The European online retail market, which includes the EU-17 — Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK — grew by 18% from 2009 to 2010.
Buyers will continue to flock to the web to buy: By 2015 68% of online users will have made a purchase. The north/south maturity divide continues through the time of this forecast whereas 80% of online users will have made a purchase in northern EU countries versus only 50% in the south. Sales penetration will follow suit.
Because of this divide eBusiness retailers operating in multiple EU countries must localize online strategies and tactics. Consumers in northern EU countries need sophisticated tools designed to meet their needs like the ability to view multiple products together to create a customized look or product composition. In contrast, online buyers in southern EU countries are relatively new to shopping and retailers must reassure them that their online transactions are secure and that products will be as expected and delivered on time.