-commerce in Southern Europe last year increased by 22.49%.

At the level of countries, Cyprus has the highest growth rate of e-buyers, by 20% in 2019. With this rise of online shoppers, it is no surprise that e-commerce turnover is also increasing.

Spain saw in 2019 the highest turnover of e-commerce (29%), followed by Greece with 25%. Despite the great growth, the market value in absolute terms has significant differences. Spain had an e-commerce turnover of 53 billion euros in 2019, making it the largest market in Southern Europe, accounting for more than half (54%) of the region’s total expenditure. Italy followed by 32% and Greece with 8%. By comparison, Greek buyers spent 7.5 billion euros online over the same period, while in Portugal the corresponding amount was 5.6 billion euros.

The total worth of e-commerce in Europe is expected to reach 717 billion euros at the end of 2020. Compared to last year, this would mean an increase of 12,7%. However, this growth is lower than 14,2% of the European e-commerce market in 2019.

It is worth mentioning that 27% of Europeans will keep shopping online more, according to the findings of a recent survey conducted among almost 6.000 consumers from France, the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Spain. The survey suggests that the purchasing behavior of 59% of European consumers has changed permanently since the corona crisis.

The study shows that especially the number of online shoppers ordering between 6 and 10 products per month has changed from 10 to 17%. And the number of online shoppers ordering between 11 and 20 products per month has even doubled.

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Maria Gourtsilidou
Maria Gourtsilidou is Senior Editor of Research and Data Analytics at the CEOWORLD magazine. She is responsible for driving thought leadership, using data analytics to showcase the company’s products and services, and fostering knowledge sharing between CEOWORLD magazine and client organizations. She studied Public Administration (Economics Of The Public Sector) in Greece and holds a Bachelor’s in Public Administration from the Panteion University of Political & Social Studies. Follow Maria Gourtsilidou on Twitter. Write at