European consumers hit 300 billion euros mark for online spending
Ecommerce Europe has predicted that online spending in Europe for 2012 will reach 305 billion euros. An expected 22% increase in online sales is expected, thanks to an explosion on e-commerce in Southern and Eastern Europe.
Poland and the Czech Republic should report a 25% to 30% increase of online sales. Germany (+25%), France (+20%) and Belgium (+20%) are just ahead of Italy and Spain, who both saw an increase of 19% on online activity. Combined, the United Kingdom, France and Germany represent 70% of Europe e-commerce activity.
Europe is the largest e-commerce market in the world. The USA should report 280 billion euros in online sales, just ahead of the Asia-Pacfic market who are at 216 billion euros. Growth in Latin America should reach 25 to 30% (43 billion euros), thanks to online shoppers in Brazil. In the Middle East and Africa, growth is expected to reach 45%, equating to 12 billion euros.
For François Momboisse, President of Ecommerce Europe, the success of e-commerce in Europe should not lead us to neglect the work that still needs to be done.
“Growth in e-commerce is closely linked with trust and confidence. It takes a couple of years before Internet users become online shoppers. This explains why, globally, only 20 to 40% of Internet users purchase online. In many emerging countries, consumers do not have a longstanding experience of shopping by catalogue. They wish to see a product before deciding to purchase. Their confidence in online payment and online security in particular has to grow. This is why Ecommerce Europe attaches such importance to online payments and online security. This must be a top priority for the European Union as well.”
China and m-commerce
Of course, Europe could take place second place after China in the near future. The country has 220 million online shoppers, as many as Europe, but only 40% of the population has access to the internet (550 million people). With an increase of 88% in online BtoC sales expected this year, China has unknown potential to top the leaderboard.
For the moment, retailers are focusing on mobile e-commerce, or m-commerce. The UK reported that m-commerce represents 20% of the country’s total e-commerce activity, up from 5% last year. In the United States m-commerce has doubled to represent 10% of the e-commerce in the country. With 47.5% of Europeans using smartphones, figures for online sales made from mobile devices are likely to continue to increase.
By Matthieu Guinebault
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