E-commerce Europe: 25.5% is cross-border

April 2, 2021 by
Sanne Leenders

The online cross-border market in Europe was worth €146 billion in 2020. This is an increase of 35% compared to the situation one year before. Currently, the cross-border share represents 25.5% of total online sales in Europe, according to Cross-Border Commerce Europe.

The cross-border share is slowly increasing. In 2018 it was 22.8%, in 2019 it was 23.55% And at the moment it is growing towards 26% and increasing. This is shown in the third edition of the TOP 500 Cross-Border Retail Europe. This is an annual ranking of the 500 best cross-border online shops in Europe. It says the total online cross-border market in Europe currently represents a turnover of €146 billion.

The Top 10

Ikea remains to be the number one on this list, with total sales of €53.25 billion. In addition, H&M still remains the running up in the Top 10. However, H&M Group’s brands Cos and &Other Stories have also found a spot in the top ranking. Pandora has now entered the top ten landing in third place. On the other hand, Zara went from a third place last year to a place outside the Top 10 list.

  1. Ikea
  2. H&M
  3. Pandora
  4. Smyths Toys
  5. Lego
  6. Nespresso
  7. Expert
  8. Cos
  9. Swarovski
  10. & Other Stories
Omnichannel retailers only

CBCommerce comments the following. “For the first time ever, this Top ten consists exclusively of omnichannel retailers. Newcomers are Swarovski, Pandora, Expert, Cos and & Other Stories. Leavers are pure e-commerce marketplaces Zalando and Vivino, as well as C&A, Zara and TomTom.”

According to CBCommerce, the online B2C sales in 2020 went up 24% and was worth €573 billion. From this €146 billion was generated through cross-border online sales. The organization explains that cross-border e-commerce in Europe outperformed total online sales. The main cause of this is the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak which occurred during the beginning of 2020.

A bright future for cross-border e-commerce

As non-essential stores closed during the lockdown, retailers massively turned to online, prioritizing expanding cross-border trade through online shopsOn average, omnichannel retailers saw an increase of 45% (+70% in Q4 2020) in online trade. Nevertheless, fashion as the largest product category (half of the TOP 500 are fashion online shops), lost 15% turnover (online and offline) over 2020. The huge increase of online could not compensate the long lockdown closure of the stores. Food Mass Merchants increased their total turnover (online and offline) by +10% compared to 2019. 67% of Europeans appreciate the convenience of international e-commerce. Brexit and the spread of the COVID-19, confirmed a bright future for cross-border e-commerce in Europe.

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