UK, France, Germany e-tail growth to slow but some European countries will boom

The UK’s e-commerce market is the largest in Europe with France second and Germany third, new research from JP Morgan shows. But while Britain’s e-tail market was worth €178.5 billion last year and accounted for 30%+ of Europe’s total, its maturity means its growth will be slower than many other countries in the next few years. It’s expected to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9% for the next three years for a total value of €231.2 billion a year by the end of 2021.


European e-commerce and m-commerce will continue to grow

Ten other European countries are likely to see faster growth, however, with the top three including the Czech Republic expanding 16% a year, Italy 14% and Spain 13.5%. For the Czech Republic the large number of online stores per head of population is likely to drive the growth, while Italy should be helped by cross-border shopping and Spain by e-tail investment from the big retail names in the country.

The slower growth seen by the UK is also predicted for the other mature markets France and Germany, which account for 33% of all European e-commerce activity between them. The French e-tail market was worth €81.7 billion last year and while it should grow in double-digits, the prediction of 11% each year from 2018 to 2021 does represent a slowdown. Meanwhile the German market was worth €73 billion, but its growth is predicted to be relatively sluggish at just 7% annually, the lowest figure of any of the 18 markets studied.

JP Morgan

Ray McDonnell, MD at JP Morgan Merchant Services Europe said: “The UK remains the titan of the European e-commerce space, dwarfing the next largest markets of France and Germany. While the UK’s e-commerce market will remain healthy, this year’s exit from the EU and the maturity of the market may slow that growth somewhat. We expect stronger growth to occur in newer online economies like Italy and the Czech Republic which have the conditions for significant market expansion.”

The report also said that m-commerce will be a major driver of e-tail growth and not just for browsing. Consumers are increasingly buying via mobile and mobile payments should rise by 20% annually in the next three years. Ireland, the Czech Republic, Norway and Sweden will be the fastest-growing markets here.

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