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Translated by
Nicola Mira
Jun 5, 2020
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Cross-border e-commerce: H&M, Zara, C&A, Zalando among European leaders in 2019

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Jun 5, 2020

Ikea came first in the second edition of ‘Top 500 Cross-border Retail Europe’, a study of e-commerce sellers in EU-16 countries, published by CBCommerce and relating to 2019. Fashion industry names took the other podium positions, with H&M and Zara in second and third place respectively, and with Dutch retailer C&A and German e-retailer Zalando in sixth and seventh place.


Excluding travel expenditure, cross-border e-commerce in EU-16 countries was estimated to be worth €108.75 billion in 2019. This was equivalent to a 14.4% annual increase, growing the share of cross-border sales on the total e-commerce market in EU-16 countries to 23.55%. Specifically, 58% of these cross-border sales were generated by EU-16 sellers (up 3% on an annual basis), while 42% was generated by non-EU-16 sellers.

The 500 websites analysed by CBCommerce generated €39.7 billion in cross-border sales in 2019. Of the 500 ranked sites, 47% are fashion e-tailers. Overall, Zalando, which topped the cross-border table of EU-16 sellers the previous edition, was overtaken by Ikea, whose cross-border sales rose 21% to reach €4.6 billion.

Zalando and 24 other European e-marketplaces accounted for 26.4% of the sales of the top 500 operators, and are the sector’s emerging force, having grown their market share by 17% in two years. Amazon is of course mentioned in the study: the US e-commerce giant alone generated 80% of the €32 billion of cross-border sales generated in Europe by non-European sellers.

Ranking of European fashion pure players in terms of their European cross-border sales - DR

The study covered 16 European countries, excluding central and eastern Europe. The UK was the leading country in terms of cross-border sales, its volume having remained stable. It was followed by Germany (whose cross-border sales rose by 13.3%), France (up 22.6%), Spain (up 17.9 %) and the Netherlands (up 16%).

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