E-commerce over the years has become a formidable force to be reckoned with. E-commerce companies have achieved double-digit growth in Europe and, according to the experts, this is just the tip of the ice-burg. We explore the growth story of E-commerce in Europe- the benefits, the challenges and try to predict the future of this multi-billion dollar industry.
The Growth Story
The European e-commerce industry is going through a rejuvenating phase. In 2015, the cumulative sales figure grew by 14.3% which stands at 432.8 billion Euros, as compared to 368 billion Euros last year. This is quite surprising keeping in mind that the offline retail giants eventually failed to impress on this score. The consumer spending has shrunk for three years in a row. These are figures from 28 European member nations. In Europe, it is pegged to grow at 12.5 % for the year 2016-2017 which is very heartening in terms of present global economic slowdown. The European market has grown to be second biggest e-commerce market in the world, second only to the Asia-Pacific. There are nearly 650 000 B2C websites catering to European retail consumers in 2013 and the number increased by nearly 65 000 in the year that followed. Nearly four billion shipments were sent across Europe by various E-commerce vendors.
Countries Contributing To The Growth
The United Kingdom leads the way with nearly 15% of the market share, followed by Germany at 12% and France in the third place at 8.5 %. Other European nations like the Netherlands, Italy, and Sweden are a bit of catching up. Eastern Europe is the biggest growing market for retail E-commerce players. Russia which is fourth in terms of sales is presently the brightest spot in this landscape. In the year 2009, it contributed just 1.27% of the total GDP and by the year 2020, it is pegged to contribute nearly 6% of the total European GDP.
E-commerce and Job Creation
It helps to boost a nation’s economic health in more ways than one might think. The small and medium enterprises benefit from a platform that allows them to showcase and sell their products cutting across demography and cultures, thus making them grow without many investments on up-front retail stores. Information Technology professionals are also high on demand for the creation and maintenance of various websites. Supply Chain Management benefits the most with parcels being delivered at the click of a button.
Things That Make E-commerce A Success
It offers a great marketplace for its consumers. It allows consumers to buy the product of their choice with minimal effort. There is a wide range of products that are on offer, allowing them with options that very few offline stores could offer. Related Retail websites pack in great deals and offers which allure customers to purchase products online. Your location is very rarely a hindrance in the way of getting hold of the product of your choice as most these giants ensure delivery to the most remote of places. Cash on Delivery and EMI schemes also contribute a lot in the E-commerce success story.