May 8, 2006, 12:00 AM

Vive la difference: U.S. vs. European online retailing

European e-retailing shows decidedly different characteristics from U.S., according to a new report from payment processor Pago. For instance, in the U.S., more than 50% of online shoppers are women; in Europe, women are about a third.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

The European online retailing market shows decidedly different characteristics from the U.S. market, according to a new report from Cologne, Germany-based payment processor Pago eTransaction Services. For instance, in the U.S., more than 50% of online shoppers are women; in Europe, women are about a third of shoppers. In the U.K., women are 20% of shoppers.

Another example: Mondays are usually the busiest online shopping days in the U.S. In Europe, Thursdays and Fridays are the busiest. One thing that’s the same: German consumers do their shopping from work during their lunch breaks. Nearly 25% of all purchases are made between noon and 2 p.m.

Among the other interesting findings of the survey, which analyzed 50 million purchase transactions processed through the Pago platform between Oct. 1, 2004, and Sept. 30, 2005, were:

• The average value of online transactions fell by 13.21% during that time, reflecting a greater mix of merchandise being sold.

• The percentage of Non-European consumers in European online shops has fallen by three quarters.

• Locals still prefer local sites. For instance, German consumers buy predominantly in German online shops.

• The slowest month was October 2004 and the busiest was May 2005.

• Nearly all consumers from the UK and from outside Europe still use credit cards for online payment but German consumers are increasingly using the electronic direct debit.

• The average chargeback ratio has fallen overall to value of 0.48%.

Pago’s "Trends in Consumer Purchasing and Payment Behaviour in selected E-commerce Industries 2005" analyzed transactions in e-retailing, online gambling, e-health, telecommunications and online travel services.

Founded in 1999, Pago is a Deutsche Bank AG and Beisheim Holding Schweiz AG company, offering its services through a global partner network. Pago currently operates over 7,600 active online-shop connections for more than 780 companies

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