The European Ecommerce Report was released this week during a presentation at Press Club Brussels by Jorij Abraham, Managing Director of Ecommerce Foundation. The report was undertaken as a collaborative project between the Ecommerce Foundation, Ecommerce Europe and EuroCommerce. The comprehensive report includes reports on commercial trends, a variety of facts and figures as well as insights into each separate European ecommerce market. The overall takeaway of the report was that ecommerce is prospering in Europe but it is growing at different rates in different countries.
Marlene ten Ham, the secretary general of Ecommerce Europe, said, “We are very pleased with the figures that are presented in the report, as stimulating European ecommerce is one of our main objectives. We strive to create a level playing field for online trading in EU countries, and our work is more likely to be successful when we gather the right facts and figures.”
Western Europe is undoubtedly and not unexpectedly leading the way with ecommerce sales within the continent and their online sales grew by 15% in 2016 to 530 billion euros and it is forecast that similar growth will continue into 2017, growing by 14% to 602 billion euros. The United Kingdom is the leading ecommerce seller. With 87% of the UK being active online, they are responsible for 33% of all European online turnover.
The rest of Europe however are catching up. Whilst online sales are not that high in central and eastern Europe, their growth is much, much higher. Countries across central and eastern Europe are generally seeing growth between 25% and 40% and an increasing number of consumers are now shopping across borders too, with the Swiss and Russians doing this the most, with more than 60% of people choosing to shop this way online.
Overall, businesses across Europe are seeing the benefits of an online presence, with 77% of all retail companies now having their own website, compared to just 67% in 2010. However, there is scope for more growth in online as still only 18% of these companies that have a website sell products or services through their website.
Christian Verschueren, the director general of EuroCommerce, added, “Many more consumers are buying online, and many more retailers are selling online. More significantly, both are combining online and offline shopping seamlessly into what is becoming omnichannel retailing.
“The EU can help. Europe needs policies to foster these developments and allow consumers and traders to make the most of the potential of a market of 500 million Europeans. Europe can be a powerhouse for ecommerce, but we still have some way to go to get the environment right for this to be achieved.”