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Europe to overtake UK ecommerce growth

The UK’s ecommerce market is expected to grow by 9% a year to reach €231.2bn (£208bn) by 2021, but many European Union markets are likely to outstrip this growth rate.

Research from investment bank JP Morgan shows the UK is currently the biggest ecommerce market in Europe – representing more than 30% – and is worth €178.5bn (£160.6bn).

France follows, at €81.7bn (£73.5bn), and Germany, at €73bn (£65.7bn). Together they represent a third of all ecommerce activity in Europe.

JP Morgan predicted the UK is set to maintain its position as the largest ecommerce market in Europe, but warned that its “growth may be outstripped by 10 other European countries”, including:

  • Czech Republic (16%)
  • Italy (14%)
  • Spain (13.5%)
  • Norway (13%)
  • Portugal (12%)
  • Finland (11%)
  • the Netherlands (11%)
  • France (11%)
  • Denmark (11%)
  • Poland (10%)

Ray McDonnell, managing director at JP Morgan Merchant Services Europe, said: “While the UK’s ecommerce market will remain healthy, this year’s exit from the EU and the maturity of the market may slow growth.

“We expect stronger growth to occur in newer online economies like Italy and the Czech Republic, which have the conditions for significant market expansion,” such as its high ratio of online stores per capita.

JP Morgan added that mobile commerce is set to be a main driver of ecommerce growth across Europe, expected to grow 20% per year to €188.8bn [£169.8bn] by 2021.

McDonnell concluded: “Card payments remain UK consumers’ favourite when it comes to buying online, but paying via a digital wallet app is becoming increasingly popular.”

JP Morgan analysed ecommerce and payment trends in 34 countries worldwide, including 18 in the European Union. 

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