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10 more things you should know about European ecommerce

Last month I wrote a blog about the 10 things you should know about European ecommerce, but such a huge topic comprised of dozens of different markets can’t be summarised in just 10 points so here are some more things you need to know about Europe’s online retail industries.

France: €140,000 can now buy you the use of the .paris domain

  1. Fraudulent ecommerce vendors face prosecution in the Netherlands - This may seem like a pretty obvious claim, but until recently there was no law in place in the Netherlands that could lead to the prosecution of fraudulent online retailers. The country’s Minister of Justice has proposed a bill that will see those who purport to sell online products but then fail to deliver them to customer able to be prosecuted.
  2. Silver Surfers’ dominate Danish market - The Danes are big fans of shopping online, especially those over the age of 50 with these ‘Silver Surfers’ accounting for nearly two thirds of the country’s ecommerce last year. Ecommerce in Denmark now accounts for 17 DKK of every 100 DKK spent and 80% of consumer purchases start with the customer checking products and prices online.
  3. Finland’s digital industries survive economic problems - The digital media industry in Finland bucked a tough economic climate and grew to €237.6 million last year – digital advertising accounted for almost half of this. This along with the increase in investment in search engine marketing is a clear sign that the country’s digital industries are withstanding the nations’ economic problems.
  4. France has launched .paris - Companies can now use the .paris domain, however to do so will set you back €140,000 as part of an exclusivity set-up that lasts until autumn this year. After that it will be available for around €10 a year, the exact figure is yet to be confirmed.
  5. Swedish VAT could hit ecommerce sales - Previously VAT for ecommerce transactions has been paid in the seller’s country. This law meant that sites like Amazon have sold products from countries with low rates of tax like Luxembourg. The new VAT rules, which come into effect in the New Year, will reverse this, hitting consumers from nations with high VAT rights like Sweden (25% VAT) in the pocket.
  6. Tablet usage has doubled in Germany - Tablet penetration in Germany has reached 18 million, a figure that represents a quarter of consumers over 14. To give an idea of the increase in popularity, in 2012 this proportion was as low as one in eight. Germans between the ages of 30 and 49 are the most likely to use tablets, however usage drops off significantly in those aged 65 and above to just 10%.
  7. Italy has scrapped controversial ‘Web Tax’ - Under the previous government Italy had proposed to introduce a controversial ‘Web Tax’ that would hit large corporate businesses which were profiting in the country (i.e. Google and Facebook) and was estimated to raise up to €1billion in revenues. This has now been scrapped by Prime Minister Renzi, to much derision by the Italian public.
  8. Millennials in the Netherlands have surprising shopping habits - Recent research has found that 41% of Millenials (those born between 1980 and 2000) actually prefer to shop in brick and mortar stores rather than online. With the prevalence of online shopping in young people you would expect this figure to be much lower, but the study reported that physically inspecting their purchases is very important to this generation.
  9. Spain has Europe’s highest smartphone penetration - Two thirds of the Spanish population own a smartphone, making it one of Europe’s most mobile markets. Especially as four million of those smartphone users also own a tablet and video viewing figures from mobile grew 164% in the last year. Ecommerce is fast becoming a way of life in Spain, with just 8% of the population claiming to have never made an online purchase.
  10. Real-time bidding all the rage in France - The French have really taken to real-time bidding and this form of advertising now accounts for nearly a fifth of the country’s  €117display market. To provide some context in the UK this percentage is just 14% and in Germany 12%. Investment in real-time bidding is up 125% since last year and more strong growth is forecast for 2014.


Sources: Adformatie, Emarketer, ComScore, Journal Du Net,

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