Global ecommerce trends 2015: UK leads the way in Europe and North America

Jan 27, 2015 | E-commerce and E-retailing, France, Germany, UK, USA

Ecommerce is set to boom across Europe and North America this year. Online sales are forecast to grow by 16.2% in the UK, while sales across Europe are tipped to grow by 18.4%, according to new research.

The international study, from digital offer marketplace RetailMeNot and conducted by the Centre for Retail Research reveals that online retailers in the UK can expect sales to grow by 16.2% in 2015, with total online sales set to reach £52.25 billion, vs £44.97 billion in 2014.

Other key points include:

  • Each person expected to make 21.2 purchases online this year
  • Average shopper will spent £55.36 per purchase online
  • Brits the most frequest online shoppers in Europe
  • Average brit expected to spend £1,174 this year online

Brits are expected to shop online more often in 2015, making 21.2 purchases this year versus an average of 18.8 in 2014.

Shoppers in the UK will spend an average of £55.36 per online transaction this year, compared to £57.08 last year.

Brits are expected to be the most frequent online shoppers in Europe, while shoppers in Sweden will spend the highest amount per transaction (£56.43, with an average of 10.4 online purchases per year).

European online shoppers are set to spend £820 online on average, vs £738 in 2014, an increase of 11.1%. In the UK, online shoppers are expected to splash out £1,174 online in 2015, growing by 9.6% compared to last year.

British online shoppers are even ahead of US where the average online shoppers are expected to spend £1,120 (+7.4% YoY). Other above average spenders are Germans (£1,023) and French (£847).

Giulio Montemagno, Senior Vice President of International at RetailMeNot, Inc, said: “Investment by retailers in improving the online shopping experience and in more sophisticated consumer targeting is clearly paying dividends. In the UK, consumers are now shopping online more frequently and spending more overall, helping to increase online retailers’ market share. This is being bolstered by a growing number of online shoppers; 65.5% of Brits now shop on the web.”

Ecommerce is the driving force behind retail growth

Strong growth online is compensating for falling sales in-store in all markets surveyed. Across Europe, store-based sales are set to fall by 1.4% in 2015, however an 18.4% increase in online sales means that total retail sales across the continent will grow by an average of 2% this year.

The US and Poland are set to see the fastest rate of growth for total retail sales in 2015. Growth of 3.6% is forecast in both countries. Italy is expected to see the slowest rate of growth with 0.3%, followed by a rate of 1% in the Netherlands, and 1.2% in both France and Spain. In the UK, store-based sales are expected to fall by 1.9%, while overall retail is expected to grow by 3.5%.

“Although in-store sales appear to be falling, many retailers are bucking the trend by embracing technology to better engage consumers. In 2015, we expect to see even more retailers take advantage of mobile and further testing of beacon technology to target consumers while they are on the go, as well as in-store, by making the shopping experience more relevant,” says Giulio Montemagno. “Despite online retail seeing the most rapid growth, the high street remains an integral part of the retail landscape. It’s for this reason that we are seeing online-only retailers bridge the online and offline gap by opening brick-and-mortar stores and offering services such as click-and-collect to make the shopping experience more seamless, while increasing market share.”


European e-commerce market seeing strong growth

Europe’s fast-growing e-commerce market expanded by 18.4% in 2014 and this strong rate of growth is likely to continue into 2015 and beyond. Forecasts suggest that online sales will rise by a further 18.4% in 2015 and 18.7% in 2016. Meanwhile, online sales in the US and Canada are predicted to rise by 13.8% and 13.2% respectively this year. Online sales are expected to grow by 16.2% in the UK in 2015 and 15.3% in 2016.

Once again, Germany is set to see the fastest increase in sales in Europe, with online spend forecast to reach £44.61 billion this year. However, the rate of growth is slowing, suggesting that the German market is maturing; online sales increased by 25% in 2014 and 39.2% in 2013, but are only set to rise by 23.1% in 2015 and 22.4% in 2016. Next year will see Germany fall behind Poland to become the second fastest growing market in Europe; the Polish e-commerce market is expected to grow by 22.5% in 2016, as growth accelerates from 21% in 2015.
Sweden’s e-commerce market is the slowest growing in Europe, however it is the most mature; 69.8% of Swedes shop on the web. Comparatively, 65.5% of people in the UK shop online, while the US average is 57.4% and the European average is just 46.7%.


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