For Europe really is a huge market. Its 27 member states make up one single market of more than 490 million consumers, according to European Commission figures. And it’s the Commission’s aim to make sure that there’s an efficient and duty-free market for e-commerce, just as for any other form of internal EU trade. Contrast the numbers with the 60 million or so UK residents, and you begin to get an idea of why moving into Europe represents a serious opportunity for UK retailers. In terms of logistics, it’s nearby and it’s also home to some of the UK’s largest trading partners, among them Germany and France.
But so far UK retailers haven’t done too well in European high streets – and there’s little evidence that they’re taking a lead online either. Read more in our Internet Retailing supplement.