Europe’s ecommerce market growth continues to show now signs of slowing. With many European economies starting to at least stablize last year, online sales in Europe went on to grow at a very healthy 16% in 2013, increasing Europe’s overall ecommerce market to €363 billion. This actually puts Europe ahead of the North America, whose ecommerce market grew 6% to € 333.5 billion last year.
This trend, which was highlighted in the Europe B2C Ecommerce Report, revealed last week’s Global Ecommerce Summit in Barcelona, is expected to continue in the coming years, with the market growing to €425 billion this year and to at least €625 billion in 2016. This grow will be fueled by the continued increase in spend per shopper in developed ecommerce markets like the UK, France, and Germany and new consumers shopping online in emerging European ecommerce markets.
The UK at €107.5bn, Germany at €63.4bn, and France €51.1bn, continue to be the most dominant ecommerce markets in Europe, making up 61% of Europe’s B-to-C ecommerce. However, in coming years, emerging ecommerce markets, are expected to particularly in places like Eastern Europe where, led by Russia, the market grew a whopping 47.4% to €19.3bn.
Ecommerce, an important economic lever for Europe
As the market continues to grow, more and more Europeans are taking the entrepreneurial route and launching their online stores. By the end of 2013, the number of B-to-C websites in Europe grew to 650k, which is expected to continue to grow at an average paces of 15-20% in the coming years. Taking into account the increasing number of stores coupled with all the new jobs created in related sectors, Ecommerce Europe (the authors of the report) estimated that a total of 2 million jobs have been created directly or indirectly due to the rise of the ecommerce market. Although ecommerce is only estimated a 2.2% of Europe’s GDP, this is expected to double by 2016 and triple by 2020.
Europe #2 terms of ecommerce market size, while Asia-Pacific emerges as #1
Primarily led by China, Asia-Pacific grew 16.7% last year to € 406.1bn. Of course the Asia-Pacific region is more populous than Europe so perhaps not surprising that the market size is larger. However with a rising middle class, strong growth in m-commerce and giants like Taobao bringing an increasing number of rural vendors online, this growth should continue at a healthy clip for the foreseeable future. Interestingly, the regions that showed the strongest growth last year were actually the Middle East which grew by 32.6% to €11.9bn and Latin America which grew by 24.6% to €37.9bn.