Europe 500 merchants dial up more mobile sales

June 15, 2015 11:07 AM

Mobile commerce sales as a percentage of all e-commerce sales aren’t anywhere near as substantial in Europe as they are in the U.S. But m-commerce sales in Europe are growing rapidly, and shopping on mobile devices at home and across national boundaries is the preferred way many European consumers, especially younger shoppers, like to connect with retailers.

And for many merchants ranked in Internet Retailer’s newly published 2015 Europe 500, mobile commerce is becoming a big priority. Today 387 merchants ranked in the Europe 500 have a mobile-optimized site and 244 have deployed at least one app.

In 2014 European mobile commerce grew year over year 89.1% to an estimated $45.0 billion from $23.8 billion in 2013. Last year mobile commerce represented 11% of European e-commerce sales of $410.9 billion compared with 6.7% of e-commerce sales in 2013 of $354.0 billion, says trade group and research organization E-Commerce Europe. In comparison mobile commerce in 2014 accounted for 23%, or an estimated $70.1 billion, of all e-commerce sales in the U.S. of $304.9 billion, according to an analysis of data contained in the Internet Retailer 2014 Mobile 500. 

For Europe 500 and French flash-sale e-retailer, a bigger push for mobile shoppers is helping the company sell online to a more diverse group of younger pan-European shoppers. “Consumers who roam Europe on the web while shop­ping tend to be younger and more likely to shop online using a web-enabled mobile device,” says Forrester European e-commerce analyst Michelle Beeson.  “European cross-bor­der buyers are highly connected consumers—65% go online several times a day,” Beeson says. “They embrace technol­ogy and are more likely to use mobile devices to research and purchase products compared to European online adults who do not buy online internationally.” 

Vente-Privee’s shoppers are highly mobile. Mobile accounts for about 63%, or 52.5 million, of its 83.3 million monthly visits and for 42%, or 714 million euros ($799.6 million), of web sales in 2014, the company says. Vente-Privee offers mobile apps for iPhones, iPads and Android mobile devices in eight European languages. Vente-Privee’s mobile apps and sites also feature daily deals with discounts and messaging aimed at specific buyers in each country. “We make the mobile and desktop experience very local,” says Ilan Benhaim, director of strategy and innovation.

Vente-Privee ships all orders from its one distribution center in France. But the retailer works with various international and domestic carriers to offer localized shipping and delivery options for eight European countries. Vente-Privee also has customer service reps at its French call center who are multilingual and capable of handling phone and email inquiries in more than a dozen languages, Benhaim says. “We make the mobile and desktop experience very local.”

Mobile commerce also is becoming a bigger part of the e-commerce business at Zalando, No. 8 in the 2015 Europe 500.

Zalando is actively using mobile apps and a localized approach to e-commerce to grow its sales across Europe. Zalando’s core shoppers are younger men and women ages 25 to 40 who like to research and purchase fashionable clothes and accessories online using their mobile device. Today about 53% of Zalando’s monthly visits come from mobile devices, and in 2014 mobile commerce accounted for about 23%, or $504 million, of 2014 web sales, Internet Retailer estimates. In 2014 Zalando rolled out an updated series of apps for iPhones, iPads and Android devices tailored for the European countries where it sells.

The app has universal features, regardless of the mobile shopper’s home country, that give shoppers exclusive daily deals, product recommendations based on past purchas­ing history and frequently updated content on style and fashion.

But its mobile apps, which have been downloaded more than 8.5 million times, also feature unique products, prices, payment and delivery options and content for 15 individual countries.

“The functions are universal but the products and delivery and payment options we offer are different for each country,” says Robert Schutze, Zalando’s country manager for the U.K. and Poland.

The 2015 Europe 500 is available in two formats:

  • Digital edition for $119 
  • Online database for $289 for a year

Click here to buy it.




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