E-commerce growth continues in Europe, with companies and consumers accelerating their digitization
Ecommerce Europe and EuroCommerce are publishing a report on e-commerce in Europe for 2021, prepared this year by the Center for Market Insight at the University of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam. The study presents key industry figures and trends, with an analysis of countries and sectors, and interviews with executives from major national e-commerce associations.
2020 was an exceptional year, marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, and e-commerce played an important role for society and the economy in various countries. Across Europe, e-commerce revenue was € 757 billion, an increase of 10% compared to 2019. COVID-19 strongly boosted product sales, but strongly lower sales in the tourism and services sector (events, tickets, etc.) .) contributed to the slowdown in the overall growth of the sector.
Western Europe accounts for the largest share of B2C e-commerce turnover (64%), followed by southern Europe with only 16%, while Central Europe (8%), Northern and Eastern Europe (6%) are in last place. The leaders in B2C e-commerce remain the United Kingdom (€ 236 billion), France (€ 112 billion), Germany (€ 93.6 billion) and Spain (€ 68.4 billion). But several countries recorded very high turnover growth rates: Greece (77%), Moldova (49%), Russia (41%), Switzerland, Northern Macedonia (37%) and Sweden (36%).
Internet use in Europe continued to grow, climbing to 89% in 2020 from 87% in 2019 and 85% in 2018, with Western Europe (95%) catching up with Northern Europe (96%). Above all, the number of online shoppers grew faster in 2020 than in the past 4 years with 71% of the population shopping in online stores (compared to 66% in 2019 and 64% in 2018). The UK has the largest share of online shoppers (92%), followed by the Netherlands (91%), Denmark and Switzerland (90%), Germany and Norway (87%) and Sweden (86%).
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the development of the retail sector. The conclusions accelerated existing trends of digital and green transition in stores, and for consumers, e-commerce was a lifeline that allowed them to continue shopping during the forced closure of stores. Although e-commerce has not fully compensated for the losses suffered by many traditional SMEs, it has absorbed much of the economic shock.
The share of e-commerce in GDP has increased in all countries. In 2020, it reached 3.6% in Europe and 4.8% in France.
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