5 key facts about European e-commerce payments
While the European Union positions itself as one common, homogeneous market, the reality is that the European e-commerce market is very diverse with both leaders and laggards.
According to the PPRO Payments Almanac, the combined value of e-commerce purchases in 2017 for the five most populous countries (Germany, U.K., France, Italy and Spain) amounted to $473 billion, of which the U.K. accounted for almost half, at $224 billion. Despite these countries having a similar-sized combined population to the U.S., their combined e-commerce sales are just a fraction of the U.S.’s sales at almost $742 billion.
One similarity between the U.S. and European e-commerce markets is the role Amazon plays in the internet ecosystem. According to eMarketer, Amazon controls 49.1% of U.S. e-commerce sales, which is seven times greater than the No. 2 player, eBay, which has a 6.6% sales share.
In Germany, Amazon owns about half the market, according Ecommerce News Europe. In Italy, Amazon is the No. 2 e-commerce site; in the U.K., it’s the largest player with only 16% market share; and in France it’s the largest online retailer. Only in Spain is Amazon just another online retailer without a significant share advantage over competitors.