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That’s as true for ecommerce as it is for food, culture and language. So, if you’re thinking of selling cross border, our Country Guides will help you get started in the most effective way.

To help you understand your customers, we’ve put together guides for 6 of the leading ecommerce countries in Europe. For each country, you’ll find key facts about ecommerce and consumer behaviour. Information ranges from the value of ecommerce sales to how online shoppers choose an e-tailer, to their preferred devices and payment methods. By diving into these guides, you’ll gain the insights needed to tailor your shipping options and ensure customer satisfaction across Europe.


  • 62% of the population used online shopping in 2019, contributing to an ecommerce revenue of €112 billion.1
  • 18% of shoppers in France have bought from online retailers in the UK in the last 12 months.2
  • Credit cards are currently the most popular payment method (47%), but PayPal and AliPay are also on the rise (36%), so it’s important to offer a range of payment options.3
  • The French still prefer to receive their deliveries at home, whether that’s in a mailbox or on the doorstep. When it comes to sending parcels, however, they prefer to drop off at a post office or ServicePoint, with just 12% requesting a pick up from home.4


  • 20% of people surveyed have purchased from online retailers in the UK. Germans actually make the most purchases from the UK in comparison with other European countries.5
  • Why do Germans buy from other countries in Europe? 55% get lower prices elsewhere, 36% say it’s because the products they want aren’t available in Germany and 32% state it’s because the UK offer cheaper delivery rates.6
  • PayPal and Apple Pay is a German’s preferred payment method (55%) so it’s important to make sure your ecommerce website offers these payment options alongside credit card (17%) with invoices and bank transfer making up the remainder.7
  • When sending a parcel, only 15% of Germans want a door collection (compared with 60% of senders who book UK delivery online with us*), 68% prefer to drop their parcels off at a post office, a ServicePoint or Locker.8

    However, the preferred delivery method is to the door,  to a neighbour and then to a safe place.


  • Just under 40% of Italians shopped online in 2019, but almost a third of the population said they would like to buy more online.9
  • Germany and the UK are the most popular countries for cross-border purchases, with over a third of Italians buying from each of these countries (36% and 35% respectively).10
  • More than a third of Italians prefer to use a laptop for shopping, but smartphones are coming in a close second. However, difference in volume is not overwhelming, so you should ensure that your ecommerce website is optimised for all devices.11
  • Most Italians prefer to receive their deliveries at home, whether that’s handed to the recipient, or left in a mailbox or safe place. The same is true for returns: 28% prefer to have parcels picked up from home. However, post offices, ServicePoints and lockers shouldn’t be discounted.12


  • The Netherlands is one of the most mature and influential ecommerce markets in Europe. Although the population is smaller compared to France, Germany and the UK, over 80% of Dutch people shopped online in 2019.13
  • Shoppers in the Netherlands are most likely to buy from Germany when shopping across borders, with around a third of them having done so in the last twelve months. This compares to just 14% choosing to buy from the UK, the next most popular option.14
  • Almost half of Dutch people prefer to use iDeal as their payment method when shopping online. This is a system that allows them to make payments from within their own banking app. So if you’re looking to break into this lucrative ecommerce market, offering iDeal as a payment option is a good start.15
  • At home is the place where most Dutch people prefer to receive their deliveries, but when it comes to returns, they’re a bit more flexible. Over half choose to drop off their return parcels at a ServicePoint or post office (35% and 24% respectively).16


  • Over two thirds of Irish consumers shopped online in 2019 (67%).17 This contributed to a high ecommerce turnover of almost €8bn18, accounting for over 40% of all turnover from Irish companies.19
  • Unsurprisingly, a whopping 84% of cross-border purchases are from the UK, with Germany trailing in second at 19%.20
  • Laptops are the preferred online shopping device, with 40% of consumers choosing this as their preferred option – but smartphones aren’t far behind at 36%.21
  • Unusually, debit cards are the preferred payment method in the Republic of Ireland, with around half of consumers using them. PayPal or equivalents come in second at 29%.22
  • As with most other countries, the preferred delivery location is at home, but 39% would prefer to drop off any returns at a post office.23


  • More than 35% of Spaniards are considering spending more online, both locally and across borders. This means there’s a big potential to increase the current €5bn ecommerce market.24
  • 58% of the 47.2million population shopped online in 2019.25
  • When shopping across borders, Spaniards like to buy clothing, footwear and consumer electronics from Germany and the UK.26
  • PayPal and AliPay are the preferred payment method, with 38% choosing this method.27
  • When it comes to deliveries and returns, home is the place to be. Spanish people prefer to receive deliveries at home and have their returns collected from a home address. Dropping off or collecting from a post office or ServicePoint would be the next best option.28


You can start accessing excellent International parcel delivery rates, dedicated account managers and best in class technology to manage the dispatch and delivery of your parcels within just 24 hours*.
All we need are a few details about your business.