European e-commerce still growing but new global challenges lie ahead


Ecommerce Europe and EuroCommerce today jointly published the 2022 European E-commerce Report. In 2021, European e-commerce grew by 13 % to €718 billion euros. The growth rate has remained stable, though it has risen slightly compared to 2020. The 2021 B2C turnover figures show that e-commerce continues to grow, despite lockdowns being lifted and consumers’ ability to visit physical stores again.

After the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce has become even more firmly anchored in the economy and society. Overall, two trends can be identified. On the one hand, the normalisation and stabilisation of the sales compared to the exceptional previous year: E-commerce continued to grow in 2021 and is also forecast to do so in 2022, with growth slowly stabilising. On the other hand, the report identifies that consumers are being more careful in their spending. The effects of the war in Ukraine, inflation, disrupted global supply chains and a general feeling of uncertainty, are bringing the growth figures back to pre-pandemic levels. Nonetheless, the fact that e-commerce sales are only experiencing a small decline so far shows that the digital commerce sector has become indispensable and very resilient. Additionally, the online services industry, such as e-tourism, events and ticketing, experienced a steady recovery during this past year.

Luca Cassetti, Secretary General of Ecommerce Europe, commented: “In the past two years, retailers have gained a lot of experience in digitalisation. This acceleration was significantly pushed by the pandemic, during which e-commerce and retail played an essential role. These developments are reflected in this report. In 2022, Europe has, unfortunately, become the stage of a major conflict. Though still difficult to evaluate, the war in Ukraine will have major consequences on the European economy, as well as on e-commerce markets. Many of our members have already reported declines in consumer purchasing power and confidence, mostly due to high energy prices, inflation and uncertainty about the future. We are calling on EU Member States and policymakers to support Europe’s economy and citizens in these difficult times while continuing to work towards a future-proof legislative framework, fit for omnichannel retail”.

Christel Delberghe, Director General of EuroCommerce, commented: “The retail and wholesale sector is transforming significantly to become more digital, more sustainable and to attract new talent. We estimate that businesses will have to double their investment up to 2030 successfully achieve that transformation. Having a digital presence is becoming a matter of survival for many companies. Our customers expect us to deliver a seamless experience, offering various combinations of online and offline interactions. Supporting SMEs’ digitalisation will require dedicated support, technical advice and building awareness of the various tools to facilitate an online presence. We will be monitoring the implementation and enforcement of the EU’s Digital Agenda carefully to ensure that Europe provides an environment conducive to innovation while ensuring fair competition.”

Ecommerce Europe, EuroCommerce and the Centre for Market Insights will launch the 2022 European E-commerce Report during a webinar on 28 June, from 11h00 to 12h00 CEST. Please register here.

The report was prepared by the Centre for Market Insights of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.

To download the light version of the report, please click here.

 NOTES FOR EDITORS                         

The 2022 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 contains interviews with heads of leading national e-commerce associations and other valuable information for merchants, policymakers and wider e-commerce stakeholders.

Western Europe is, by far, the strongest region in terms of B2C e-commerce turnover, holding 63% of the total turnover for 2021. Southern Europe follows in second place with just 16% of total turnover, while Central Europe and Northern Europe come in third and fourth (10% and 9% respectively), and Eastern Europe (2%) in last place. In actual figures of 2021, Western Europe traded €450 billion euros online, while Southern Europe traded €118 billion euros, and Central Europe €70 billion euros. Northern Europe was just behind Central Europe with €67 billion euros, followed by Eastern Europe with €14 billion in turnover.

Other key findings show that, in 2021, 73% of Europe’s online population purchased online, down from 74% in 2020. Although this reflects a slight drop in online purchasing post-pandemic, several national e-commerce associations have commented the decrease is less than was expected, and some actually reported an increase in online shopping in their particular market. For the first time, Northern Europe has the highest share of e-shoppers with 86% of Internet users having shopped online in 2021. Northern Europe is followed by Western Europe with 84%, and Central Europe with 75%. Eastern Europe, which includes a significant number of countries outside the European Union, had only 46% of internet users shopping online in 2021.


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Press contact Ecommerce Europe

Luca Cassetti

Secretary General

Tel: +32 2 502 31 34



Press contact EuroCommerce

Daniela Haiduc

Tel: +32 473 562 936