The Booming Trend of Online Shopping in the EU

12 July 2023

The latest annual survey on ICT usage in households and among individuals indicates that online shopping is on the rise in the European Union.

In 2022, a notable 91% of people aged 16 to 74 in the EU were internet users, out of which 75% had made online purchases for personal use. Over the past decade, from 2012 to 2022, the proportion of e-shoppers witnessed a significant increase, growing from 55% to 75%, marking a noteworthy 20 percentage point growth.

The Netherlands, Denmark, and Ireland took the lead in embracing online shopping in 2022, recording the highest percentages of internet users making purchases through online platforms, boasting impressive figures of 92%, 90%, and 89%, respectively. On the other hand, Bulgaria showed a more conservative approach, with fewer than 50% of its population engaging in online shopping, registering a modest 49%.

Between 2012 and 2022, several EU countries experienced remarkable growth in e-commerce. Notably, Estonia, Hungary, Czechia, and Romania stood out as prominent performers, each witnessing significant growth rates of 47, 43, 41, and 41 percentage points, respectively.

Source datasets: isoc_ec_ib20 and isoc_ec_ibuy

Clothes, shoes and accessories: most common online purchase

In 2022, online shoppers in the EU favored clothes, shoes, and accessories the most (42%). Other popular online purchases included deliveries from restaurants and fast-food chains (19%), cosmetics and beauty products (17%), furniture and home accessories (16%), and printed books, magazines, newspapers, and sports goods (14%). The digital marketplace continues to offer a wide variety of products to cater to consumers’ evolving preferences and convenience.

Source dataset: isoc_ec_ibgs

Purchase of physical goods above the demand for services

The collaborative economy emerged as a game-changer, offering a novel way of exchanging goods and services through digital means.

In 2022, collaborative economy platforms gained popularity among EU internet users, with 21% using them to buy or order physical goods from fellow individuals. Additionally, 6% opted to rent accommodation, 1% utilized transport services, and less than 1% ordered household services through such platforms.

The age groups of 25-34 years and 35-44 years displayed an above-average inclination for purchasing goods from private sellers, with each group constituting 29% of internet users engaged in this trend.

The significance of online platforms for booking rented accommodation was further emphasized by experimental statistics, showcasing booking levels in 2022 that surpassed pre-pandemic years. Meanwhile, traditional types of accommodation struggled to keep up with the increasing demand observed in the collaborative economy. This shift underlines the growing preference for convenient, peer-to-peer transactions facilitated by digital technologies.

Source dataset: isoc_ec_ce_i

Source: eurostat