European Ecommerce Approaching €509 Billion in 2016

The European B2C Ecommerce Report 2016 was commissioned by Ecommerce Europe and Ingenico EPayments. This comprehensive report was put together in cooperation with dozens of organizations all over Europe, coming to the conclusion that an expected growth of 12% in the ecommerce world should be coming this year.

In 2015, online sales in Europe totaled around 455.3 billion euros, yet those sales are projected to go all the way up to 509.9 billion euros.

You have the chance to download the report for free, and they also have a full version that you would have to pay for. However, we wanted to take a moment to outline what this increase means for the folks doing business in Europe, while also outlining the key points covered in the European B2C Ecommerce Report.

People Shopping Online and Using the Internet

Starting out, the report outlines quite a few useful metrics for getting started with what the outlook of the European market looks like. It explains that 685 million people are over the age of 15, presuming that these people are now able to start buying online.

In addition, 516 million people use the internet, limiting that original number, yet still showing that increases in sales are bound to happen in the years ahead.

Next, the report talks about how 296 million of those people are e-shoppers.

These 296 million people have done quite a number in terms of shopping online over the past few years. Trends are growing consistently, and as you can see below, they probably aren’t stopping anytime soon:

  • 2014: €402 billion (+13.6)
  • 2015: €455 billion, (+13.3)
  • 2016: €510 billion (+12.0)

These numbers outline the overall European turnover, but what about the certain regions throughout Europe? Did they find anything that reveals some areas are more prominent in the ecommerce game than others?

B2C Ecommerce Turnover Per Region

Western Europe stands out as the frontrunner, with €252.9 billion, while central Europe is at second (yet far behind) with 89.5 billion. Eastern Europe is at the bottom with €24.9 billion in ecommerce sales for 2016.

What’s interesting is that the average spending per ecommerce shopper is at €1,540, which gives online retailers a good idea as to how much the average person is willing to pay for a product.

Ecommerce Sales and GDP

The estimated total share of online goods in total retail of goods is 8%. This means that out of all the products being sold this year, we can expect 8% of them to be sold online.

How does this affect the overall GDP in Europe?

Well, the report calculated a total GDP of €17,591 billion, and the share of ecommerce in that GDP is at 2.59%. Goods are sold more often than services, but not by much. In fact, goods take up about 52% of the market, while services are close behind at 48%.

As with all markets, ecommerce is bound to affect GDP in some way. The report we’re talking about discovered an interesting trend in the growth rate of the European GDP, which may or may not have something to do with ecommerce in itself.

  • 2010 – (+1.6%)
  • 2011 – (+1.8%)
  • 2012 – (-0.3%)
  • 2013 – (+0.5%)
  • 2014 – (+1.8%)
  • 2015 – (+2.6%)

So, as you can see, the overall GDP in Europe saw a little decline during 2012 and 2013. Lots of factors play into this, but it’s nice to see that the GDP is back and better than ever.

Internet Penetration by Region

Seeing as how a huge part of whether or not people are going to buy in a country depends entirely on internet access, the report discusses which of the European countries are doing well with internet penetration, along with the ones that are struggling.

To start, countries like Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and the UK all have internet access for more than 90% of the residents. So, you can assume that these people can at least decide to start buying from online stores.

On the other hand, countries with limited internet access are going to continue struggling, considering people don’t really have the choice to shop online or not.

Some of the countries with internet access lower than 70% include Turkey (the lowest, at 54%,) Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania and Italy.

Growth Rates have Actually Decreased

We’ve spent some time talking about how the sales in Europe have grown consistently over the past years. However, this doesn’t mean that the growth rates are rising. For example, 2016 is projected to have around €9.9 billion in online sales. However, the 12% increase in 2016 is the lowest over the past six years. In fact, 2013 saw a 22% increase in sales, dwarfing what’s going on today.

The report also details how the diminishing rates are expected to stay consistent into the future.

The United Kingdom

Many European countries are outlined in the ecommerce report. However, none of them standout like the UK. The €157.1 billion in 2015 sales is far more than the second country at €64.9 billion (France).

In addition, the report revealed a chart called “Share of T op 10 Countries in B2C E-commerce Sales”. It’s rather impressive what the UK has managed to do in the European ecommerce game, because they dominate 34.5% of the European market.

What’s more is that the closest competitor is France at 14.3%. Even more surprising is that after the top ten countries, the report combined the rest of Europe, and it only came out to around 15.8% market share.

Service and Product Groups Selling Online

Although we would like to outline the entire report in this article, there is quite a bit of information, and you might as well just download the report if you plan on reading the whole thing.

However, we feel that one more area of the report is particularly interesting, considering it explains which products and service categories see the most sales in the European market.

Travel and leisure flights lead off the list, with 77% of the sales being online, while music and hotel stays are at 65%. There’s a steep drop off after that, seeing as how tablets, phones, clothing and home furnishings are all between 30 and 40%.

At the very bottom we can see that groceries are only sold online 3% of the time, while hair care and makeup don’t have impressive online sales either.


Overall, we recommend taking a look at the European ecommerce report to understand how you can better your business in the future.

Leave us a comment in the section below if you have any questions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Go up