With a population of over 480 million, over 420 million Internet users and an average GDP per capita of almost $43,000, Western and Central Europe is one of the most lucrative retail markets in the world.
2019 and 2020 have undeniably been a challenging time for the EU and region in general. Neither inflation nor the economic growth rates hit the targets set by policymakers. But despite this, the finance industry registered rising confidence for much of the year. With new leaders, with new approaches, in both the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Budgetary Instrument for Convergence and Competitiveness (BICC), there’s reason to be optimistic.
The Local Payment Culture
For this report, PPRO surveyed 19 key markets to find out what the payment landscape looked like. Those markets are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom.
The most popular way of paying for online purchases in Western Europe is with a credit or debit card. They have 43% of the online payments market1. Bank transfer comes in at 24% and e-wallets have 21%. Various smaller payment methods have a 7% share of the online market. And cash has a 6% share. Be warned, however, that these averages contain sharp differences between national markets.
The E-Commerce Market
The value of goods sold online in Europe by the end of 2019 was planned to reach more than $680 billion. Analysts expect more and more Western Europeans to start looking online for bargains, rather than on the high street. According to PPRO’s own research, 14% of all retail purchases in this region are made online, but that figure varies widely from country to country. At the same time, the value of e-commerce as a whole is set to grow by 38%.
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PPRO Country Insight Belgium
Belgium was created in 1830, merging the southern French-speaking provinces of Wallonia with the northern Dutch-speaking Flemish provinces. Much of the subsequent history of the country has been dominated by the difficulties of balancing the needs and interests of the two communities.
PPRO Country Insight France
Over the last decade, France has fared both better and worse than its European partners. In 2009 – the year of Europe’s big crunch – the French economy shrank by just 2.9%, compared to 4% in the UK, 5% in Italy, and almost 6% in Germany.
PPRO Country Insight Germany
In March 2017, the US online magazine Politico – a favourite with Washington insiders – ran the headline “The Leader of the Free World Meets Donald Trump”. The leader in question was German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
PPRO Country Insight Italy
In March 2018 the Italian general election produced a hung parliament with the right-wing Centre-right coalition and the left-wing Five-Star Movement the biggest parties. The two parties, which eventually formed a coalition, were relative newcomers to the political scene and both are avowedly Eurosceptic.
PPRO Country Insight Netherlands
Last year, Statistics Netherlands released figures showing that tourism is becoming increasingly important to the Dutch economy. Since 2010, the sector’s contribution to the country’s economy has grown by 43% to almost €25 billion. Last year, the number of visitors rose again, to 42 million, up 9% on the previous year.
PPRO Country Insight UK
On the night of 22 June 2016, the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw was lit up in the colours of the Union Jack. Many other European cities followed suit, staging similar displays in a show of solidarity with British voters: stay with us, they were saying.