E-commerce has shown a lot of growth over the past decade, but Europe is still dominating this growth. The new leading country is the same as the old leading country – the Netherlands, which still tops the B2C E-commerce Index. 

EU ecommerce
© Novikov Aleksey / shares all of this, reporting that Switzerland is in second place, right behind the Netherlands. The only non-European countries in the top 10 are Singapore, in 3rd place, and Australia in 10th place. So how are the countries analyzed? They are scored on their access to secure Internet servers, the reliability of postal services and infrastructure and the country's share of Internet users. Also taken into account are those users who have an account with a financial institution or mobile-money-service provider.

The Development Gap

That's all great news for Europe, filling 80% of the top ten positions on the Index, but this also shows a different development. Shamika N. Sirimanne, director of UNCTAD's unit that prepares the annual index says, "Our B2C index shows how real and worrying the digital gap is between developed and developing countries." For example, in half a dozen European nations, more than 80% of Internet users make purchases online. That proportion is below 10% in most low and lower middle-income countries. Sirimanne goes on to say: "There is an urgent need to help less prepared countries improve their infrastructure and build trust among their population."

Iceland & Sweden, Germany, Australia...

Looking at this year's top 10 further, it can be seen that Iceland and Sweden, as well as New Zealand, have all dropped out. According to UNCTAD, this was due to a decrease in scores for secure servers and postal reliability. Additionally, Sweden also saw a drop in the share of Internet users. Three countries that saw major jumps up into the top 10 were Finland (12th place to 4th), Germany (16th place to 9th) and Australia (11th place to 10th).