A new publication from Germany-based secondary market research specialist yStats.com, titled “Western Europe B2C E-Commerce Market 2017,” reports on the key developments and trends in online retail across this region. Covering 11 markets in total, the report finds that despite the high degree of advancement, the growth of mobile commerce and omnichannel retail helps B2C E-Commerce in Western Europe to reach new heights.
B2C E-Commerce in Western Europe, the world’s third largest market behind Asia and North America, accounted for a high one-digit share of the region’s total retail sales in 2016. Within the next few years, this share is projected to be in the double-digits, according to a forecast cited in this report by yStats.com. This fact, along with a high Internet and online shopper penetration rates, characterizes Western Europe as an advanced online retail market. Nevertheless, there is still room for growth, spurred by key market trends such as M-Commerce and omnichannel retail.
The UK is the region’s largest online retail market and is also the leader in M-Commerce. Two years ago, one-third of online sales in this country were competed via mobile devices and this share has increased by several percentage points every year since, according to market statistics researched by yStats.com. In another top market of Western Europe, Germany, M-Commerce is growing twice as fast as online retail and ten times faster than overall retail sales. Spain is another example of the mobile shopping surge: one in two online shoppers there made purchases via mobile devices in 2016, compared to around one in three a year ago.
Along with M-Commerce, omnichannel retail is showing strong development across Western Europe, according to the findings of the yStats.com report. For example, in France, close to 50% of online shoppers researched a purchase in-store and ordered online, and even a higher share did the research online and bought in-store. A recent consumer survey conducted in Sweden revealed that omnichannel shoppers spent more on their latest purchase than consumers who only used one retail channel, and in Austria, a high discrepancy between website visit and purchase rates for store-based retailers indicate that customers are in the habit of browsing products online, but not necessarily buying them from the same channel.
Regarding the market competition, Amazon is a major rival by sales generated in the top 3 markets of Western Europe and one of the most visited E-Commerce websites in nearly all of the countries covered by yStats.com in this report. In the UK, close to a quarter of consumers named Amazon their favorite retail brand in 2016, and in Germany, above 50% of online shoppers start their purchase journey by researching on Amazon.