US eCommerce Sales Leading Europe

U.S. eCommerce sales still lead the Western world with projected annual revenue of $349 billion, compared with $254 billion for eight surveyed European countries, according to a study released Tuesday (March 31) by the U.K.-based Centre for Retail Research and commissioned by RetailMeNot.

American consumers also have an average order value (AOV) of $115 per online purchase, 26 percent higher than the $85 AOV for the eight European countries. U.S. AOV is 21 percent higher than AOV in Sweden ($91), 22 percent higher than the U.K.’s $90 AOV, and 15 percent higher than Canada’s average purchase of $98.

What’s driving that online sales growth? Mobile commerce, which is seeing faster uptake in the U.S. than in other countries surveyed. In 2015, m-commerce is projected to reach 27 percent of total U.S. eCommerce sales, or $93.6 billion, versus 20 percent of eCommerce (or $61.5 billion) in the eight European countries surveyed: France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the U.K.

“As the United States continues to lead eCommerce growth, and mobile commerce maintains its momentum, retailers globally should reevaluate the prioritization of impending technology investments to ensure that they have an optimized mobile experience and fully capture this meaningful revenue opportunity,” said RetailMeNot VP of global operations Josh Harding.

In the U.S., eCommerce is projected to grow by 14 percent this year. But markets in Europe and Canada still have plenty to offer online retailers. In particular, Germany, France and the U.K. combined represent 82 percent of all eCommerce sales in the eight-country group, with a 23 percent year-over-year growth rate for Germany, a 17 percent growth rate for France and a 16 percent growth rate for the U.K.

Poland has smaller eCommerce sales but is growing at 21 percent per year. On the other end of the spectrum, Canada has the slowest annual eCommerce growth rate, 13 percent. But Canada has the distinction of leading in online purchases made with credit cards at 64 percent of transactions (versus just 42 percent in the U.S.). PayPal and other online payment methods are most dominant in the U.K. and Poland, where they make up 20 percent of online payments.

But impressive as the U.S., Canadian and European numbers are, they still pale in comparison with eCommerce on the other side of the globe. In January, a Chinese government report said China’s eCommerce sales hit $2 trillion in 2014.


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