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The photography of online shopping in Europe

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From Eurostat – on “Eurostat regional yearbook 2021 edition“ – all the numbers of the “digital society” and, above all, those related to online purchases, divided by country, of the last twelve months.

Data that also includes occasional users and allows to understand in detail the phenomenon of e-commerce, defined here as “the purchase of goods or services through electronic transactions, including the sending of orders for goods or services on the Internet (the payment and final delivery of the goods or services can be made online or offline) “. Orders by e-mail entered manually are therefore excluded from the search.

In 2020, nearly two thirds (65%) of the EU adult population reported having bought / ordered goods or services on the internet in the 12 months preceding the survey. The propensity to use e-commerce, as with many other Internet businesses, is closely linked to age. For example, people aged 25-34 were 2.5 times more likely to have used the internet to buy / order goods or services (83%) than people aged 65-74 (33%) ). However, note that this digital divide between generations is gradually narrowing.

Relatively few people made irregular use of e-commerce: 11% of adults made their last online purchase about 3-12 months before the survey (bringing the total for adults who made the survey to 65%). last online purchase at any time in the 12 months prior to the survey) and 5% made their last online purchase more than a year ago. In contrast, the share of adults who reported never making an online purchase was 19%.

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Within this general panorama, in 2020, the year of “digital explosion” thanks to the lockdown, the Italians who made online purchases were only 31% of the total. A level of penetration that sees our country 23 percentage points below the EU27 average, and lags behind Europe.


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