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Rapid growth of E-commerce in Greece

The country with the second fastest growth rate in Europe in terms of e-commerce is Greece, according to the annual survey of E-commerce Europe, the European umbrella organization for Internet retail businesses. The growth rate of e-retailing in Greece was 61% in 2012, second only to Turkey, which recorded a growth rate of 75%. Overall, however, in Europe the turnover from sales of products and services via the Internet increased by 19% in 2012 compared to 2011, reaching 311.6 billion euros, contributing 3.5% to the total GDP of Europe, a percentage that is predicted to it will double in 2016 and triple in 2020. The economic crisis, which significantly reduced the disposable income of Greek households, is mainly behind the great growth observed in online shopping. Often products and services are available at more favorable prices on the Internet than in traditional, brick-and-mortar stores.

In addition, the consumer has the ability to conduct extensive market research on the Internet to find the cheapest and most suitable product for his needs. It is no coincidence that the European South as a whole (the survey also includes Turkey) is now the third largest region in Europe in terms of online shopping turnover, with a share of 10.7% in 2012, after the West and Central Europe, leaving the Nordic countries in fourth place.

In the case of Greece, a decisive role is also played by the fact that more and more households now have an Internet connection, while the penetration of the so-called "smartphones" (smartphones) and subsequently also of tablets (tablets) is rapid. According to market data, smartphone penetration in Greece amounted in 2012 to approximately 30%, while 44% of mobile devices sold belong to this category. To understand the importance of smartphones in the development of e-commerce, it is enough to say that based on the data of the E-commerce Europe survey, the turnover made by online shopping through the use of a "smart mobile" is estimated to have amounted in 2012 to all of Europe to 17 billion euros, to 5.5% of total online purchases.

E-shop websites aimed at the final consumer are estimated to have reached 550,000 across Europe at the end of 2012, registering an annual increase of 15% – 20%. They are expected to increase much more in the coming years, given the rapid growth of e-commerce in Southern and Eastern Europe.

The contribution of e-commerce to employment is also significant, as it is estimated that the sector's direct and indirect jobs amount to two million with the prospect of growth. In fact, there are quite a few who argue that these jobs are not lost to traditional retail, as the two sectors mainly operate in a complementary and not competitive manner.

The most mature markets in Europe are the British (in 2012 the turnover reached 96 billion euros), the German (turnover in 2012 at 50 billion euros) and the French, with the turnover reaching 45 billion euros in 2012 .

Read on here about what a new e-shop in Opencart includes to grow your own business!