European online retail sales will reach €233.9 billion by 2018, up from €134.9 billion in 2013 – reflecting a 12% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next five years, according to a new Forrester forecast. While clothing will continue to be the largest online sales category in Europe, online grocery will be the fastest-growing, surpassing consumer electronics to become the second-largest category by 2018. 

Of the 17 countries included in the forecast, the UK, France, and Germany will continue to have the highest proportion of total retail sales coming from online sales. The predicted online sales growth across Europe is driven by a combination of the increasing number of consumers that buy online and retailers enabling improved eCommerce experiences.

“Western European online retail sales growth will continue to outperform overall retail sales through to 2018 and will increasingly come from sales completed over mobile devices like smartphones and tablets,” says Forrester analyst Michelle Beeson in her blog post on the forecast.