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E-Commerce Booming in Western Europe

Western Europe is Witnessing A Surge in Online Consumer Behavior

First it was the US, and now its Europe. Online commerce is picking up across Europe - especially the parts in Western Europe - naturally at different rates in different countries - with not only internet and broadband penetration rates but also cultural factors playing a role in e-commerce adoption, writes eMarketer. France, where broadband has surged, has registered e-commerce growth of more than 40 percent last year, with similar gains expected this year. The more mature U.K. market is nevertheless still registering 30-percent gains annually. Moreover, online shopping and is up in countries where retail sales are otherwise down.

"E-commerce should continue to grow at a healthy pace this year and next throughout Western Europe, as more people go online more frequently, and at greater bandwidth," said Jeffrey Grau, senior analyst at eMarketer. In 2004, Internet penetration rate in the European Union was 48 percent, compared with the U.S. rate of 61 percent.

The Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands are the most wired societies in Western Europe. Sweden, with three of four people online, leads the continent in Internet penetration. In the second tier are the central Europeans. Slightly more than half of Germans use the web; the U.K., France and Belgium are next in line. The least wired countries are in southern European, including Italy and Spain.

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SYS-CON UK News Desk 07/14/05 11:48:24 AM EDT

E-Commerce Booming in Western Europe
First it was the US, and now its Europe. Online commerce is picking up across Europe - especially the parts in Western Europe - naturally at different rates in different countries - with not only internet and broadband penetration rates but also cultural factors playing a role in e-commerce adoption, writes eMarketer. France, where broadband has surged, has registered e-commerce growth of more than 40 percent last year, with similar gains expected this year.