The European markets are considerably more developed than other parts of the world, but this actually means that they are often overlooked because they are not heavily discussed in business news. However, this market as a whole should not be ignored.
Europe is basically on par with the United States in terms of online sales, so if you can learn to target most of the heavy players in Europe, then you can easily double your potential audience. In fact, in 2011 online retail sales in Europe surpassed sales in the USA and even for all of North America. This has officially made the European online retail market the most lucrative region in the world right now.
As with all markets, it is extremely important to understand your target audience before you start marketing to them. In general, the European community can be targeted in a similar manner to the USA because there is a higher level of spending here compared with many of the Asian and Latin American markets.
The main challenge that exists with trying to tap into this marketing goldmine is overcoming the language barrier, but this is much easier to do these days with automatic website translation technology. Unlike Latin America being primarily based on one or two languages, just the countries in the European Union alone have 23 official languages.
In general, there are two primary reasons that Europeans buy retail goods online: to save time and money. Most Europeans and busy, hardworking people that have disposable income but are still careful about how much they spend.
More and more Europeans are beginning to shop online for increased product availability and selection. In fact, a lot of them will actually take a look at products in retail stores before going online to make a final buying decision.
A number of the noteworthy countries and rising stars have been discussed in this guide, but there are certainly many other countries in this region that could be well worth the effort to target like Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Switzerland.
Another country of eager online shoppers in Europe is France. In 2011, they purchased nearly $20 billion worth of retail goods online, and they are also growing that amount each year by 20% or more. A staggering 90% or more of French internet users purchase goods online with an average of one purchase per person every single month. Continue reading
Germany accounts for nearly $36 billion in annual e-commerce retail revenue and that figure is increasing by as much as 18% each year. Internet users in Germany are very likely to complete purchases with nearly 80% of them doing so this year. When you also consider that the German economy is much better off than most of the other countries in the world right now, this is a very positive sign. Continue reading
One of the rising stars in Western Europe is Italy. It currently boasts e-commerce sales of $10.5 billion annually and is one of the fastest growing online retail countries in the region with growth at more than 20% per year. In the changing economy, Italians began to see online shopping as a way to save money. Continue reading
Poland’s online retail sales from 2011 topped $6 billion, and they are projected to continue to grow at the rate of 24% annually for the near future. They are another one of the few countries in Europe that has been experiencing economic growth in otherwise tough times elsewhere in the world. Continue reading
A massive country with a huge population that is still fairly untapped in terms of online retail sales is Russia. Even though they have the largest number of people online out of any other European country, they only have about $9 billion in online retail sales annually, but this figure is expected to double in the next four years. Continue reading
Spain is another rising start of Western Europe that has previously lagged behind most of the other countries. With around $9 billion in annual online retail sales, Spain still offers a strong market potential even at it’s current state, and it is growing by nearly 20% annually. Continue reading
Another hidden gem in Eastern Europe is Turkey with $1.3 billion in annual online retail sales with that number set to top $2 billion in just four years. As a whole, Turkey is one of the few countries in the world experiencing economic growth right now during a worldwide economic downturn. Continue reading
The largest online retail spending group in Europe can be found in the UK, which consists of the countries of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. They are spending over $80 billion every year online, a figure that grows by 11% annually and puts them well ahead of developing online spenders like China. Continue reading