5th edition of the “TOP 16 Countries Cross-Border Europe”: an annual ranking that identifies the top 16 European countries

Brussels, 29th June 2023. Cross-Border Commerce Europe, the platform dedicated to fostering cross-border eCommerce in Europe, has published a significant research paper covering two country rankings: (I) TOP 16 from the consumer perspective and (II) TOP 10 from the business retailer approach. According to the findings, Luxembourg has been once again chosen as the country winner from the consumer perspective, while Germany maintains its position as the leading EU country in generating the best cross-border online shops and marketplaces. UK cross-border sales dropped to a historically low level (-4%) resulting in €28B cross- border B2C sales online. 

The online EU cross-border market has recorded a total turnover of €179.4 billion in 2022 (excluding travel), marking a year-to-date increase of 4.8%
This study was conducted by CBCommerce with the support of Checkout.com, FedEx Express and Payoneer

(I) The ‘TOP 16 Countries Cross-Border Retail Europe’ edition from the consumer perspective is a major compilation of cross-border data. The ranking is determined by weighting four parameters:

  • Online cross-border sales in Europe – including 16 countries in Western Europe including the UK & Scandinavia
  • Cross-border online market share
  • Cross-border consumer confidence, which encompasses the willingness to purchase cross-border and internet penetration
  • Percentage of cross-border web visitors

Based on the above-mentioned methodology, the TOP 16 Countries for 2022 are:

– TOP 1: Luxembourg
– TOP 2: Ireland
– TOP 3: Austria
– TOP 4: Sweden
– TOP 5: Norway
– TOP 6: Switzerland
– TOP 7: Germany
– TOP 8: Denmark
– TOP 9: Portugal
– TOP 10: Belgium
– TOP 11: Italy
– TOP 12: Finland
– TOP 13: Spain
– TOP 14: France
– TOP 15: United Kingdom
– TOP 16: The Netherlands

Luxembourg emerges as the top-ranked cross-border eRank country winner. Notable climbers in the rankings include Sweden, Norway, Portugal, Finland and Germany. On the other hand, Denmark, Belgium, Italy, Spain, France and the United Kingdom have seen a decline in their positions. Countries like Luxembourg, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands have maintained a stable status quo.

TOP 3: Luxembourg, Ireland and Austria

Luxembourg as TOP 1 Cross-Border Country
Luxembourg takes the lead as the top-ranked cross-border country. It secures the first position due to its impressive number of cross-border web visitors, high confidence levels among consumers, and a significant cross-border market share. Luxembourg stands out as the clear winner in cross-border eRank, with consumers actively engaging in cross-border shopping on popular platforms like Zalando, ASOS, Veepee, FNAC and Amazon (.de and .fr). The country boasts a substantial online population, with 93% of households having internet access as reported by the Statistics Portal in 2021. Additionally, 79% of the population made their most recent online purchase during the last three months of 2022. Some of the most visited cross-border webshops in Luxembourg include IKEA, Bader.de, Maisonsdumonde.com, Auchan.lu, Hunkemoller.lu, Rueducommerce, Alternate.lu, Next.lu, and Zooplus. Clothing, shoes and accessories account for 40% of cross-border purchases in the country.

Sweden as TOP 4 Cross-Border Country
Sweden scores well in terms of consumer confidence in online cross-border e-commerce, resulting in a jump of three positions in the ranking. With €4.2 billion in cross-border sales, Sweden has experienced a 5% increase compared to 2021, accounting for a market share of 49.4%. When it comes to cross-border purchases, Swedish consumers mainly buy on Zalando, Zara, ASOS, Boohoo, Farfetch, Amazon, Shein and AliExpress.

Italy as TOP 10 Cross-Border Country
Italy maintains a stable position at number 10. The cross-border market share has risen from 35.4% to 39.2% and consumer confidence has increased to 79%. Italy has witnessed a growth of 12.6%, reaching €10.7B in cross-border sales.

France as TOP 14 Cross-Border Country
France has dropped one position, dropping from 13th to 14th place. The cross-border market share of total online purchases has stabilised at 20.2%. In terms of absolute cross-border sales, France has reached €24.5B. The impressive growth in French e-commerce during 2022 can be attributed to the expansion of major native French webshops into marketplaces, including FNAC, Carrefour, Vestiaire Collective, Cdiscount, La Redoute, Conforama, Nature et Découvertes and ManoMano. Three-quarters of French consumers made cross-border purchases in 2022.

The United Kingdom as TOP 15 Cross-Border Country
The UK has been ranked at 15th place in the eRank, dropping one position due to Brexit. The lack of confidence and a decrease in cross-border visitors have led to a 4% decline in turnover, resulting in €28B. Brexit has had a negative impact on cross-border trade to and from the UK, with UK customers losing faith in cross-border commerce, resulting in an 8% decrease.

