Covid has almost closed the e-commerce gap in Europe

Covid has almost closed the e-commerce gap in Europe

16. 02. 2022 – Lomond

Fifteen years ago, not long after the EU expanded to incorporate eight new member states from Central & Eastern Europe, there were clear regional discrepancies across Europe when it came to the popularity of e-commerce. All of the new CEE member states (as well as most of those in southern Europe) were way behind the EU average when it came to citizens buying online:

By the time Covid hit, though, the gap had closed significantly, with nearly all of the fastest-growing e-commerce countries sitting in CEE – three of which (Estonia, Czech Republic and Slovakia) had accelerated past the EU average:

That’s maybe not hugely surprising – you would expect growth rates to be higher when you are building from a smaller base – but the interesting part is that, based on the most recent data, the pandemic has closed the gap even further:

So 14 of the EU’s member states have seen double-digit growth in e-commerce users since the start of the pandemic, nine of them in CEE. It has taken half the countries in the region up to or beyond the EU average and left only two CEE member states – Romania and Bulgaria – lagging clearly behind the rest of Europe.