UK’s e-commerce market to grow to €231bn by 2021

Research compiled by J.P. Morgan shows the e-commerce market in the UK is expected to grow 9% per year over the next three years, with the market projected to be worth €231.2bn by 2021. Today, the UK represents more than 30% of the total European e-commerce market.

J.P. Morgan’s 2019 Global Payments Trends Reports, which analysed e-commerce and payment trends in 34 countries, including 18 in Europe, reveals that while the UK is set to maintain its position as the largest e-commerce market in Europe, its growth may be outstripped by ten other European countries predicted to experience double-digit e-commerce expansion between now and 2021. Of these, the Czech Republic (16%), Italy (14%) and Spain (13.5%) rank highest for forecasted growth.

Ray McDonnell, Managing Director at J.P. Morgan Merchant Services Europe said, “The UK remains the titan of the European e-commerce space, dwarfing the next largest markets of France and Germany.

“While the UK’s e-commerce market will remain healthy, this year’s exit from the EU and the maturity of the market may slow that growth somewhat. We expect stronger growth to occur in newer online economies like Italy and the Czech Republic which have the conditions for significant market expansion.”

France (€81.7bn) and Germany (€73bn) are the second and third largest e-commerce markets respectively today, together representing a third (33%) of all e-commerce activity in Europe. The UK is expected to experience a deceleration in e-commerce sales growth in the coming years as a result of market maturity, Brexit-related uncertainty and its receptiveness to seasonal trends, major public events and holidays.5 This slowdown is also expected in other mature European e-commerce markets.

E-commerce growth in the Czech Republic is likely to be supported by its comparatively high ratio of online stores per capita. Italy’s growth is anticipated to be driven by cross-border purchases; 40% of Italian e-shoppers made an overseas purchase in the past year. Finally, Spain’s growth is expected to be underpinned by ongoing investment in e-commerce from dominant domestic players.

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