We’ve identified 11 key findings in this report that we believe are particularly interesting to retailers and will give a snapshot of the information available in the comprehensive 2017 European Ecommerce Report.
1. Countries with the highest internet access
Around 1 in 3 people in the world has internet access, but which countries in Europe are at the higher and lower ends of this spectrum? According to Eurostat, internet penetration in Europe is steadily increasing, with 13% growth in the last 5 years. Northern Europe leads the way with 93% online, followed by Western Europe at 89%, Central Europe at 86%, Southern Europe at 71% and Eastern Europe at 66%.
Norway currently has the highest internet penetration in Europe with 100% of its citizens online or able to access the internet, while Ukraine has the lowest penetration – just 49% of the population have internet access.
2. Number of companies selling online
Since the online shopping boom hit the retail sector, a huge number of companies have moved online. Since 2010, there’s been a steady increase of companies offering an eCommerce enabled experience – from 13% to 18% in 2016 – and 77% of enterprises have a website, up from 67% in 2010.
3. Top online companies in Europe
Amazon is still leading online sales in Europe with an online turnover of €38.5 billion in 2015. The next biggest players are Apple, Dixons Carphone and Cdiscount/Groupe Casino, posting online EU turnover of €6.4 billion, €3.9 billion and €2.4 billion in 2015, respectively.
4. Number of online shoppers 2016-2017
87% of UK shoppers have bought online in the last 12 months, compared to just 18% in Romania, according to new statistics from Eurostat. Denmark comes a close second with 84%, and Macedonia second last with only 20%.
5. Age of online buyers
Year-on-year, consumers of all ages are heading online to purchase products. Over the four-year period from 2013 to 2016, the number of 16-74 year-olds shopping online increased by around 9%. In 2016, 67% of 16-24 year-olds purchased online, compared to 64% of 25-54 year-olds and 35% of 55-74 year-olds.
6. Money spent online in the last 3 months
In the second quarter of 2017, 6% of 25-54 year-olds spent over €1000, compared to 2% of 16-24 year-olds. 22% of this age group also spent between €100-€400 since May, whereas 15% of 16-24 year-olds spent between €50-99.
7. Most purchased online categories
As more companies turn to eCommerce, there are changes in the most popular categories, such as food and groceries, which saw 3% growth from 2015 – 2016. But the most purchased category is clothing and sporting goods, making up 34% of online purchases, with a growth of 2% since 2015. Travel and computer software are also popular purchases, contributing to 29% and 28% of online sales, respectively.
8. Devices used to purchase online
Mobile integration is an important part of eCommerce in 2017, and this is clear in the Ecommerce Foundation’s latest report. The IAB statistics show 75% of Europeans have purchased a product or service online, and Turkey leads as the top country for mobile payment users, with 91%. Additionally, 25% of Europeans surveyed said they used their mobile phone to purchase online 2-3 times a month, and 7% made an online purchase every day.
9. Most and least popular products purchased online globally
The popular categories mentioned above were in Europe, but what does eCommerce look like around the world? These are the most and least popular categories in each region, according to the percentage of overall consumers:
- North America: financial services (25.4%) vs. packaged food and beverages (1.7%)
- Asia Pacific: mobile phones (28.3%) vs. packaged food and beverages (4.4%)
- Latin America: consumer electronics (27.4%) vs. household washing and cleaning products (2.6%)
- Europe: mobile phones (30.1%) vs. packaged food and beverages (1.6%)
- Middle East: consumer electronics (15.2%) vs. packaged food and beverages (1.7%)
10. Cross-border purchases
Cross-border purchases are becoming more and more common in eCommerce as brands seek international customers in lucrative markets, and Luxembourgers have had the highest amount of purchases this year, with 74% buying from overseas retailers. Turkey have the lowest amount of cross-border purchases (2%), just behind Romania (3%).
11. Issues with cross-border online shopping
Shopping across borders can allow consumers to buy directly from their favorite brands, however there are many challenges that customers continue to report. In 2016, the biggest issue for cross-border shoppers was speed of delivery (17% of shoppers), followed by technical failure (13%), wrong or damaged goods/services delivered (9%), difficulties finding information about guarantees or legal rights (5%), complaints not handled properly (4%), fraud (3%), and foreign retailer didn’t sell in local country (3%).
For these and other findings, you can download the full European Ecommerce Report 2017 here.
It is clear online shopping is improving as retailers become savvier and implement better processes for their customers. There are still some obstacles retailers must overcome to ensure every customer has a positive online shopping experience – they must prioritize a swift checkout process, improve delivery and returns turn-around, and offer a wider range of products on optimized websites for international shoppers. This report contains some valuable insights that retailers can use to gain insight into European markets, so that they can improve every step of the customer transaction.