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Western Europe Ecommerce Trends 2020

Consumer-Facing AI, Social Commerce and Delivery/Returns on the Agenda

About This Report
Retailers across Western Europe are pioneering the use of AI to boost digital sales, and new options for delivery and returns are emerging. Yet Europe’s main markets have been slow to embrace social commerce.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Ecommerce continues to evolve rapidly in Western Europe, as shoppers and retailers become more sophisticated. Among the developments worth watching are the use of AI to influence digital shoppers, the gradual progress of social commerce and new approaches to delivery and returns.

How is AI being used in Western Europe’s digital retail sector?

Many retailers now apply AI to understand and optimize their supply chains and internal processes to some degree. But consumer-facing AI is even more widespread, as recommendation engines, chatbots and voicebots are joined by AI-based software that can recognize shopper behaviors in real time and use them to encourage purchases and loyalty.

How popular is social ecommerce in Western Europe?

Many digital shoppers in the region use social networking sites to research products and make purchase decisions, but engagement with social commerce is lower in Europe than in most places worldwide. Some consumers in Europe fear that offers on social media may be fraudulent; also, many shoppers don’t want to share personal financial data with social sites.

How is the ecommerce delivery and returns landscape changing in Western Europe?

Thanks largely to the high standards set by Amazon, digital shoppers are more demanding than ever with delivery and returns—but aren’t always ready to pay more for these advances. Retailers are responding by introducing numerous delivery and efficient return options like drop-off points. Shoppers who buy far more than they plan to keep remain a headache for online retailers, though.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report looks at changing consumer and retailer behavior in three areas in Western Europe: AI, social commerce and delivery and returns processes.

KEY STAT: Retailers and social sites may have high hopes for social commerce, but few digital buyers in Europe have purchased products directly via social media. In 2019, mobile wallets were much more popular.

Here’s what’s in the full report


Exportable files for easy reading, analysis and sharing.


Reliable data in simple displays for presentations and quick decision making.

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Retail AI in Western Europe
  3. What’s Happening with Social Commerce in Western Europe?
  1. Delivery and Returns: Consumers Want Greater Choice, but at No Cost
  2. Read Next
  3. Sources
  1. Media Gallery

Charts in This Report


Karin von Abrams


Alina Brentnall
Researcher, Europe
Matteo Ceurvels
Research Analyst
Bill Fisher
Senior Analyst
Angela Kim
Senior Researcher
Andrew Lipsman
Principal Analyst
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