The last BNP Paribas Real Estate research on online sales show that e-commerce is growing and at the same time pure online players are taking stake in the physical world. Some barriers such as the lack of physical contact and delivery delays represent the biggest restraints for buying online. The reinvention is taking familiar forms. The newest competitive edge for e-commerce is developing a targeted physical presence.
Online sales' growing rate in Europe shows great performances
Online sales in Europe are growing rapidly and reached nearly €500 bn in 2016. From 2010 to 2016, the annual average growth rate of European online sales stood at 16% compared to 0.5% for global retail sales.
“Successful retailers are now merging online and high street presence to provide a seamless customer experience across the web and in-store, which purely online business cannot match. They need to tell their story.” Analyse Fiona Hamilton, Global Head of Retail for International Brands at BNP Paribas Real Estate.
In Western Europe, the UK is by far the country where customers are the most active in E-commerce, followed by France and Germany.
Large discrepancies across Europe
Countries in Southern and Eastern Europe are where shoppers buy the least on the Internet. Online sales account for a small share of total retail sales but they have been recording high annual growth rates (Italy: +18% in 2016).
On the other hand, the Nordics are the countries where e-commerce has the biggest share of wallet spending. In 2016, 80% of Nordics Internet users bought on the Internet versus 66% in all Europe.
“Retailers are rethinking their online strategy and embracing physical shops as their biggest assets. Bricks and mortar stores are back and are the next step for online retailing” conclude Fiona Hamilton.