E-commerce: the two-speed Europe
But which factors determine the amount and frequency of internet purchases? The internet coverage and the mentality of inhabitants are often stated as important key-criterions. However, if the situation is looked at more closely, the following four points play a decisive role:
1. Purchasing power: The higher the purchasing power, the higher the share of online purchases. With a high purchasing power, remains more money for things that are not really necessary, but desirable. And in contrast to groceries, that each of us has to buy, the offer of desirable goods on the internet is already easily available and mature.
2. Providers: Professional providers in an industry increase online shares. For example, Great Britian has the highest share of e-commerce, because even in the food sector inhabitants are shopping a lot online. In turn, this is due to the fact that Tesco & Co make a broad and attractive array available online. Similar increases could be observed for example in Germany and Austria through the entry of Zalando.
3. The trade concentration: The fewer trading companies are operating in the individual sectors within a country, the higher are the online shares. Austria, the Scandinavian countries or Switzerland are mentioned here as an example.
4. The logistics: The possibilities and the degree of maturity of logistics services are also crucial for the development of the online trade within a country. If a quick delivery of ordered goods is not possible, because of the size of a country, poor infrastructure or lack of transport facilities, the stationary trade is of course more likely to stand out.