Upgrowth Trend in Southern European e-Commerce market

Shopping women happy holding shopping bags walking having fun

The Southern European e-Commerce market has gone through an upgrowth trend these last few years amidst the economic recession. The European Southern market includes Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Portugal, Cyprus, Croatia and Malta. I included France in my list even though it’s technically part of the Western European market.  The Southern European e-Commerce countries brought in a whopping €33,5 billion of business in 2012 which rose to €39,5 billion in 2013 – those numbers are without France, which brought in €51.1 billion alone!

The France e-Commerce market was by far the strongest in the Southern portion of Europe, with its outstanding €51.1 billion in sales in 2013. In second, Spain’s strong and steady online sales took in €12,9bn. The Italy e-Commerce market, while expected to see big gains in 2014, brought in a modest €9,5bn in sales to take second fiddle.

Understanding the Italy e-Commerce Scene

Although the Spain e-Commerce market is the top dog in Southern European e-Commerce, Italy is a big potential target for online marketers. The numbers don’t lie here:

• Only 63% of the 25 million homes in Italy have Internet, which is still 40 million internet users
• In addition, while there are only 12 million e-Commerce shoppers in Italy right now, that is a 30% increase from 2012, a sure sign that the Italy e-Commerce scene is about to explode
• This leaves the market wide open for anyone with the savvy to grasp it

The Proven Spain e-Commerce Market

In contrast to a struggling Spanish economy, the e-Commerce numbers in Spain are staggeringly high. Leading the entire Southern European e-Commerce market in sales, it does so with less total internet users than Italy with 33 million households. Still, this makes up 72% of the population of Spain and the e-Commerce market only claims 15 million online shoppers.

Spain’s ability to continue to grow their e-Commerce market in a time when the Spanish economy is in turmoil shows that more consumers have confidence when buying online than buying from brick and mortar stores in Spain. Only half of all internet users in Spain are shopping online, yet it leads the Southern European e-Commerce market.

The Powerhouse of France e-Commerce

Above, I specifically left France out because it’s technically part of the Western European market. Still, no matter where you put France in terms of global categories, you simply cannot deny that even in the face of a steadily declining economy, France has pulled in more online sales with each passing year.

In 2013, 600 million online sales transactions took place, bringing in just over €53 billion. This sales number is up 13.5% over the past year while the total online transactions number is up 17.5% in the same time period. Further, the French e-Commerce market is continually rapidly expanding, with 138,000 active sites (up 17% in just one year). This number includes 20,000 new sites in 2013 and it is continuing to grow in 2014.


• e-Commerce sales across Europe rose 16.3% to € 363.1 billion in 2013

• In 2014, predictions are that e-Commerce revenue will rise to € 425.5 billion in 2014 and € 625 in 2016

• These predictions follow two trends: higher spending in established countries and more shoppers coming to bear in markets with room to grow, such as the Southern European e-Commerce market

• This makes the Southern e-Commerce market the best investment for long term gains, especially in a market that is still waiting to be dominated

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