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Europe Passes US in eCommerce




comScore Networks report on European spending during the 2006 holiday season, starting October 30. They found that

  • Germany spent 5.4 billion euros online
  • the UK spent 4.0 billion euros online
  • France spent 1.9 billion euros online.

This compares with the US’s online holiday spending of $24.6 billion, or 18.8 billion euros.

Okay, okay, I know you can do the math, and the US has 18.8 billion and the three European countries only have 11.3 billion euros–obviously the US is still ahead. However, one thing comScore neglects to take into account in these reports is a little Latin phrase–per capita. How much did citizens of these nations spend online per total citizen?

The CIA Factbook gives population estimates as of July 2006 for the four nations: US, 298,444,215; Germany, 82, 422, 299; UK, 60,609,153; France, 60,876,136.

The online spending per capita of these nations, in descending order:

  • the UK, 65.997 euros per capita
  • Germany, 65.52 euros per capita
  • the US, 62.99 euros per capita
  • France, 31.21 euros per capita

The numbers are even more telling when you take into account the online population of each country.

  • Germany, 50,616,207* Internet users = 106.69 euros per Internet user
  • the UK, 37,600,000** Internet users = 106.38 euros per Internet user
  • the US, 207,161,706* Internet users = 90.75 euros per Internet user
  • France, 29,521,451* Internet users = 64.36 euros per Internet user

Clearly, the UK and Germany are neck and neck in online spending, with the US not far behind. France, on the other hand, has a long way to go. Before they can catch up in online spending, they might want to work on Internet penetration (48.4% versus the other three with rates from 61.4% to 69.4%).

Or they might want to save their money. Who knows?

Internet user count sources: * August 2006, Nielsen//NetRatings; ** September 2006, ITU.