Retail Statistics: Brick and Mortar Stores vs the Rise of Ecommerce

by Revenue 2017-2027

Brick and Mortar Still Here: Despite the surge in digital shopping preferences across Europe, including in major economies like the UK, Germany, and France, physical storefronts maintain their dominance in shopping frequency. This demonstrates that, even with the growing interest in ecommerce, consumers still make regular trips to brick-and-mortar stores.

Europe Shops Increasingly Online: The trend of purchasing goods online has been markedly upward in Europe, especially in leading markets such as the UK, Germany, and France, with substantial growth recorded since 2017. Predictions indicate that the proportion of sales conducted online will leap from 10% in 2017 to an expected 23% by 2028.

The surge in online shopping for physical products across Europe is evident. This growth in ecommerce, which involves purchasing tangible goods through online platforms, whether accessed via desktop computers, tablets, or smartphones, has been significantly positive.

On the other hand, traditional retail avenues, including physical store purchases, telesales, or conventional mail orders from print catalogs, have seen a downturn.

Global eCommerce Sales Growth

Online Shopping vs. In-Store Shopping in Europe: Top 3 eCommerce Markets

The leading trio in Europe's ecommerce sector comprises the United Kingdom, Germany, and France, aligning with expectations given these nations boast the highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on the continent. This prominence is further bolstered by the fact that these countries also have the highest populations, underscoring their significant market size and consumer base which contribute to their dominant positions in the ecommerce landscape.

Understanding the shift towards online and traditional retail necessitates a closer look at the online shopping trends within these key economies, their present circumstances, and future expectations.

Global eCommerce Sales Growth

Research from Datanetica Market Insights offers a detailed examination of the leading ecommerce markets in Europe, particularly emphasizing the United Kingdom's significant position in online retail as of 2022. In the UK, digital transactions accounted for a substantial portion of the total retail market, with online sales reaching 26%. This data not only underscores the UK's robust online retail sector but also its role as a benchmark for ecommerce adoption in Europe. Following closely, Germany demonstrated a strong online shopping penetration rate at 22%, reflecting its consumers' growing preference for digital over traditional shopping methods. Meanwhile, France showed a notable but slightly lower rate of ecommerce penetration at 13%, illustrating diverse consumer behaviors and digital adoption rates across these major European economies. This comparative analysis sheds light on the evolving landscape of ecommerce, revealing trends that highlight the increasing reliance on digital platforms for retail purchases in these leading markets.

By 2022, noticeable changes emerged. The preference for online shopping in the UK jumped to 24%, with Germany and France experiencing significant online market growth, reaching 22% and 19% respectively.

Future projections suggest an upward trajectory in online shopping, with the UK predicted to maintain its lead among the top three, expecting an online market share of 28% by 2024. Meanwhile, Germany and France are forecasted to achieve online shares of 27% and 18%, respectively.

Global eCommerce Sales Growth

Find out more about our ecommerce database here.