European Ecommerce Continues to Break Records

October 2017

european ecommerce sector growth in terms of parcel volumes

Latest Figures Show European Ecommerce Continues to Break Records

The Ecommerce Foundation has recently released a number of reports into the growth of ecommerce in many countries across Europe. Once again, the majority of findings show that ecommerce is again growing and expected to rise in many of the continent’s biggest markets and break previous records. However, despite continued growth, in some places signs of slowdown have been detected. Still, these figures paint a positive picture for parcel delivery companies and any online retailer looking to expand within Europe.

Growing Markets
From north to south Europe, many countries are experiencing strong ecommerce growth in 2017, with some set to break records. The expected online ecommerce industry of a few notable countries is set to be worth:

  • Sweden: 109.5 billion Swedish kronor (€11.5 billion), 9% increase
  • Portugal: €4.73 billion, 12% increase
  • Italy: €22.4 billion, 14% increase
  • Russia: €15.99 billion, 22% increase

While these all represent continued growth for ecommerce markets in the respective countries, for some the growth is not as large as previous years. For example, in Sweden in 2015 and 2016 ecommerce grew by 12% and 11% respectively from the year before. In Italy as well, the country experienced growth of 16% and 18% in the preceding two years, so these figures do represent a slight dip, despite the amount spent on ecommerce set to break records.

Factors Behind the Growth
Changing methods of buying products, with more goods and services being offered and paid for online are one big reason behind the continued growth. More consumers are used to browsing and buying online now as it becomes the norm. While this has increased online spending, it can also be partly attributed to the slight slowdown, as most consumers are currently buying online so eventually it will reach a place where it can’t grow much further.

More people are online than ever before as well, helping ecommerce reach more potential customers. Smartphone apps and mobile purchases have also helped ecommerce grow in recent years, with the likes of eBay and Amazon ecommerce apps being downloaded around 123,000 times each in Italy alone in March 2017. With more ways to access the ecommerce market and order products from across the world, the increasing choice for consumers is a real driving force behind continuing growth.

Spending, Payment and Delivery Preferences
Each of the Ecommerce Foundation reports show different trends across online consumers, which are worth bearing in mind for any business hoping to expand and target the countries. For example, in Italy the largest group of online shoppers were found to be between 35 and 44 years old, with around 13 million frequent online shoppers and 6 million infrequent ones.
Preferred payment methods differ between countries as well, with PayPal or similar the most popular choice in Italy, compared to the preferred online payment method being credit card in Portugal. This is important to remember to ensure that potential customers can make purchases easily in a way that suits them.

Parcel delivery is another area that needs focusing on to attract and satisfy customers. 92% of Italian online shoppers prefer to receive their parcel delivery at their home or office, so this should be considered if expanding into the region.

European Expansion Opportunities
These latest figures show that ecommerce markets across Europe are continuing to grow, as spending reaches record levels, demonstrating plenty of opportunity for UK based online retailers to expand into. There may be some slight slowdown but the annual spending still provides plenty of room for expansion.

If your business is considering offering its products or services in Europe, then using parcel delivery companies such as Whistl is a vital step to ensure success, so that customers receive their parcel delivery on time. From little to large parcel delivery, whatever your company sells, getting deliveries right is essential for expansion success.


Image courtesy of iStock.  

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