Luxembourgers buy the most online across their borders, Dutch people the least. In Belgium, the cross-border e-commerce turnover is still growing enormously. The strongest webshops and marketplaces are in Germany.
Increase as a result of the pandemic
Residents of Luxembourg do more than 80 per cent of their online shopping across their borders. This puts the Grand Duchy first in the top 16 of Cross-Border Commerce Europe, the platform stimulating cross-border e-commerce in Europe. The ranking is based on cross-border turnover, market share, consumer confidence and the percentage of cross-border webshop visitors. The total European online cross-border market represents a turnover of 146 billion euros in 2020 (excluding travel), a 35 per cent increase compared to 2019, mainly due to the Covid pandemic. On average, Europeans make a quarter of their online purchases across national borders.
In previous editions of the Top 16, Luxembourg also ranked first. The country has few strong domestic online players, but a very high proportion of its inhabitants (94 per cent) are active online. Consumers buy with great confidence on major platforms such as Zalando, Asos, Veepee, Fnac and Amazon (.de and .fr). Popular webshops are Bader.de, Maisondumonde.com, Next.lu, Hunkemöller.lu, Rueducommerce, Alternate, Maxitoys and Zooplus. About 40 per cent of Luxembourg’s cross-border purchases are clothes, shoes and accessories.
Strong growth in Belgium
There is a stark contrast with the Netherlands, where the cross-border market share is only 14.9 per cent, with a turnover of 4.25 billion. The main reason is obvious: strong Dutch webshops have been established online for more than two decades. For example Bol.com, Coolblue, Wehkamp and AH. Zalando is the most popular foreign webshop among the Dutch people for fashion purchases. The most interesting newcomer is Amazon.nl.
Belgium rises one place in the ranking and is now in seventh place. Belgian consumers have strong confidence in foreign webshops: the cross-border turnover amounts to 4 billion euros, a 53 per cent increase compared to 2019. This growth is partly due to the Covid pandemic. The cross-border market share is now 30.8 per cent. Across the border, Belgians mainly buy at Zalando, Zara, H&M, Amazon, Wish and AliExpress, but of course also at their northern neighbours’ Bol.com and Coolblue.
Remarkable is the stagnation of cross-border e-commerce in France: some large French webshops, including Fnac, Carrefour and La Redoute, have expanded their offerings with a marketplace. This was not without effect.
Germany as champion
Germany can call itself a cross-border champion: the country has the biggest number of high-performing cross-border webshops in Europe. The most popular webshop is Zalando, followed by Music Store and Thomann. Also, Hugo Boss, HelloFresh, Bikester, Zooplus, Adidas and Westwing are popular among European online shoppers.
Sweden comes in second place, mainly thanks to the appeal of H&M Group’s brands: the webshops of H&M, COS and & Other Stories are performing very strongly across Europe. Not surprisingly, Brexit has had a negative effect on cross-border trade to and from the United Kingdom.