According to the statistics service of the European Union – the organization of Eurostat, approximately every sixth company in Europe with a staff of 10 people sells online. Most sales are made through their own websites or application, as well as through other online resources.
Markets for European companies
Eurostat reports that almost all companies sell goods to their own market. Fewer than half of the businesses sell their products and services to other EU states, and only slightly more than half of the buyers of European companies are outside the European Union.
Share of the Online Sales
Eurostat has been researching the share of online deals since 2010 when this figure was 12%. In 2014 online sales occupied 16% of the European market, and remain at this level until today.
Let’s look at online sales of EU companies in 2017:
- 97% of online purchases were performed by buyers of the same European country;
- 44% of the goods were sold online to residents of other EU countries;
- 28% of online purchases delivered goods outside the European Union.
The European Union is trying in every possible way to turn the region into a single digital market. The goal is to create an online Europe space, which could allow smooth and unhindered purchases, as in any physical store. Also, the sales process should not depend on the geographic location the buyers and sellers are from.
Difficulties of Online Sales Abroad
38% of sellers reported that they faced problems and challenges in selling goods to other EU countries.
The main difficulties on the way to sales to other countries are connected with the costs of delivery, as well as language barriers. Moreover, the adaptation of product labeling and legal issues have become problems of selling goods to other EU countries. Companies are increasingly reporting difficulties related to legislation. Differences between countries led to all sorts of disputes and complaints, as a result of which there were problems selling through the Internet.
Share of Online Sales in Different EU Countries
Despite the fact that the total stock of sales through the European Union via the Internet is 16%, this percentage is much higher in its countries.
The leadership of online sales in the European Union belongs to the following countries:
- Ireland (26%)
- Sweden (25%)
- Denmark (24%)
At the same time, in some EU countries the percentage of sale through websites and applications is below the average:
- Romania (7%)
- Bulgaria (9%)
- Poland (9%)
What percentage of Internet users do online shopping?
About 60% of all Internet users in Europe have bought anything online for the past year. In this rating, the UK is leading, because 82% of Internet users in this country have made at least one purchase online. Following Great Britain are Sweden and Denmark (both countries 79% each).
The lowest level of purchases via the Internet among users of the global network is in Romania (11%) and Bulgaria (17%).
Not surprisingly, the maximum number of sales via the Internet is traditionally in December, which is the pre-holiday sale before the New Year and Christmas.
What do they buy online?
Most often in the European Union buy clothes, and also book real estate for recreation and travel. 32% of Europeans purchased these goods and services via the Internet. 23% of Europeans Internet users have purchased online books or magazines online. Almost every ninth Internet user ordered food through the Internet, and this number is steadily growing.
As you can see, an increasing percentage of people in Europe use Internet services and make online purchases. In the most developed countries of the EU, a quarter of all purchases are made online, and this share is slowly but surely increasing in other countries. When planning sales through the Internet, you need to consider this fact, because you will have many more potential online buyers in the nearest future. Invest smartly!