Top 500 Cross-Border Retail Europe


Cross-Border Commerce Europe launches the first edition of the “Top 500 Cross-Border Retail Europe”: An annual analysis of top 500 European cross-border online shops.

Brussels, March 14th 2019. Cross-Border Commerce Europe, the platform that activates cross-border eCommerce in Europe, releases a major research covering and ranking the 500 strongest European players with a focus on cross-border performance. Total online EU cross-border market represents a turnover of €95 billions in 2018 (excluding travel). A research team has been working on this analysis for 6 months. In the first edition of the “Top 500 Cross-Border Retail Europe”, which covers a total turnover of €36 billions, Germany’s Zalando takes the leading position.

This analysis arose from a simple observation: there are currently no European cross-border figures that measure performance of cross-border retailers headquarted in Europe. “Cross-border e-commerce is defined as a purchase in an online store that is located in another country and jurisdiction,” Spierings & Van der Velde defined in 2008.

The goal of the research is to provide up to date information and stimulate online cross-border sales within the European Union.

The ‘Top 500 Cross-Border Retail Europe’ edition is a major compilation of cross-border data from websites of European retailers. Ranking is obtained by weighting four primary parameters:

  • Online cross-border sales in Europe (16 countries within Western Europe and Scandinavia)
  • SEO-indicators covering cross-border performance
  • Cross-border score determined on the amount of active countries
  • Amount and percentage of cross-border visitors

There are six additional secondary weighted parameters that fine tune the ranking:

  • Brand authority
  • Organic search percentage
  • Number of languages
  • Number of currencies
  • Number of payment methods
  • Local supply availability (transport and stock services)

Based on the above mentioned methodology, the Top 10 “Elite” retailers for 2018 are:

  • Top 1: Zalando
  • Top 2: Ikea
  • Top 3: H&M
  • Top 4: Zara
  • Top 5: Nespresso
  • Top 6: Pandora
  • Top 7: Thomann
  • Top 8: Jack & Jones
  • Top 9: Vivino
  • Top 10: Swarovski

In 2018 Cross-border e-commerce revenues (including travel) reached € 137 billions in Europe; an increase of 13.2% compared to 2017. The cross-border share of total online sales in Europe (EU16) is 22.8%.

Cross-border trade (excluding travel) amounts to €95 billions in 2018 with the following distribution: 55% is generated by players from within the European Union and 45% by retailers from outside the EU.

Within the EU16, € 36 billions are generated by the Top 500 Cross-Border Retail Europe “made in Europe”, of which 24.7% comes from “marketplaces”. The share of “Pure Players” is 40% and half of it is located in the category “fashion, jewelry and baby”.

Within retailers outside the European Union, 80% of cross-border sales are generated through ‘marketplaces’ with Amazon leading with € 32 billions sales.

European players in the cross-border online sales build pan-European brands. They are ambitious, think globally but adjust themselves locally where needed.

23.6% of Europeans appreciate the convenience of cross-border eCommerce and asks the decision-makers in the Commission and the European Parliament to further simplify tax and cross-border rules. Despite Brexit, they strongly believe in a promising future for cross-border e-commerce in Europe.

I want to warmly thank the partners (Worldline, MyBank, Oney, OneyTrust, …) and the members of Cross-Border Commerce Europe for their support to this new research. It will help all players in cross-border to deeply understand dynamics of competition and the drivers to this exciting and very moving e-commerce landscape. The study will be published annually ” concludes Carine Moitier, the founder of


About Cross-Border Commerce Europe

Cross-Border Commerce Europe is the European network and knowledge platform for all eCommerce and omnichannel players present in at least three countries in Europe. brings the different actors in contact with each other to increase visibility, share knowledge and figures, discover trends and specificities of each European country. Members of Cross-Border Commerce Europe are brands and distributors of all sizes. Partners are suppliers of services in all areas of trade.

For more informations, concrete testimonials or interviews, you can contact:

Carine Moitier
Founder Cross-Border Commerce Europe
Mobile: +32 473 26 05 61


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