European online retail sales will double to €323 billion by 2018, according to Mintel, an independent marketing research firm based in London. The leading countries in online retail sales (Germany, France and the UK) will remain the biggest markets but others (such as the Netherlands, Spain and Poland) will grow at a faster rate. The Norwegians and Swedish spend the highest per capita, according to Mintel. “There is a big North-South divide in e-commerce in Europe” according to Mintel European retail analyst John Mercer. Northern Europe is more active on the online retail front as France lags 5 years behind the likes of England and Germany. Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy are further behind.
The research goes on by stating that Amazon, the online retail portal, is extending its lead in Europe with a growing market share of 9.8% in 2012 from 9.2% in 2011. However, Otto – a German online retail store which is Amazon’s closest rival – saw a drawback of 3.3%.
Another interesting conclusion from the research is that the British are exceptional online grocery shoppers: Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury are represented in the European top 10 with a market share of 2.3%, 1.1% and 0.9% respectively. Customer behavior on the European continent is directed towards non-grocery products. Finally, when it comes to collecting the goods, the British and French prefer to pick up their goods in stores whereas Germans have their goods delivered.
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