In the European Union (EU), the proportion of individuals aged 16 to 74 having ordered goods or services for private use over the internet (“e-buyers”) has continuously risen, from 30% in 2007 to 53% in 2015. This means that the EU has exceeded its Digital Agenda target of 50% by 2015.
Among EU internet users who did not make any on-line purchase in 2015, 75% reported that they preferred to shop in person and 27% were concerned about payment security and privacy.
Most e-buyers in the EU seemed satisfied with their online purchases: 70% said they did not encounter any problem when ordering online. The most popular items bought over internet were clothes and sports goods (ordered by 60% of e-buyers), followed by travel and holiday accommodation (52%) and household goods and toys (41%).
In 2015, the share of e-buyers was highest in the United Kingdom (where 81% of the total population aged 16 to 74 purchased online), Denmark (79%), Luxembourg (78%), Germany (73%), the Netherlands, Finland and Sweden (all 71%). In contrast, Romania (11% of e-buyers), Bulgaria (18%), Cyprus (23%) and Italy (26%) registered the lowest proportions. Overall, in half of the Member States, the share of e-buyers was above 50%.
In the EU, online shopping is considerably less widespread among the older generations (with 25% of those aged 65-74 shopping online in 2015) than among the younger generations (66% of those aged 16-24 and 70% of those aged 25-34). This difference between the two age groups is largely explained by the fact that older people are less likely to use the internet – for whatever purpose. In fact, the share of online shoppers among silver surfers (internet users aged 65 to 74) has reached 53%, compared with 68% of young internet users.
Among the younger age group (those aged 16 to 24), the share of internet users having purchased online in 2015 was above 50% in most EU Member States, while for those aged 65 to 74, the proportion was above 50% only in the United Kingdom (78%), Luxembourg (69%), Germany (65%), Denmark (63%), Sweden (58%) and France (57%). Overall, in an overwhelming majority of Member States, the highest share of online purchasers among internet users was found in the age group 25 to 34 years. Link