Top e-tailers adopting a pan-European approach grow at incredible speed - report

Friday 23 May 2014 14:48 CET | News

Europes 500 top online retailers that sell across national borders within the region, maintaining three or more dedicated websites are growing nearly twice as fast as the 500 leading web merchants operating in Europe as a whole, according to Internet Retailers 2014 Europe 500 guide.

The combined sales of all 27 Europe 500 merchants that operate three or more European ecommerce sites totaled USD 62.51 billion, up 29.2% from USD 48.40 billion in 2012. It outpaces the 17% growth rate for the Europe 500 as a whole, which means a total of USD 155. 23 billion.

In 2013, 12.3% of all estimated European ecommerce sales were registered across national borders. That figure is expected to increase to 20.1% of all estimated European ecommerce sales by 2018.

Otto Group, a member of the European organisation and networking platform for growth companies and their entrepreneurs, Europe 500, which owns 60 ecommerce companies that sell a wide variety of items from housewares to office supplies, grew ecommerce sales in its core Germany market by 7.2% to USD 5.47 billion in 2013.

Its international web sales, which are dominated by its other European ecommerce brands, grew by 27.5% to USD 2.81 billion. The retailer sells to markets like the UK, France, Russia, Italy, Austria, Netherlands, Poland and Spain. The retailer aims at reaching USD 10.96 billion (EUR 8 billion) in web sales by 2015, says Lars Finger, vice president of the E-Commerce Competence Center at Otto Group.

89 merchants, or 17.8%, of all merchants ranked in the 2014 Europe 500 guide operate dedicated ecommerce sites in two or more European countries and 27, or 5.4%, have dedicated ecommerce sites in three or more European countries. Those include: Amazon, Otto, ASOS, Groupe Auchan, Blue Nile, Brandos, Carrefour, CDON, Decathlon, Dell, Disney, Dixons, Kerig, Hewlett-Packard, IKEA, MacIntosh Retail Group, Lego, Tesco, Marks & Spencer, M & M Direct, Mobile Fun, Nike, Media Saturn, Sony, Apple, Zazzle and Spartoo.

In 2013, Italian retailer Yoox registered domestic sales of about 20.2% to USD 96.9 (EUR 70.9 million), from USD 80.6 (EUR 59 million). Sales for Europe, excluding Yoox’s home country of Italy, reached USD 298.3 million (EUR 218.7 million), a 21.4% increase from USD 245.8 million (EUR180.2 million). Sales for Yoox in Europe outside of Italy now account for 49.2% of the retailer’s total online sales.

CDON Group, which sells its products across Europe, operates sites that sell items ranging from apparel to sports and outdoors gear. Its sales grew by 28.06% in 2013. It began selling in Germany via its apparel site in 2010.

German customers, on average, return about 50% of their online purchases, a far greater return rate than in the Nordic region, says Paul Fischbein, president and CEO of CDON Group.

The new European Consumer Rights Directive, which goes into effect on June 13, 2014 will enable retailers in Germany to charge for return shipping. However, a recent survey from security seal vendor, Trusted Shops, found that nearly 60% of online retailers won’t charge Germans for returns despite the change. That means retailers might have to continue to offer free return shipping to remain competitive in Germany.

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Keywords: Europe 500, e-tailers, online sales, merchant, ecommerce, domestic sales, network platform
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
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