Ecommerce Europe and EuroCommerce today jointly published the 2023 European E-commerce Report. In 2022, the European B2C e-commerce turnover increased from €849 billion in 2021 to €899 billion in 2022, despite a shifting economic and political environment. Although the growth rate for 2022, reaching 6%, compares lower than in 2021 (12%), the sector continues to move forward and is expected to continue growing in 2023.
Throughout 2022, Europe was heavily affected by the impact of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, not least the high inflation rates putting downward pressure on consumers’ purchasing power. The report highlights that higher prices were the main driver in the increase in e-commerce turnover in several European countries. However, the lower volumes were partly compensated by a surge in online service purchases (e.g., travel). At the same time, European decision-makers stand a chance to adapt the regulatory landscape to the challenges and opportunities posed by the digital and green transitions.
To illustrate the significant impact of inflation on the sector, this year’s report added inflation-adjusted growth numbers for Europe and all its regions. In 2021, European inflation-adjusted e-commerce growth was still very strong (+9%), but it plunged in 2022 due to the inflation shock, shrinking for the first time ever (-2%). The only regions without e-commerce decline in 2022 were Eastern Europe (+5%) and Southern Europe (+13%). In 2023, e-commerce started recovering as inflation declined, leading us to project a return to growth in 2023 (+2%).
The report also identifies technological progress (e.g., 5G, AR/VR, digital wallet) and new shop solutions (e.g., SaaS) as drivers of deeper e-commerce penetration and, thus, as an opportunity to smoothen regional divides. Another aspect raised by the report is the growing demand for more sustainable e-commerce, which is expected to build on more efficient deliveries and returns, as well as greener consumption and production patterns. Overall, the report’s key findings suggest that the sector is developing the needed resilience to overcome the multifaceted challenges of our times.
Luca Cassetti, Secretary General of Ecommerce Europe, commented: “2022 marked the 30th anniversary of the EU Single Market, and while Ecommerce Europe recognises the important steps undertaken over the years, we also see that businesses are still faced with significant barriers, especially in relation to cross-border selling. Policymakers have a responsibility to reduce market fragmentation and remove red tape for cross-border business operations. Designing future-proof and channel-neutral policies, capable of adapting to evolving companies’ and consumers’ expectations while considering business realities, will be paramount when the next EU cycle starts.”
Christel Delberghe, Director General of EuroCommerce, commented: “The consumer journey is rapidly changing and combining online and offline interaction has become the new normal. In 2022, with inflation soaring, consumers became a lot more price-sensitive. They increasingly looked to save money and did so also by comparing and diversifying their online and offline shopping channels. We expect online sales to keep growing in the coming years, reaching an estimated 30% of retail sales by 2030. Being present online has become vital for many retailers, especially for smaller businesses.”
Ecommerce Europe, EuroCommerce and the Centre for Market Insights will launch the 2023 European E-commerce Report during a webinar on 25 September at 11h00 CEST. Please register here.
The Centre for Market Insights of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences prepared the report.
A light version of the report is available here.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
The 2023 European E-commerce Report encompasses 37 countries on the European continent, revealing data-driven insights into the current and projected size of their digital markets and consumer trends in internet use and e-shopping. The report includes the latest data and trends surrounding internet penetration, e-shopper penetration, and B2C e-commerce turnover for all 37 countries, with an additional concentrated look at data for the EU-27. It also compares the trends affecting the sector in 2022 and 2021.
Western Europe is, by far, the largest region, holding 67% of the total B2C turnover in Europe for 2022. Southern Europe follows with a share of just 16%. Central Europe (8%), Northern Europe (7%) and Eastern Europe (2%) have a considerably lower share in the total B2C e-commerce turnover. In actual figures for 2022, Western Europe traded €603 billion online, Southern Europe traded €146 billion and Central Europe €72 billion. Northern Europe was just behind Central Europe with €65 billion, followed by Eastern Europe with €14 billion in turnover.
In 2022, 76% of Europe’s online population purchased online, implying a decrease in online shopping in several countries compared to last year. The concerned national e-commerce associations linked this trend with increasing inflation, which has made consumers more cautious about spending (online). Last year, Western Europe surpassed Northern Europe in the share of e-shoppers on the total number of Internet users (87%), up from 84% in 2021. Northern Europe, where 85% of Internet users shopped online in 2022, follows closely, while Central Europe ranks third (77%). Eastern Europe, which includes a significant number of countries outside the European Union, has shown a promising growth of 6 percentage points in online shopper penetration from 41% in 2021 to 48% in 2022.
An executive summary of the report is available here.
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Press contact EuroCommerce
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