Home News & Events E-COMMERCE NEWS: € 509.9 billion to be generated in EU through E-Commerce in 2016

E-COMMERCE NEWS: € 509.9 billion to be generated in EU through E-Commerce in 2016

Tuesday, 07 June 2016 00:00

E-Commerce in Europe is expected to generate an estimated total online sales of goods and services worth € 509.9 billion. Last year, the total online revenue in Europe was worth € 455.3 billion, so a growth of 12 percent is expected this year. Market observers believe that full potential has not as yet been reached.

Almost half of the predicted € 510 billion is to be generated from Western Europe countries, where in 2015 € 252.9 billion was generated online. Last year, Eastern Europe countries generated just € 24.5 billion.

As was the case for the last couple of years, the United Kingdom, France and Germany are clearly the major E-Commerce countries in Europe and in 2015 since together, they accounted for more than 60 percent of all online business on the European scenario. In fact, with € 157.1 billion, the United Kingdom is leading in B2C E-Commerce market with 43.4 million online shoppers whilst Germany has had 51.6 million online shoppers last year.

These findings have been published by Ecommerce Europe in its European B2C E-Commerce Report which demonstrates that the turnover in Europe from E-Commerce has indeed increased by 13.3 percent to reach € 455.3 billion last year.

Indeed, the Business-to-Consumer [B2C] business has a major role in the fast growing development of internet technology and most of the companies are indeed flourishing online. At present there are approximately 296 million online shoppers in Europe, each of them spending an average of € 1,540 online last year.

Marlene ten Ham, Secretary General at Ecommerce Europe, the European umbrella organization which represents more than 25,000 companies selling online products and or services, has been quoted to have remarked that the European B2C E-Commerce Report provided a promising outlook for the E-Commerce industry, adding: “Today, only 43 percent of the European population of 15 years and older shop online, and 16 percent of them buy in another country. Moreover, 16 percent of SMEs sell online and less than half of them sell online across borders. The full potential of the European ecommerce market has not yet been reached”.

Although the above-mentioned positive figures, growth rates and optimistic averages, Ecommerce Europe has not expressed complete satisfied with the industry, principally reacting on the ecommerce sector via its Cross-border Ecommerce Barometer, commenting that “The three main challenges for merchants striving to expand their business cross-border are legal fragmentation, taxation issues (VAT) and logistics/distribution.” One may add, Geo Blocking thereto.

The Electronic Commerce Directive [Directive 2000/31/EC], adopted in 2000, sets up an Internal Market framework for electronic commerce, which provides legal certainty for business and consumers alike. It establishes harmonised rules on issues such as the transparency and information requirements for online service providers, commercial communications, electronic contracts and limitations of liability of intermediary service providers.

The proper functioning of the Internal Market in electronic commerce is ensured by the Internal Market clause, which means that information society services are, in principle, subject to the law of the Member State in which the service provider is established. In turn, the Member State in which the information society service is received cannot restrict incoming services.

In addition, the Directive enhances administrative cooperation between the Member States and the role of self-regulation.

Examples of services covered by the Directive include online information services (such as online newspapers), online selling of products and services (books, financial services and travel services), online advertising, professional services (lawyers, doctors, estate agents), entertainment services and basic intermediary services (access to the Internet and transmission and hosting of information). These services include also services provided free of charge to the recipient and funded, for example, by advertising or sponsorship.