European e-commerce B2C turnover reached €899 billion last year – up from €849 billion the previous year – according to the 2023 European E-commerce Report, published by Ecommerce Europe and EuroCommerce.
The report found that while the growth rate for e-commerce in 2022, of 6%, was lower than that in 2021 (when it stood at 12%), the sector continues to make positive progress, with further growth expected for 2023.
Higher prices were the main driver of e-commerce turnover in most European markets, the study found, with lower volumes also experienced – however, some segments, such as travel, saw an increase.
At the same time, progress needs to be made in terms of adapting the regulatory landscape to reflect the opportunities presented by the digital transformation, the groups noted.
According to Luca Cassetti, secretary general of Ecommerce Europe, while last year marked the 30th anniversary of the European single market, e-commerce operators are still “faced with significant barriers, especially in relation to cross-border selling. Policymakers have a responsibility to reduce market fragmentation and remove red tape for cross-border business operations.
“Designing future-proof and channel-neutral policies, capable of adapting to evolving companies’ and consumers’ expectations while considering business realities, will be paramount when the next EU cycle starts.”
The report also identified new technological solutions, such as 5G, augmented and virtual reality, and digital wallets, as well as new store solutions as drivers of deeper e-commerce penetration, as well as the growth of sustainability in the sector, with greener production and fulfilment practices being rolled out.
“The consumer journey is rapidly changing, and combining online and offline interaction has become the new normal. In 2022, with inflation soaring, consumers became a lot more price sensitive,” added Christel Delberghe, director general of EuroCommerce.
“They increasingly looked to save money and did so also by comparing and diversifying their online and offline shopping channels. We expect online sales to keep growing in the coming years, reaching an estimated 30% of retail sales by 2030. Being present online has become vital for many retailers, especially for smaller businesses.”