E-commerce volume in Europe grew by a stunning 16.3% to reach €363.3 billion in 2013 despite still sluggish recovery from the economic crisis. The growth in EU28 (the European countries that are part of the European Union) had been slightly behind non-EU Europeans with 15%. The number of B2C websites have grown to 650,000 at the end of 2013, promising further growth of 15 to 20% a year in upcoming years.
The growth trend is expected to continue this year, bringing the total e-commerce volume to around €425 billion. According to the European B2C E-Commerce Report 2014 released last week during Global E-Commerce Summit, the volume will reach at least €625 billion by the end of 2016. It also says that the share of the European internet economy in overall European GDP, that is the eGDP Index, is 2.2% now, and it’s expected to double by 2016 and triple by 2020.
The number of jobs created directly or indirectly by the B2C e-commerce sector is estimated at above 2 million in Europe.
In terms of the regions within Europe, one can still see large differences in development between the mature markets in Northern and Western Europe and the emerging countries (which are catching up rapidly) in Southern, Central and Eastern Europe.
Western Europe (the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and the Benelux) made 49% of the total European e-commerce market, whereas Central Europe that includes Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Poland, came second with € 93.2 billion (25.7%). In 2013, Southern Europe (Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece and Turkey) maintained its third position with an e-commerce turnover of € 40.8 billion (11.2%). The Eastern European region, led by Russia, was fifth with €19.3 billion, but showed an unprecedented e-commerce growth of 47.4% last year.