Fashion the leading European e-commerce category in 2022

Fashion the leading European e-commerce category in 2022

Translated by

Nicola Mira

In 2022, fashion (apparel, shoes and accessories) was the product category most extensively purchased online in Europe, with a 68% share of online purchasers, according to the European E-commerce Report 2023, published by the Ecommerce Europe association and EuroCommerce. The report indicated that the volume of online sales increased in the course of last year, despite Europe going through a time of economic and political upheaval.


With a 68% share of online purchasers, fashion was far ahead of multimedia products (music, movies, books, etc.) which recorded a 34% share, and meal delivery services (with 30%). The beauty and cosmetics sector recorded a 27% share of online purchasers, ahead of sporting goods with 23%.

“Throughout 2022, Europe was heavily affected by the impact of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, with high inflation rates putting downward pressure on consumers’ purchasing power,” stated Ecommerce Europe, adding that “higher prices were the main driver in the increase in e-commerce revenue in several European countries. However, the decrease in volumes was partially offset by an increase in online services purchases.”

Given that inflation might distort the sector’s growth picture, the report looked at ways of correcting this effect. It found that in 2021, European inflation-adjusted e-commerce growth was still very strong (+9%), but it plunged in 2022 due to the inflation shock, shrinking for the first time ever (-2%). The only regions where e-commerce revenue did not decline in 2022 were Eastern Europe (where it grew by 5%) and Southern Europe (where it grew by 13%). 

Ecommerce Europe

“In 2023, e-commerce has started recovering as inflation declined, leading us to project a return to growth in 2023 (+2%),” indicated the report. “We expect online sales to keep growing in the coming years, reaching an estimated 30% of retail sales by 2030,” said Christel Delberghe, director general of EuroCommerce. “Being present online has become vital for many retailers, especially for smaller businesses,” she added.

The report, which is chiefly based on data compiled by Eurostat

Ecommerce Europe

The 97-page report, available on the Ecommerce Europe website, contains a detailed breakdown of online sales in the 37 countries observed, aggregated also by geographical area (Northern, Southern, Central, Eastern and Western Europe). Western and Northern Europe were the largest European e-commerce markets, with 87% and 85% respectively of their internet users making online purchases. Western Europe alone accounted for 67% of European e-commerce revenue.

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