European eCommerce Dominates Global Market Share

European eCommerce is developing steadily each year, dominating sales beyond the traditional retail space, and also taking over the global market.

A new European B2C eCommerce Report, released by ECommerce Europe, indicated that European revenue for online goods and services had a 19 percent growth in 2012. Ecommerce revenue reached €311.6 billion, with the EU28 (which includes Croatia) responsible for €276.5 billion, or 88.7 percent, of Europe's total sales.

The report revealed the success of European's eCommerce industry was primarily attributed to three leading countries, namely the UK (€96 billion), Germany (€50 billion), and France (€45 billion). Together these countries acquired 61 percent of the B2C European eCommerce sector.

In total, European eCommerce is accountable for €311.6 billion, which is 35.1 percent market share of global B2C eCommerce” a huge chunk of market share. looks further into the report to find out how these numbers are broken down across such a vast region and the implications.

How The Internet Helps European Economy

ECommerce retail and services contributes greatly in helping to hold up the European economy. The total Gross Domestic Product of Europe from 2012 was almost €16 trillion, and holds a 3.5 percent share of Europe's Internet economy. This percentage has been predicted to double by 2016 and triple by 2020 since it has been proven that the Internet economy is growing quicker than the economy as a whole.

The number of jobs that are produced in direct response to the success of European eCommerce is substantial, with an estimated 2 million in Europe. Jobs are also predicted to continue increasing as the virtual market continues to expand.

Ecommerce Europe estimated there has been a steady 15-20 percent growth of new B2C websites each year. The report said there were 550,000 B2C websites at the end of 2012—a number they strongly believe will continue to spike.

Upcoming markets in the South are foreshadowed to endure the biggest growth, in countries such as Spain, Italy, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey. Markets in the north, west, and central parts of Europe are already mature and are closer to market saturation.

Interestingly, the report illustrated that postal and private services were benefiting the most from the burgeoning success of B2C eCommerce. About 3.5 billion parcels were reported to be crossing borders to be received in various European countries or domestically.

Differences In Growth

There are definitive development gaps between the mature and emerging markets across Europe. Penetration and growth in different regions inevitably diverge.

In this case, Western Europe was the leader with the greatest B2C eCommerce turnover. This region includes countries such as the UK, France, Benelux Countries, and Ireland. This region indicated to be responsible for €160.8 billion (51.6 percent) of the total European eCommerce market.

The second largest eCommerce region in Europe was the Central part, including Germany, Australia, Switzerland and Poland. Together they represent €76.3 billion (24.5 percent) of the market.

Following these regions were Southern Europe, including Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece and Turkey—with €33.2 billion in turnover and a 33.6 percent growth rate, Northern Europe-Sweden, including Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland and Baltic States—with €28.7 billion and a 9.2 percent market share, and finally Eastern Europe, only Russia—with 37 percent growth, 4 percent market share and €12.6 billion turnover.

Make Way For Europe

Europe pushed the U.S. off the top spot for B2C eCommerce back in 2010, and continues to be the most successful eCommerce market in the world.

Ecommerce Europe members believe that as long as mobile penetration and mobile commerce continue to increase, the success of European eCommerce will naturally follow.

Wijnand Jongen, VP of ECommere Europe, said, "The Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands and the UK in particular have a head start as far as Internet usage and mobile devices is concerned. These mature countries are scoring very high for both eCommerce and mCommerce."

Jongen stated that online sales growth will largely depend on the penetration of mobile technology and mCommerce in the future. The numbers are promising as the report listed 47.6 percent of Europeans already have a smartphone. Now that shoppers in Europe are able to connect to the Internet and make purchases on-the-go, eCommerce has immense opportunity for growth.

To read the full report at the Ecommerce Europe website click here.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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