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E-commerce market in Europe in the year of pandemic
Main insights from PostNord research. What should retailers expect in 2021?
E-commerce market in Europe in the year of pandemic
Main insights from PostNord research. What should retailers expect in 2021?
Since 2014, the Scandinavian company PostNord annually publishes research on the state of the
E-commerce market in Europe. Recently, the company has released the report for 2020. How did the E-commerce market grow? What are the reasons for this growth? What impact did the coronavirus have on the market? What can retailers expect in the coming year?
Since 2014, the Scandinavian company PostNord annually publishes research on the state of the E-commerce market in Europe. Recently, the company has released the report for 2020. How did the E-commerce market grow? What are the reasons for this growth? What impact did the coronavirus have on the market? What can retailers expect in the coming year?
  • Europe's share of online sales is declining. Globally, e-commerce sales totaled USD 3.535 trillion in 2019. The Asia-Pacific region increased most (25 percent), followed by the Middle East and Africa (21 percent). In Europe, e-commerce grew by 10.2 percent in Western Europe and 14.5 percent in Eastern Europe. This means that Europe's share of global e-commerce sales is declining. The e-commerce market in many European countries, especially in Western Europe, is relatively mature, which explains the lower growth.

  • In 2019, 269 billion euros were spent on online shopping. 293 million consumers have shopped online in the past year. Total e-commerce in the countries surveyed amounts to EUR 269 billion, an increase of 12 percent over last year. Germany (62.8 million euros) remains the largest e-commerce market, followed by the UK (52.4 million euros).

  • The growth of the E-Commerce market is related to consumer concerns due to the coronavirus pandemic. This trend coincides with the magnitude of disease outbreak, topped by hard-hit countries such as Spain (44%), Belgium (41%), and Italy (37%) - the countries that were most affected by the pandemic, and it's what had caused customers to change their habits and make more online than offline purchases.
Number of EUR billion that European consumers have spent online
over the past year
Number of EUR billion that European consumers have spent online over the past year
  • The United Kingdom and Sweden are the leaders in online spending. UK residents spend 1020 euros per person per year. In second place is Sweden with an average check of 1012 euros per year.

  • Germany and the UK are Europe's strongest e-commerce markets. In Germany, 61 million consumers state that they have shopped online in the past year, and the figure in the UK is 49 million.

  • Purchase from the marketplace. The share of those who made online purchases on marketplaces is highest in the UK and Italy (97%) followed by Spain, Germany (95%), Poland (94%). This indicator is lowest in Finland (61%) and Sweden (56%)
Purchaces from the marketplaces by country
Purchaces from the marketplaces by country
  • Mobile E-commerce grew by 10% over the year. Now more and more people are making purchases from mobile devices. This trend has been accelerated by the fact that in Spain and Italy, where the market has grown strongly, most people use mobile phones more often than other types of devices.

  • Consumers accept longer delivery times during the pandemic. Today, consumers in most European countries have high expectations regarding delivery time. But compared with previous years, demands are lower, probably since e-commerce and delivery times in many countries came under heavy pressure because of the coronavirus pandemic, a reason which many consumers can understand
269 billion euros were spent on online shopping in 2019
Forecast for the European E-commerce market:
1. Pandemic driving e-commerce. Statistics show a strong link between concern over the virus and the proportion of consumers who shopped online more often.

2. Amazon is facing competition. Amazon, which played a key role in the formation of the E-commerce market in Europe, is now beginning to experience competition from new market players such as Alibaba. In 2019, the first physical AliExpress store in Europe (Madrid) was launched. Now, as Amazon is establishing a presence in Sweden, it will encounter a far more mature market than it is used to

3. Sustainability remains important. Sustainability continues to be an important issue, especially for consumers in mature e-commerce markets. E-retailers across Europe should take into account the continued importance of sustainability issues for a growing number of consumers.

4. Popularity of cross-border online shopping varies. This number varies from country to country, but it is known that most online purchases abroad are made by residents of Belgium. Buyers from Italy and Spain also often shop abroad, where purchases from China clearly dominate.

5. Demands for quick delivery vary. Buyers from Poland, the Netherlands and Germany place significantly higher demands on quick deliveries than online shoppers in most other European countries. A number of strong market players, such as Amazon, have driven the trend and raised consumer expectations for quick delivery.
Read the full report: E-commerce in Europe 2020
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