Europe: Ecommerce Continues to Grow Despite Challenges

September 27, 2023

Despite shifts in the economic and political landscape, the European B2C e-commerce turnover increased from €849 billion in 2021 to €899 billion in 2022. Although this growth rate was significantly less than last in 2021, with a difference of 6%, the sector is expected to continue rising in 2021.

The report reveals that the increase in prices have been one of the catalysts for increase in commerce turnover in several European countries

However, the lower volumes were partly compensated by a surge in online service purchases (e.g. travel). At the same time, European decision-makers stand a chance to adapt the regulatory landscape to the challenges and opportunities posed by the digital and green transitions

According to Christel Delberghe, Director General of EuroCommerce, combining both online and offline interaction has become a new normal for customers everywhere, and that as prices continued to rise, customers started to compare and contrast prices online, and this will give way to an increase in online sales.

We expect online sales to keep growing in the coming years, reaching an estimated 30% of retail sales by 2030. Being present online has become vital for many retailers, especially for smaller businesses.

This year’s report added inflation-adjusted growth numbers for Europe and all its regions to illustrate the impact of inflation.

Taken from Payments Cards and Mobile:

"In 2021, European inflation-adjusted e-commerce growth was still very strong (+9%), but it plunged in 2022 due to the inflation shock, shrinking for the first time ever (-2%).

The only regions without e-commerce decline in 2022 were Eastern Europe (+5%) and Southern Europe (+13%).

In 2023, e-commerce started recovering as inflation declined, leading us to project a return to growth in 2023 (+2%).

The report also identifies technological progress (e.g. 5G, AR/VR, digital wallet) and new shop solutions (e.g. SaaS) as drivers of deeper e-commerce penetration and, thus, as an opportunity to smoothen regional divides.”

A”greening” to save the planet

The report also highlights the growing demand for more sustainable e-commerce, which companies which is expected to prompt companies to make more effective delivery and return systems, and make products in a more sustainable way.

The findings hint at the change companies are making in order to keep in business, and it’s looking like a bright future is ahead.

2022 marked the 30th anniversary of the EU Single Market, and while Ecommerce Europe recognises the important steps undertaken over the years, we also see that businesses are still faced with significant barriers, especially in relation to cross-border selling

Luca also added that policymakers have the responsibility to “reduce market fragmentation and remove red tape for cross-border business operations.”.

Want to learn more? Check out Payments Cards and Mobile’s full write-up here.

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