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E-Commerce Hub Index

Which EU country offers the best conditions for starting an online shop? The E-Commerce Hub Index analyses the circumstances in European countries.

3 min

2021 was a record-breaking year for e-commerce sales, and this upward trend is likely to continue in the future. Advancing digitisation, increasing online affinity and ever more effective shipping logistics increase people’s willingness to buy via the internet. Moreover, the pandemic has also contributed to the shift towards online shopping, after lockdowns shuttered high streets and led to more people working from home. Many forecasts predict that shopping behaviour will change permanently in favour of e-commerce.

In contrast to brick-and-mortar retail, online sales are often the more cost-effective option for entering retail. It doesn't matter whether you choose your own online shop or a marketplace, because both variants have their advantages. In order for a new online shop to become a success story, there are a few points to consider in advance. Some EU markets simply offer better conditions for starting an online trade than others.

With the E-Commerce Hub Index, we want to give an overview of the basic conditions in the EU markets. For this reason, we carried out a broad study in which a large number of essential factors for the successful operation of an online store were evaluated for all EU member states.

This included data on the market situation, in the form of sales figures and information on competitors in e-commerce, measured values on the performance of postal and shipping service providers, Internet speed and the cost of renting commercial space. Data on consumers, such as how many consumers shop online or the spread of online banking, as well as information that allowed an assessment of the potential of skilled workers, also contributed to the assessment of the EU markets.

The result of the study is the following comparison list, with the Netherlands, Ireland and Austria leading the way as e-commerce hubs with the best conditions for doing business online.


The aim of the study is to provide an assessment of the local conditions for running an ecommerce business. The object of investigation are all member states of the European Union (as of 2021). For the study, all EU member states were evaluated in four fields of analysis: market, infrastructure, consumers, and skilled workers. A total of 14 influencing factors contribute to the final result of the study. All influencing factors were selected because they can, in their respective form, contribute to the successful operation of an e-commerce business.

A standardisation procedure based on a points system was used to calculate the ranking. This means that the results of the individual influencing factors were standardised on a scale between 0-100. The market that performed best in the selected influencer received a score of 100. The market that performed the worst in the selected influencer received a score of 0. All other markets ranked in between according to their results and also received a score between 0 and 100.

A detailed description of the methodology with influencing factors and all sources can be found by clicking the button below.

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