European Shoppers Moving Online

Retail is currently a more popular online category in Europe than business and finance, news, and travel, according to research by MMXI Europe. The most popular product categories for online retail in Europe are books, music, games, computers, and electronic goods.

Not surprisingly, the Amazon.com sites are the top brands for books and music, appearing in the top five in each market tracked by MMXI Europe. Other sites selling books perform well, including BOL (second in Germany, sixth in France, and seventh in the UK). In France, the top three sites are all local brands, with the market leader being FNAC.com, followed by CDiscount.com, and Alapage.com.

Computers, software, games, and electronic goods such as mobile phones and DVD players are also popular online buys with Europeans. Sites such as Infront.co.uk and Jungle.com in the UK, Kelkoo.com, CDiscount.com, Rueducommerce.fr in France, and Conrad.de in Germany all appear in their country’s top 10 from April 2000.

Other sites that are favorites include retail portals where the user can access a range of retail Web sites and products. Examples include Kelkoo.fr and Rueducommerce.fr in France, Zoom.co.uk, and Shopsmart.co.uk, and Webmiles.de in Germany. In Germany, three of the top 10 retail sites are traditional mail order companies, Neckermann.de, Quelle.de, Otto.de, which rank close.

Interestingly, sites specializing in clothing and footwear retailing are not currently big business online. While people can buy clothes on sites that sell a variety of products online, like Quelle.de in Germany, and Redoute.fr in France, there are currently no sites in the top 10 rankings that sell clothing and footwear exclusively.

In Europe, the retail category as a whole had a 37 percent reach in April. In terms of time spent on retail sites, the UK leads the way with 19.7 minutes per month, followed by Germany at 15.3 minutes, and France at 13.3 minutes per month.

“The online retailing sector is extremely popular with Europeans, and our data shows the similarities and differences of people shopping on the Internet in the UK, France, and Germany,” said Arielle Dinard, Managing Director of MMXI Europe. “It is clear from our figures that there are opportunities for retailers to capitalize on the popularity of the category if they can understand and take account of the regionality of people’s online shopping behavior.”


Top European Retail Sites
April 2000, At-Home Users
UK France Germany
Reach % Reach % Reach %
Rank Total Retail 37.2 Rank Total Retail 34.4 Rank Total Retail 37.9
1. Amazon.co.uk 9.5 1. FNAC.com 9.0 1. Amazon.de 9.5
2. Amazon.com 6.5 2. CDiscount.com 6.7 2. BOL.de 6.6
3. Infront.co.uk 4.9 3. Alapage.com 4.2 3. Letsbuyit.com 3.9
4. Shopsmart.com 4.1 4. Amazon.com 3.2 4. Neckermann.de 3.3
5. Jungle.com 3.4 5. Kelkoo.com 3.0 5. Quelle.de 3.2
6. Letsbuyit.com 2.6 6. BOL.fr 2.8 6. Otto.de 3.2
7. BOL.com 2.5 7. Redoute.fr 2.4 7. Booxtra.de 3.0
8. Tescodirect.com 2.4 8. Houra.fr 2.0 8. Webmiles.de 2.8
9. Zoom.co.uk 2.1 9. Darty.fr 1.8 9. Conrad.de 2.3
10. QVCUK.com 1.9 10. Rueducommerce.fr 1.7 10. Amazon.com 2.3
Reach %: The percentage of individuals that accessed Web content of a specific site from among the total number of individuals using the Web or online services during the month.
Source: MMXI Europe

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