Transatlantic Expansion Strategy: E-Commerce Europe

After reading this article of how a New York based online lingerie company decided to open a subsidiary in Berlin; as part of their expansion strategy, I have decided to take a closer look into investment in the area of fashion e-commerce in Berlin.

In this article the co-founder Guillaume Kretz mentions, “…the shift in market trends had created an opening in Europe…E-commerce in the US is now fragmenting. The big players arrived a while ago and captured most of the market share, but now you can see smaller players that have arrived two or three years ago having a more content arranged strategy, with a more refined target – higher hand clients – rather than a Zalando or Amazon.”

The research firm ThinkTank additionally shows the development of E-Commerce footprint by country in 2012.

Why Germany?

According to a statistic in 2011 Germany’s online sales rose by 7% upgaining the total of €32.4 billion worth of online sales… A stable Internet infrastructure  convinced more than 50% of Internet users to buy online. However, it’s important to note this doesn’t mean that one can invest straight away. On the contrary, it might turn out to be extremely difficult to squeeze into this packed environment, not to mention becoming its leader in any area of e-commerce sales. Though, it’s definitely worth trying!

Additionally it’s interesting to witness that even crisis-hit countries such as Spain are considered an “attractive market”. The B2C Ecommerce sale predicitions are expected to increase.

Another company following the same strategy as the lingerie company is American based According to this article  from, this succesful online shopping platform is planning an exapasion into the European market, which is said to be the largest e-commerce market in the world.

Boom or Bust

So the question is: Are market conditions more favourable for E-commerce companies in Europe. These determinants could be factors:

  • E-commerce companies generally have less competitors than in the US
  • E-commerce growth in US stagnates whereas;
  • E-commerce is still a growing sector in Europe due to improving internet infastructure
  • Increase of Investment in European E-Commerce projects by VCs

The last point is especially important if we look at Berlin.  Many Venture Capitalists have opened new offices to support this e-commerce growth and engineered large fusions with the US main brand. Many see Europe as a market opportunity in the technology and e-commerce sector. In this article  Philippe Collombel, a partner at Partech, said he was looking forward to tapping into Berlin’s potential: “We want to grasp more opportunities in one of Europe’s most vibrant and fastest growing technology hubs and in Germany as a whole. Partech is the first international top-tier venture capital firm to open an office in Berlin and we look forward to becoming even more deeply rooted in the city’s flourishing startup community.”



  1. Hey Taona! A perfect mix between illustrations, text and quotes. You provided interesting evidence for your arguments – easy to understand and follow.
    I found an article about a tool (unfortunately in German 😉 ) used in prediction of e-commerce sales: “e-KIX” ECC Konjunkturindex des IFH (Institut für Handelsforschung).
    Here the link:
    You can detect that it is still hard to predict sales and economic situations in e-commerce.
    The current situation and the prediction still form a wide gap:(
    And i found a fancy infographic, see:
    The topic: How mobile trends are shaping e-commerce?

    Just thought that might help you with your further research.

  2. Yeah it´s quite hard saying what the future might bring. I just stumbled across a research project that was done by the Vodafone Group: They brought together some very smart people in the field of politics, economy and technology. Things that were adressed are population growth, climate change, transportation, a cash-less society and the development of the economy. One professor that was interviewed, mentioned, that the traditional retail-model was going to disappear more and more. If you think about it, it would also be better for the Environment if less capacity is used by retail or wholesale stores.
    Nobody can say what will happen in the future, but it makes me smile, seeing, that sometimes we are absolutely wrong: Thomas Watson, CEO of IBM in 1943: “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers”

    I like your post, rich in content and visually very appealing:)

  3. If anyone is interested in the Future Agenda by the Vodafone Group, just found a link here:

  4. Thank you for your input. It definitely gives me a new perspective on how to further approach my research process. I will check the links out 🙂

  5. […] a previous writing Transatlantic Expansion Study in which I looked at different digital strategies used by ecommerce companies in the US and Europe; […]

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