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Europe’s share of global B2C E-Commerce to decline despite sales growth

A new publication from secondary market research firm yStats.com, “Europe B2C E-Commerce Market 2017” reveals key trends and developments in online retail across the region. E-Commerce sales figures, penetration rates, top market players, preferred payment methods and product categories are detailed for 15 countries covered in this report. On the regional level, the report finds that in spite of B2C E-Commerce sales growth expected to remain in double-digits through 2021, Europe’s share of the global market is projected to decline due to a more rapid expansion of online retail sales in Asia.

B2C E-Commerce sales in Europe reached several hundred billion Euros in 2016. According to forecasts contained in this report from yStats.com, the region’s online retail sales are projected to maintain double-digit growth rates at least through 2021. Although Europe’s share of global B2C E-Commerce sales is projected to decline by several percentage points by that year due to a more rapid expansion of Asia’s online retail, it is nevertheless expected to remain the third largest global region in terms of sales.

Among the major trends driving the growth of B2C E-Commerce across Europe is the rise of mobile shopping. In the region’s largest online retail market, the UK, M-Commerce already accounts for more than one-third of B2C E-Commerce sales and increases its share ever year by several percentage points. Another important market development is cross-border E-Commerce. While in most of cross-border online shopping is intraregional, digital consumers in Russia prefer to order goods from China when shopping on foreign websites.

Online shoppers from various countries in Europe seem to be united in their preference for clothes, travel and household goods as the top 3 product categories purchased online, according to recent surveys cited in yStats.com’s report. On the other hand, their choices of online payment methods vary. For example, consumers in the UK, France and Belgium tend to pay for Internet purchases with their bank cards, while in Germany payment by invoice and online payment services like PayPal are more popular.

Competition in European B2C E-Commerce remains intense as market growth continues. In the UK, Germany and France, Amazon is ahead of competition in terms of sales volume or popularity. One-quarter of UK online shoppers selected Amazon as their favorite retail brand in 2016, and in Germany more than 50% of shoppers start their product search from Amazon. Nevertheless, there are multiple important local competitors holding significant shares in their respective markets, especially in Eastern Europe, such as Allegro Group in Poland, Wildberries and Ulmart in Russia, Hepsiburda and N11 in Turkey.