The Netherlands as TOP 16 Cross-Border Country
The Netherlands holds the last position in the eRank, with a cross-border market share of 15.2%, amounting to €5B. This can be attributed to the presence of strong native Dutch webshops such as Bol.com, Coolblue, Wehkamp, and AH. Among these, Zalando stands out as the country’s favourite fashion cross-border online platform.

The biggest challenges for consumers when ordering online across borders include the speed of delivery, issues with incorrect or damaged items, return policies, payment security and fraud and the availability of websites in their native languages.

(II) The ‘TOP 10 Countries Cross-Border Retail Europe’ edition from a business-retailers perspective is a major compilation of cross-border data derived from the TOP 500 EU Cross-Border Retail. The ranking is determined by considering five parameters from the TOP 500:

  • Number of webshops
  • Cumulated position from the first three listed webshops
  • Number of webshops in TOP 10
  • Number of marketplaces
  • Number of pure players

In this ranking the TOP 10 countries generating their three best cross-border webshops and marketplaces are:

TOP 1: Germany with #1 Lidl (Schwarz Group), #2 Zalando (Baillie Gifford), and #3 Bauhaus (Bauhaus)
TOP 2: Sweden with #1 IKEA, #2 H&M and #3 Na-kd (Na-kd One World AB)
TOP 3: The Netherlands with #1 Euronics, #2 C&A (Cofra) and #3 Philips (Signify)
TOP 4: France with #1 Decathlon (Mulliez), #2 Vestiaire Collective and #3 Moncler (Richemont)
TOP 5: Denmark with #1 Lego, #2 Jysk (Jysk Group) and #3 Vivino (Balderton)
TOP 6: United Kingdom with #1 Bookdepository (Amazon), #2 Asos (Heartland A/S) and #3 Farfetch (Farfetch UK Ltd)
TOP 7: Switzerland with #1 Expert (Expert International), #2 Nespresso (Nestlé Group) and #3 Omega Watches (Swatch Group)
TOP 8: Spain with #1 Zara (Inditex), #2 Mango (Mango MNG Holding) and #3 Funidelia (Funiglobal Development SL)
TOP 9: Austria with #1 Swarovski (Swarovski AG), #2 Blue Tomato (Blue Tomato GmbH) and #3 Refurbed (Refurbed GmbH)
TOP 10: Italy with #1 Bricoman (Adeo Group), #2 Gucci (Kering) and #3 Prada (Prada Group)

TOP 3: Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands

In 2022, Germany, with a population of 84 million, secured the top position in eRank with its impressive roster of cross-border webshop champions. These include renowned brands such as Bauhaus, Hugo Boss, Hello Fresh, Zooplus, Zalando, Lidl, About You, Adidas, and Westwing. Notably, Westwing is part of the robust e-commerce ecosystem of Holding Kinnevik. Germany boasts a total of 92 cross-border webshops in the TOP 500, whereas the UK has a lower count of 67. With a significant number of cross-border webshops, Germany leads the pack, with eleven of them being marketplaces and 49 (53%) being pure players.

Sweden, with 36 prominent cross-border webshops in the TOP 500, relies heavily on its fashion retailers particularly the H&M Group (H&M, COS, & Other Stories). The success of their brand & Other Stories highlights the effectiveness of their online cross-border expansion strategy, which has outperformed new store openings.

The Netherlands, with 66 cross-border webshops in the TOP 500, serves as a fertile ground for webshops aiming to sell their products internationally.

The number of marketplaces in the top 3 of the TOP 10 rankings has increased from 4 to 7, thanks to the inclusion of Refurbed and Farfetch. Pan-European holdings such as Inditex, Richemont, Kinnevik, Heartland, Signify, Mulliez, Otto, Schwarz, LVMH, Kering, and Nestlé play a significant role in driving European cross-border e-commerce. During the pandemic, store closures prompted multichannel retailers to increase their cross-border trade. Similarly, direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand manufacturers like Philips, Moncler, Prada and LEGO also saw a surge in cross-border transactions.

I want to warmly thank our research team and partners Checkout.com, FedEx Express and Payoneer for their invaluable support in compiling this new edition of the ranking. It provides transparency on the best European countries in cross-border eCommerce transparently and serves as a catalyst for the entire retail industry” concludes Carine Moitier, the founder of CBCommerce.eu.

infographic top 16 countries cross-border europe


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Infographie [Top 16 Cross-Border] Le Luxembourg, élu meilleur pays pour l’e-commerce transfrontalier européen



Cross-Border Commerce Europe has released the fifth edition of the “TOP 16 Countries Cross-Border Europe”: an annual ranking that identifies the top 1

Cross-Border Commerce Europe has released the fifth edition of the “TOP 16 Countries Cross-Border Europe”: an annual ranking that identifies the top 16 European countries (incl. the UK) for cross-border online shopping.

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