May 23. 2024. 8:19

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Western Europe’s cross-border shopper figures will break records by 2025


Despite the dire effects encountered after Brexit that considerably weighted down on cross-border e-commerce activity within the EU space, the numbers of international purchasers have recently entered an upward trend. Cross-border e-commerce sales in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and more register consistent and consequent hikes, showcasing an exploding industry as more money from consumers is spent on foreign retailers’ goods.

China’s e-commerce momentum, owing to the strides made forward by heavyweights like Temu, Shein, AliExpress, and others, is the foundation of the cross-border buyer number growth. The persistent inflation across Western European countries paves the fertile ground for Chinese e-commerce giants to thrive, with bargain goods prices, an abundance of merchandise variety, boundless ad campaigns and gamified apps clearing the path to the hearts of the most cost-conscious consumers. Miravia, Temu, Shein, and AliExpress saw their joint share of Spain’s e-commerce sales value expand from 6% in 2022 to 9% last year, for instance. Furthermore, exponential investments made by giants like Amazon and Zalando in the EU, the latter of which plans to seize 15% of the EU market share, additionally foster buyer growth.

Rising cross-border shopper numbers pose both difficulties and advantages for European retailers. So, what should we expect from the cross-border e-commerce realm in Western European nations this year and beyond?

Impressive internet penetration rates linked to growing purchaser numbers

Western European countries, including Germany, France, the UK, Luxemburg, Belgium, and several others, are witnessing substantial shifts in consumer behaviours and tech integration at the moment. These changes are being made while more governmental regulations tackle e-commerce issues, and solutions are being enacted.

To date, the Western European market has witnessed bountiful growth owing to the substantial economic consolidation in the Single Market and a comparatively rapid internet adoption that overtook Eastern and Southern European countries. Right now, countries in “the West” flaunt one of the best internet penetration rates across the continent, where almost everyone uses the internet and leverages e-commerce and cross-border retail opportunities. Northern Europe takes Western Europe by a minor 2%, at 97%, contrasted with the latter’s 95% internet penetration rate.

Numerous shifts are taking place across Western European countries. Thus, it’s only natural to expect cross-border e-commerce to thrive within participant countries, turning to reality the last studies’ predictions. For instance, cross-border shopper figures are bound to increase again after the post-pandemic hit taken, rising 0.2% in Spain and 0.6% in Italy in 2024. On the other hand, they’re returning to growth in France by 2.3%, in the UK by 2.6%, and in Germany by 3.0% in 2025.

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More businesses shift their focus from local to global

Cross-border shopping has changed the game for online retailers in all walks of life, ranging from clothing to pharmaceuticals to beauty to even dairy industries. The latter, for instance, witnessed this year the growth of cross-border sales and expansion of D2C sales, targeting singular purchasers who are willing to pay more for dairy products of better quality and taste, with milk and cheese ranking the highest.

Reasonably, several decisive factors fuel this evolution, without which businesses couldn’t trade internationally this efficiently. Massive B2B and B2C market research and data analysis that uses professionally garnered insights across Western European businesses and beyond help companies make more informed and beneficial decisions regarding market expansion locations, international partnerships, advertising campaigns, etc. According to research from Savanta in Europe, companies leveraging international market expansion opportunities owe plenty of their development to the employed data and market research partners, for these use high-end intelligence and tech solutions, including AI-powered apps and forecasting, among other first-rate techniques to gather the best insights.

Cross-border e-commerce makes for around 22% of every physical merchandise shipment within the e-commerce shipment area. Moreover, as 67% of worldwide consumers make acquisitions from the comfort of their homes at international e-commerce retailers, it’s only natural that Western European countries lead by numbers. The lower prices, decent shipment times, excellent customer service, numerous payment methods, and streamlined supply chain operations, among other strong points, encourage 1 in 5 prospective buyers of a product to look for their necessity in overseas offerors.

Cross-border trade taking it up a notch

Budget-focused Western European consumers are looking into cross-border e-commerce opportunities to leverage competitive pricing. International trading giants are fighting the best of the best to secure larger market shares, and their pricing is the main and most important contributor to their expanding fame.

A substantial percentage of Zoomers and Millennials across the UK, the Netherlands, France, and Belgium make international payments for goods a few times a year in the search for better deals. To get the top dollar, consumers in Western European countries look into top retail giants such as the following:

  • Ikea
  • Lidl
  • Zalando
  • H&M
  • LEGO
  • Zara
  • Jysk
  • Bauhaus
  • Notino
  • Adidas.

Rising digital wallet utilization and service providers

With increasing popularity among Western European customers, digital wallets see a heightening activity. 25% of UK purchasers are familiar with e-wallet assisted purchases, whereas 22% of consumers in Ireland can tell the same. Sought-after payment venues in Western Europe vary by nation, with the following leading the tops:

  • Mastercard and Visa in Ireland and the UK
  • PayPal in Germany, France, and the UK
  • SEPA Direct and Giropay in Germany
  • iDeal in Belgium and Netherlands
  • Sofort in Belgium and Germany
  • Cartes Bancaires in France.

Last, the key players seizing the spotlight

Statista data shows that among the numerous participants looking for a more significant market share, Amazon stands out as the primary online platform used in Western European countries, driving sales from over 1.3BN users monthly.

Secondly, eBay follows in Amazon’s footsteps with more than 470MN monthly utilizers. At the same time, Zalando ranks third, with Asos, Bol, OTTO, and Kaufland boasting the consequent leadership positions. The best-known brands attract substantial monthly visitor numbers, so it’s clear to see why and how cross-border e-commerce across Western European nations is booming.

Takeaway

Challenged by the Chinese giants and other non-European entities, Western European businesses must strategically adjust their pricing to combat the unparalleled deals coming from abroad. Retailers in France, Germany, the UK, and so on have a lot on their plates these days, so it’s expected that the future will distinguish those that can reduce their supply costs and improve their outcome quality and throughput from those the top market share conquerors will weigh down.

What’s certain is that giant European retailers such as Deutsch’s all-around platform Zalando and fast-fashion e-commerce heavyweights like Shein are boosting cross-border e-commerce sales and consequent purchaser numbers, raising new concerns as well as opportunities. It’s only a matter of the specific side of the spectrum a business or purchaser is looking from.

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