The current situation of European e-commerce under the current epidemic


Article material and data from E-Commerce Europe 2021, a report based on interviews with 12,749 consumers in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, covering The state of e-commerce in 12 major European markets.

The number of European e-commerce consumers has grown steadily in recent years and now stands at 297 million. Of course, a big reason for this growth is the Covid-19 pandemic, which has left its mark on all European countries.

In the past 2021, e-commerce in Europe has grown during the year. The average sales per person per month in the 12 countries surveyed was €161. As previously reported, Germany and the UK are by far the strongest e-commerce markets in Europe. Coupled with the large population, the purchase volume of these two markets is relatively high, and the share of e-commerce is relatively high. Last year, 62 million consumers in Germany shopped online, compared with just over 49 million in the UK. On the other hand, countries such as Italy, Spain and Poland have relatively low average purchases. At the same time, these three markets are now starting to grow strongly from their previously fairly low levels.

1、Top 12 Product Categories for Shopping in Europe

The top three of the most popular product categories among European shoppers, clothing and footwear, home electronics and books/audiobooks, have remained the same over the years. Apparel and footwear were the most purchased product categories across all markets surveyed. Pharmaceutical products are among the product categories that have grown strongly in recent years, along with cosmetics, groceries and household items. In Sweden, pharmaceutical products have become the most popular online purchases in this market.


2、Faster delivery of goods becomes more important

E-commerce sales have grown across the board during the Covid-19 pandemic, and so has consignment volumes. Generally, online shoppers order more products that are needed for everyday use. As a result, consumers in many countries expect faster delivery, according to the European E-Commerce 2021 report. In the UK, for example, 15% expect a delivery time of 1-2 days, compared to 10% last year. In Belgium, the corresponding figure was 18%, compared with 11% last year. This may be related to the increased demand from many new consumers, especially older consumers, who started shopping online in the early e-commerce.


It will also be interesting to see how consumers in different markets prefer to deliver. Across the 12 countries studied, the most popular delivery method was “delivery to your door”. In Spain, for example, 70% of online shoppers prefer this method. The second most popular option is “signature-free home or door delivery”. In Sweden and Norway, “delivery to my mailbox” by a postman is the most popular delivery method. And “self-pickup from express lockers” is the first choice for Finnish consumers and the second most popular choice for Polish consumers. It is worth noting that in larger e-commerce markets such as the UK

and Germany, the popularity of the delivery method of “courier locker” is very low.

3、Willingness to pay for sustainable e-commerce delivery varies

European countries are not all the same when it comes to choosing sustainable e-commerce shipping. Italy and Germany are the countries with the highest percentage of e-commerce consumers willing to pay extra for more sustainable e-commerce deliveries. Online shoppers willing to pay more for this are primarily younger consumers (18-29 years old), an age group who may be more willing to pay for more tailored last-mile delivery options.

Finland and Poland have the least interest in paying extra for eco-friendly deliveries. This may be because both Finland and Poland are at the forefront of Europe in terms of deployment and efficient use of courier lockers, where consumers believe pickup from lockers is more environmentally friendly than home delivery.


4、Will European consumers choose to shop online locally for environmental reasons?

Online consumers can choose to shop online in their own country for different reasons. One of the reasons consumers choose to shop domestically in previous reports is the language barrier. However, with increasing awareness of sustainability, more and more consumers are consciously shopping domestically in an effort to reduce transportation distances and carbon emissions. Among all the markets surveyed, Spain and Italy have the most consumers of this type of online shopping, followed by consumers in France.


5、European e-commerce growth driven by Covid-19 – will it last?

E-commerce has grown rapidly in almost all European countries. In 2020, we could see growth of up to 40% in some markets, including Sweden and Poland. Of course, much of this unusual growth rate is driven by the Covid-19 pandemic. Consumers in all 12 markets studied said they made more online purchases during the pandemic. Online shoppers in Spain, the UK and Italy saw the biggest increases in purchases. Overall, younger consumers in particular say they are shopping online more than ever.

However, purchases on cross-border platforms were down slightly compared to last year’s report due to COVID-19-affected delivery issues and national lockdowns. But cross-border shopping is expected to gradually increase as pandemic-related disruptions diminish. According to this year’s survey, 216 million people made a cross-border purchase, compared with 220 million in last year’s survey. When it comes to cross-border shopping, China is once again the most popular country for Europeans to buy from, followed by the UK, US and Germany.

Respondents were also asked in the survey whether they would increase or decrease online shopping after the COVID-19 situation improved compared to the current situation. Feedback on this question varied between countries. In Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, which are fairly mature online markets, most people think they will reduce the proportion of online shopping, while in growing markets such as Spain, Italy and Poland, the opposite is true, but respondents also said that online shopping has become a An indispensable part of their daily life, they will maintain this consumption habit after the epidemic.


Post time: Jul-05-2022