Ecommerce sector forecasted to continue its steady growth in 2019


The European online retail sector is once again on a good track towards a prosperous growth throughout 2019. After an increase in turnover by 11.87% to €547 billion in 2018, the European B2C ecommerce turnover is forecasted to grow even further in 2019 by close to 14% to €621 billion. This is one of the main outcomes of the European B2C Ecommerce Report 2019, which is jointly launched today by Ecommerce Europe and EuroCommerce. The report outlines the main facts and figures on the ecommerce sector in Europe and provides detailed insights for each European ecommerce market.

Marlene ten Ham, Secretary General of Ecommerce Europe, commented: “We at Ecommerce Europe are delighted to see that the ecommerce sector continues to grow across Europe. We have tremendous assets that fostered the growth of the sector over the past years, as the 2019 Report shows. However, despite the progress made in the Digital Single Market, companies still face barriers to develop, especially cross-border. Therefore, we need to set ambitious yet achievable actions at EU level for the next years and speed up our efforts. First of all, we need to enforce current regulations before creating new ones. Secondly, we need to harmonize essential rules and standards so that companies can rely on one single set of rules across Europe. And finally, we need more investments in new technologies and digital skills so that ecommerce businesses are empowered to shape Europe’s digital future.”

Western Europe is the largest ecommerce market in Europe, with approximately 66% (€363 bn) of total European online retail turnover. Southern Europe follows with 14% (€78 bn) and Northern Europe with 9% (€49 bn). However, Northern Europeans have the highest spending per e-shopper, with €2,046.

Key trends identified in the report show that the country with the highest country online shopping rate [1] (88%) in 2018 is Switzerland, followed by the UK (87%) and Denmark (86%), while the lowest data for online shopping were registered in 2018 in Bulgaria (31%), Romania (26%) and Ukraine (22%).

In terms of cross-border purchases, Maltese e-shoppers are most likely to order from another EU seller (89%), followed by Cyprus (83%) and Luxembourg (82%).

The report also reveals the reasons for Europeans not to shop online and the challenges that consumers still face when shopping online. Among the main complaints are speed of delivery, trust concerns about receiving and returning goods, complaints and redress concerns, and payment security concerns. Speed of delivery represents a main concern for Montenegro (22%), Hungary (12%) and Turkey (10%), while payments security concerns are strong in Portugal (29%) and Turkey (25%).

Christian Verschueren, Director-General of EuroCommerce, commented: “This report enables us to understand every individual European market. What is clear is that Europe as a whole needs to catch up with the massive progress being made in digital tech and in online commerce in other regions in the world, most notably China and the US. This is a message for business, but also for regulators and policy-makers. We will continue to press for the right conditions for growth in all channels of sales, so that they help European retail to innovate and compete globally. There is a fantastic potential here, with of a market of 500 million reasonably affluent Europeans. Yet too many issues with differing consumer laws, VAT, labelling regimes, and many distribution restrictions deter entrepreneurs and leave this potential untapped.”

To download the full version of the report, please visit this website. To get access to the light version of the report, please click here.

To download the highlights of the European Ecommerce Report 2019, please click here.

[1] % of individuals who purchased online in the past 12 months