November 23, 2011, 1:13 PM

Europeans will spend nearly $70 billion online for the holidays

Consumers in the UK, France and Germany will account for nearly 60% of those sales.

Allison Enright

Editor

Lead Photo

European online shoppers will spend approximately 52.0 billion euros (US$69.43 billion) during the eight weeks leading up to Christmas, according to a holiday sales projection from Interactive Media in Retail, an e-commerce industry trade group in the United Kingdom. That is up 19.8% from approximately 43.4 billion euros ($57.95 billion) Europeans spent during the same period a year ago.

Consumers in the U.K. will account for 30% of the total, spending 15.6 billion euros (US$20.83 billion) online from Oct. 30 to Dec. 24. IMRG says consumers in France will spend 7.5 billion euros ($10.02 billion), and consumers in Germany will spend 7 billion euros ($9.35 billion). The three nations, which the trade group says have 100 million online shoppers among them, will account for 57.9% of all e-commerce holiday spending in Europe.

IMRG projects the spending among other European nations or regions as follows:

• Scandinavia 5.2 billion euros ($6.95 billion)

• Italy 3.7 billion euros ($4.94 billion)

• Spain 1.8 billion euros ($2.41 billion)

• Netherlands 1.8 billion euros ($2.41 billion)

• Russia 1.5 billion euros ($2.00 billion)

• Czech Republic 0.5 billion euros ($668.2 million)

• Other countries 7.0 billion euros ($9.36 billion)

IMRG says Internet use and online shopping penetration is greater in the northern parts of Europe than in other regions, but year-over-year growth rates show that the Internet and e-commerce are spreading rapidly across Europe. Russians, for example, will spend 1.5 billion euros online for the holidays, accounting for only 2.9% of total European e-commerce holiday spending this year, but IMRG says that spending is 30% greater than last year.

Internet Retailer estimates total e-commerce sales in eight Western European countries will reach 133.9 billion euros ($182.6 billion) by the end of 2011, according to the Internet Retailer Top 300 Europe Guide.

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