Describes how widely e-Commerce is used, the primary sectors that sell through e-commerce, and how much product/service in each sector is sold through e-commerce versus brick-and-mortar retail. Includes what a company needs to know to take advantage of e-commerce in the local market and , reputable, prominent B2B websites.
Last Published: 8/1/2019

In 2015, the European Union launched an ambitious overhaul (the so-called Digital Single Market Strategy) of policy and legislation relevant to the digital economy.  The overall objective was to bring down barriers, regulatory or otherwise, and to unlock online opportunities in Europe.  E-commerce was a priority area, to ensure better access for consumers and businesses to online goods and services across Europe and to remove key differences between the online and offline worlds.
New pieces of legislation have been adopted to facilitate cross-border portability of online content services, increase transparency of cross-border parcel delivery, and update and harmonize contract rules for online sales of goods and supply of digital content and services.  For more information: Digital Single Market

The Electronic Commerce Directive (2000/31/EC) provides rules for online services in the EU.  It requires providers to abide by rules in the country where they are established (country of origin).  Online providers must respect consumer protection rules such as indicating contact details on their website, and clearly identifying advertising and protecting against spam.  The Directive also grants exemptions to liability for intermediaries that transmit illegal content by third parties and for unknowingly hosting content.
 
Comprehensive Market Research on e-commerce in the EU is available upon request.

Key Link:  eCommerce

For information on this topic, consult the Commerce Department’s Country Commercial Guides on EU Member States: EU Member States' Country Commercial Guides

Alternatively, search the Commerce Department’s Market Research Library, available from: Market Intelligence

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.



European Union 28 eCommerce Industry Trade Development and Promotion eCommerce