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Despite forecasts of economic doom and gloom following the UK’s referendum on Brexit earlier this year, eMarketer forecasts the UK retail ecommerce market will remain the largest in Western Europe—by far—through at least 2020, the end of our forecast period.
Germany will retain its second-place position throughout the forecast period. This year, retail ecommerce sales in Germany will rise 11.5% to $57.65 billion. By 2020, they will have risen by nearly $20 billion more to reach $77.22 billion.
Total retail sales in Germany will benefit from a strong labor market and see growth between 2.1% and 3.2% during eMarketer’s forecast period.
Ecommerce gains in Germany will be largely attributable to strong uptake of mobile commerce. In 2016, retail sales conducted via mobile devices in Germany will be worth $19.14 billion, up 40.8% from 2015, and account for 33.2% of the country's retail ecommerce sales.
Retail sales across Western Europe will total $3.699 trillion in 2016. This estimate is down significantly from eMarketer’s previous forecast given the prolonged weakness of the euro and slow economic growth. Overall, retail sales gains in the region will be minimal over the forecast period, posting a 0.9% growth rate in 2016 and 0.8% in 2020.
“We’re confident that retail ecommerce sales in Germany will post strong and steady growth between now and 2019,” said eMarketer senior analyst Karin Von Abrams. “Despite a rather disappointing retail climate overall, Germany remains one of Europe’s stronger economies, and most consumers enjoy substantial disposable income.
“That’s also helping to promote robust smartphone uptake,” von Abrams noted. “We estimate that the number of smartphone owners in the country will reach 46.9 million in 2016, and climb to 50.8 million next year. As retailers up their game and provide more seamless service across devices, shopping and buying via mobile will become even more widespread. Hence the rapid rise of mcommerce, which will account for about one-third of all retail ecommerce sales in 2016.”
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