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European consumers to boost online spend in 2011

25 January 2011 - 11:23 by Paul Tissington

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The growth of safe shopping online in Europe is ongoing and a study published this week shows that over £170 billion will be spent by consumers across the continent at e-commerce sites.

The figures were released by the Centre for Retail Research, in conjunction with e-commerce site Kelkoo and it found that sales will be up by 18 per cent over the next twelve months.

Online shopping is still a minority activity among consumers in Europe, but this year 6.9 per cent of the total retail revenue will be attributable to e-commerce, which is an increase of one per cent over 2010's levels.

Significantly, the growth of online shopping in Europe is exceeding that of other developed areas such as the US, continuing a trend which has run for three years.

Sales expanded by almost a fifth in the EU while in the US the growth was a more sedate 11.4 per cent. In total, 11 countries contribute to the European figures used by this study, which should give some context to the growth.

Out of all EU nations ranked by the study, it was the UK that held sway over the largest e-commerce market and it is expected that Brits will keep the record in 2011, ahead of Germany and France who take second and third place.

By the end of 2011, the nation to see the most significant increase in safe shopping online is thought to be Poland, where the market will expand by an estimated 33 per cent this year. France is set to see a 24 per cent sales increase, while Sweden and Norway will each expand by 22 per cent.

The UK's contribution to Europe's burgeoning e-commerce market marks out its consumers as being the most confident in online shopping.