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UK leads European online retail market

UK leads European online retail market

The UK has outstripped its EU counterparts in the retail market for a third consecutive year, according to a Kelkoo-commissioned research. An astounding £50.34bn of online consumer expenditure last year, up 14% from 2010, means the UK tops the European table.

The good news for Blighty doesn’t stop there: the report by the Centre for Retail Research discusses how that UK figure represents almost a third of all European online sales. It’s followed not-so-closely by Germany, its online population managed £38.18bn; while in third place, French consumers managed £32.75bn.

How does this compare to the USA? The report estimates that online retailing in the EU will be worth £194.84bn by the end of 2012, while America receives a figure of £142.22bn. These figures aren't too much of a surprise given the relative difference in population size between the US and the EU: recent estimates have the US standing at nearly 313 million, whereas the EU dwarfs this figure with 502 million residents.

UK's sales growth to slow in 2012

Unfortunately, along with Germany, the UK is likely to see some of the slowest growth in 2012, with increases predicted at 13% and 14% respectively. The likes of Poland and France are set to lead the pack in growth terms with respective sales from £4.68bn and £39.49bn. That’s an important point for consideration by brands looking to expand to other European markets.

The slow UK growth could be offset by the rapid increase in m-commerce purchases, however: the same Kelkoo report predicts that the UK could reach £4.5bn in 2012. The second and third most-profitable markets in this sector are again Germany (where the spend in 2011 was £2.7bn) and France (which racked up £1.9bn in mobile sales last year).

More information on m-commerce can be found in A4u’s M-Commerce Report 2011.

Simon Holland

Simon Holland

Simon is the news and research reporter at Existem. Previously a technology journalist, he now spends his time investigating both future and developing trends in performance marketing whilst producing editorial content for

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