See How the Internet Empowers European Small Businesses

eBay News Team

Our new study highlights the resilience of small businesses selling on eBay, especially in countries hardest hit by the economic crisis.

Today eBay released a new report titled “Empowering People and Creating Opportunity in the Digital Single Market.” Data presented in this new report, which was released during a conference eBay co-hosted with the European Small Business Alliance and Choice in eCommerce, found that Internet-enabled SMEs in Europe grew faster than others as the European Union recovered from its recession.  The report highlights the resilience of small businesses selling on eBay, especially in countries hardest hit by the economic crisis.

Other key findings include:

  • The costs for carrying out commerce over distance within the EU are four times lower on eBay compared to traditional commerce. This is leading to a new era of opportunity. Small European businesses using eBay are able to serve customers all over the world. In fact European eBay businesses sell to 18 countries on average.
  • Since 2011, more than 130,000 new businesses have started on eBay in Europe, with sales of nearly 18.5 billion Euros.
  • Hundreds of thousands of European SMEs sell on eBay. In total, 93% of these engage in exports (in many markets up to 100%). The majority of these businesses are micro firms with less than 10 employees. Offline, only 26% of SMEs export.
  • 77% of eBay-enabled SMEs sell to five or more countries and 39% sell to more than four continents, eBay refers to these SMEs as “Small Global Traders.”
  • Technology enables SMEs anywhere, also in remote areas, to export. In fact, our data shows that the “eBay hotspots” in many countries are not the economic hotspots around capital regions, but rather remote areas, such as Niederbayern in Germany.
  • The online commerce platform has proved valuable for weathering the financial instability of recent years, not the least for SMEs in countries that were amongst the hardest hit by the financial crisis. eBay-enabled small businesses in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece saw their sales growth outpace their country’s GDP growth by approximately 15-25% on average each year for the period between 2010 and 2014.

“Small online European businesses are shaking up commerce. They are even showing established businesses how to thrive in difficult times”, explained Paul Todd, Senior Vice President of eBay Europe who delivered remarks at the conference.

Both the report and the conference demonstrated that the European Commission’s Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy can help small European businesses flourish. eBay is hopeful that through meaningful DSM reforms we can create an even better business environment for Europe’s online entrepreneurs.