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Expanding The Horizon Of Your US Brand: The Opportunities of Selling on European Marketplaces.

The European e-commerce market, valued at approximately 600 billion euros, is a rapidly expanding sector serving nearly half a billion consumers. Despite its maturity, the market continues to grow, driven by a shift from offline to online shopping, particularly in Western Europe, where consumers are inclined towards purchasing higher-quality products.

E-commerce adoption varies significantly across Europe. In countries like Germany and the Netherlands, online shopping has penetrated deeply, whereas in southern and eastern European countries, such as Greece, offline shopping still holds a substantial share. However, this is changing swiftly, with e-commerce growth accelerating in these regions.

Five key markets dominate the European e-commerce landscape: the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. Each of these markets presents unique opportunities and challenges for brands looking to expand their online presence. The UK and Germany, for instance, are heavily influenced by Amazon, which plays a crucial role in these markets.

Fashion and electronics are the leading product categories in European e-commerce, followed closely by hobby/leisure items, furniture, groceries, and care products. Notably, the furniture and home improvement sectors are experiencing rapid growth, with many new online marketplaces and initiatives emerging.

Marketplaces are a significant driver of e-commerce growth in Europe, contributing to 82% of the sector’s expansion. Amazon remains the dominant player in the UK and Germany, but other marketplaces like Allegro in Poland and in the Netherlands are also crucial in their respective markets. Understanding the local marketplace leaders and their dynamics is essential for brands looking to succeed in Europe.

The B2B e-commerce sector in Europe is also gaining traction, with marketplaces like Conrad and Metro leading the way. These platforms offer unique opportunities for brands to tap into the business-to-business market, which is expected to grow steadily.

While Amazon is a significant player, it is essential to recognize other influential marketplaces across Europe. For example, Allegro dominates the Polish market, leads in the Netherlands, and Cdiscount is a major player in France. Each marketplace has its strengths and caters to specific regional demands.

Successfully entering the European e-commerce market requires a strategic approach. Here are some key considerations:

  1. Market Knowledge: Understand the market structure, consumer preferences, and language requirements.
  2. Compliance: Ensure compliance with VAT, environmental regulations, and safety standards.
  3. Technology: Utilize technology solutions to streamline operations and manage multiple marketplaces.
  4. Fulfillment: Establish efficient fulfillment processes to meet consumer expectations.
  5. Customer Service: Provide localized customer support.
  6. Content Localization: Adapt content to meet the requirements of different marketplaces, leveraging existing content from platforms like Amazon.


The European e-commerce market offers vast opportunities for brands willing to navigate its complexities. By understanding the regional differences, key players, and essential strategies, brands can effectively tap into this lucrative market. For those looking to expand into Europe, leveraging the expertise of local partners and technology providers can simplify the process and maximize success.

If you want to see the complete webinar, led by Highlands, click on the following URL: Navigating the European Market from the US

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