Strong Economic Performance in Western Europe Has Propelled Consumer Spending

Digital purchases will account for more than one-tenth of total retail sales this year

January 11, 2018

Because Western Europe already has a well-developed retail ecommerce market, most future growth will come from mobile commerce. eMarketer projects that retail mcommerce sales in the region will more than double between 2016 and 2021, when they will top $200 billion for the first time.

Despite sluggish employment and wage growth in France and Germany, Western Europe’s economy is performing well overall. This will have a positive impact on the region’s total retail market, which is expected to grow by 1.6% in 2018 to $3.894 trillion.

This year, for the first time, digital purchases will account for more than one-tenth (10.2%) of total retail sales in Western Europe. This share will be significantly higher in the UK, at 21.2%, partly due to large numbers of foreign consumers buying from UK-based ecommerce platforms.

eMarketer’s first estimates of retail mcommerce sales in Western Europe show that there is significant variation in mcommerce development across the region. In the Netherlands, just 29.1% of retail ecommerce sales will come from mobile devices in 2018, compared with 45.6% in the UK and 38.7% in Germany. The average for Western Europe is close to Germany’s figure, at 37.7%.

Mcommerce will be the biggest driver of retail sales growth across the region. eMarketer estimates retail mcommerce sales in Western Europe will rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.8% between 2016 and 2021.

These forecasts are drawn from eMarketer's latest report, "Western Europe Retail and Ecommerce Update: eMarketer's Estimates and Forecast for 2016-2021." The report includes eMarketer's forecast for total retail and retail ecommerce sales in Western Europe, including our first-ever estimates of retail mcommerce sales for the region overall. eMarketer PRO subscribers can access the full report here. Nonsubscribers can learn more here