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E-commerce: High growth rates in Greece

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The highest growth rates in Europe's e-commerce turnover were found in Greece (77%), last year according to the European e-commerce report for 2021 jointly published by the Hellenic E-Commerce Association, E-commerce Europe and EuroCommerce.

According to the survey, in 2020, total European e-commerce increased to 757 billion euros, an increase of 10%, from 690 billion euros in 2019. Last year was a special year, marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent significant role of e-commerce for both society and the economy. This is also reflected in the data on growth, which remained significant (10%), but decreased slightly compared to 2019 (14%). COVID-19 gave a significant boost to e-commerce sales, but the sharp decline in online sales in tourism and services (events, tickets, etc.) helped hold overall growth.

According to the research, the pandemic had a huge impact on developments in the retail sector. The lockdown accelerated the current trend towards the digital and green transition of stores. The companies' investments in digital sales channels, which were originally planned for several years, were made within a few months. E-commerce was a lifeline for consumers, as restrictions, such as forced closures, prevented them from buying what they needed in stores. While e-commerce has not fully offset the losses suffered by many SMEs with physical stores, it has absorbed much of the financial shock. However, further work is needed to ensure that the wider retail sector can make the most of the solutions offered by digital transformation.

The 2021 report shows that Western Europe is the strongest region in terms of B2C e-commerce turnover, accounting for 64% of total turnover for 2020. Southern Europe is in second place with just 16% of total turnover , while Central Europe (8%), Northern and Eastern Europe (both 6%)

The leaders in B2C e-commerce turnover remain the United Kingdom (€ 236 billion), France (€ 112 billion), Germany (€ 93,6 billion) and Spain (€ 68,4 billion). However, the highest growth rates in e-commerce turnover were found in Greece (77%), Moldova (49%), Russia (41%), Switzerland, Northern Macedonia (37%), and Sweden (36%). ).

Other key findings show that internet usage in Europe increased to 89% in 2020, from 87% in 2019 and 85% in 2018, with Western Europe (95%). The number of online shoppers grew faster during 2020 to compared to the last 4 years, with 71% of the population having bought from an online store (from 66% in 2019 and 64% in 2018).

Western Europe has the highest percentage of e-shoppers (86%), followed by Northern European consumers (82%). The United Kingdom had the highest percentage of online shoppers (92%), followed by the Netherlands (91%), Denmark and Switzerland (90%), Germany and Norway (87%), and Sweden (86%). ). The lowest percentage of online shoppers were found, for example, in Moldova (34%), Albania (37%), Ukraine and Northern Macedonia (40%), Bulgaria (42%) and finally Russia (43%).

Christianna Kousiou

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