Online boom as 66% of Europeans e-shop, fashion most popular category

Online shopping continues to gain ground in Europe with two thirds of internet users making an online purchase in 2016, according to a survey conducted by Eurostat. Fashion tops the e-commerce wishlist and cross-border shopping is becoming more common.


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The highest proportions of online shoppers are unsurprisingly found in the 16-24 and 25-54 age groups, but the younger group prefers to buy fashion and sports goods while older consumers buy household goods online.

And the numbers of e-shoppers vary considerably across countries. Last year, the UK had the highest proportion of online shoppers (87%), followed by Denmark (84%) and Germany (82%).

At the other end of the spectrum, fewer than 40% of internet users shopped online in Cyprus (38%), Bulgaria (27%) and Romania (18%) in 2016. The largest increases over the last four years were recorded in Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Hungary, Spain, Italy and Slovakia.

CLOTHES AND SPORTS DOMINATE

The most popular type of products and services purchased online were in the clothes and sports segments, with 61% of online shoppers saying they acquired an item from these groups in the last year. They were followed by travel and holiday accommodation with 52%, household goods (44%), tickets for events (38%) and books, magazines and newspapers (33%).

The survey also found that four in 10 e-shoppers bought goods or services for a total of €100-€499, and the number of shoppers who purchased from other EU countries rose from 25% in 2012 to 32% last year.

Online purchases have increased in Europe by 16% since 2007 and the growth has been recorded across all age groups.

Although seven out of 10 e-buyers said they had no problems when buying online last year, some online shoppers reported issues such as slower delivery than expected and technical failures. Only 9% of European online shoppers received wrong or damaged goods and 5% had difficulties in finding information on retail websites.

The survey was based on responses from a total of 203,798 individuals aged 16-74 across the EU. Individuals were asked about the last time they used the internet, how often they used it, on which devices and use of e-commerce.
 

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