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UK will lead ecommerce sales in Europe for next five years says Forrester

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Despite the challenging economy, European online retail sales grew 18% in 2010, and will grow 13% in 2011, reaching €92bn, according to new five year forecast from Forrester Research. Growth drivers include new online buyers—57% of adults now shop online—and higher spend per capita. Across Europe 10% year-on-year compound growth can be expected to continue for the next five years.

The UK will continue to lead online sales, says Forrester—72% of the British online population shopped the web in 2010, amounting to €30bn, a €5bn increase from 2009. In 2015, the online retail market will capture 11.5% of overall non-travel retail sales. Forrester says this growth will come from “the strength of online grocery sales, and retailers, such as Uniqlo, incorporating new business models that create buzz and shore-up service offerings”.

However the European North/South geographic behavior divide will continue to widen, said Forrester analyst Andrea Carini in his new blog post. “Northern European countries like the Netherlands, the UK, and Sweden will see 80% or more of their online population buying online, while southern countries like Italy, Spain, or Greece won’t reach 50% by 2015.”

“The online retail market in both the US and Western Europe remains strong, despite the challenging economy,” said Forrester Vice president and research director Patti Freeman Evans. “In fact, with consumer purchasing behavior returning to normal, US web sales in 2010 actually accelerated over 2009 compared with the prior year, growing 12.6%. In Europe, very strong growth in 2010 was fuelled by new online buyers and higher spend per capita on the demand side, as well as the launch of transactional websites by established offline players.”

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