23% E-Commerce growth projected for Central Europe, a region full of diversity and enormous potential


With an average growth rate of 19% in 2012, the e-commerce market in Central Europe is showing a promising development in line with the European average of 19.9%. It reached a volume of €75.9bn.  For 2013, the region’s e-commerce market is projected to increase with 23% and reach €93.3bn. This is revealed by the latest report on B2C e-commerce in Central Europe released by Ecommerce Europe. Ecommerce Europe is the European umbrella organization for online retailers. Figures in Ecommerce Europe reports are based on the European Measurement Standard for Ecommerce (EMSEC).

Central Europe generated 24.4% of Europe’s e-commerce turnover

The report defines the region as consisting of Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland. An in-depth analysis including infographic is offered on the largest markets of this region: Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Switzerland. The region‘s share in Europe’s total e-commerce turnover in 2012 (€311.5bn) is 24.4%. 58 million of the region’s 165 million inhabitants are already using the internet for online purchases.

Germany, a giant in transition

Germany is by far the largest country in the Central European region. With its e-commerce turnover of € 50bn, it makes up 65.7% of the region’s total e-commerce turnover. Internet penetration in Germany is with 85% very high, and consequently Germany has the largest online population in Europe with 69.6mn people. With a younger, internet savvy generation hungry for foreign trends and embracing the digital lifestyle, Germany is moving away from its long standing retail and mail-order traditions towards being a true e-commerce growth hub. The impressive 22% growth rate confirms this trend.  Foreign players such as Amazon are already very well established in the market. On the other hand, Germany is the birth place of very successful international e-commerce companies, such as the former mail order giant Otto or the fashion pure player Zalando.

Small but powerful: The Austrians and the Swiss lead in online expenditure

Central European consumers spent on average €1,219 online in 2012. This is far above the EU28 and European average of €1,234 and €1,402 respectively. Austrians spent most online in 2012 with an average amount of €2,085. Switzerland ranks second with an average spend of €1,750. Germany is third in rank with respect to online spending (€1,351). These countries are followed by Czech Republic with an average spend of €581, Poland with €422 and Hungary with €422.

Poland is showing the strongest e-commerce growth

Poland is the growth leader in the Central European region, with an average increase of 24% over 2012. Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia were estimated at 880mn, 330mn and 180mn respectively, a combined average growth of 23%. Growth in Germany was 22%. The Czech Republic will reach €2.1bn this year, a growth of over 19% over 2012. The feeblest growth is recorded in Austria and Switzerland, both with a growth rate of 12%.

Throughout the past weeks, Ecommerce Europe has published comprehensive Regional Reports on B2C Ecommerce in Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, Northern Europe and Western Europe. The reports are powered by RichRelevance, Hybris and Salesupply and the light versions can be downloaded via www.ecommerce-europe.eu.

An abstract of the Central Europe B2C Ecommerce report can be downloaded online here.