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Selling online in the EU part one: A market report for Canadian SMEs

Get guidance and practical information to successfully export your products via e-commerce to the European Union (EU) market. Request of a full copy of our market report at:

Benefits of selling online in the EU

Who should use this guide


The purpose of our market report is to help identify how your business can take advantage of the diverse and growing EU e-commerce market. It will help you:

In particular, our market report answers the following questions:

Get the full report

For a full copy of the market report, please contact

Are you mapping the EU regulations applicable to your company? The Trade Commissioner Service developed a guide to help you identify your regulatory obligations and understand how to comply with them, depending on whether you decide to use on an online marketplace or an independent website.


This guide:

  • provides general information to readers who take full responsibility for its use
  • is not a substitute for professional or legal advice

The Government of Canada:

  • is not responsible for errors or omissions or for results arising from the use of the information in this guide
  • has not verified the contents of third-party websites
  • does not endorse, warrant, promote or recommend any services or products that may be provided or accessed through third-party websites or any person or body that may provide them
  • has not issued or caused to be issued any advertisements that may appear on these websites

List of content for the full report

  1. 1. Getting started
  2. 2. Market highlights
  3. 3. Understanding the EU e-commerce market
    1. 3.1 e-Commerce in Europe Continues to Grow
    2. 3.2 Market Drivers
    3. 3.3 A Diverse Market
    4. 3.4 Impact of COVID-19
  4. 4. Entering the EU market
    1. 4.1 E-commerce Market Entry
    2. 4.2 Choosing an Online Channel
      1. 4.2.1 Should I use a European Online Marketplace?
      2. 4.2.2 Should I sell via an independent website?
    3. 4.3 Selling on an Online Marketplace
    4. 4.4 Choosing an Online Marketplace
      1. 4.4.1
      2. 4.4.2 eBay
      3. 4.4.3 Zalando
      4. 4.4.4 Fnac
      5. 4.4.5 La Redoute
      6. 4.4.6 Allegro
      7. 4.4.7 Darty
      8. 4.4.8 Cdiscount
      9. 4.4.9 Carrefour
      10. 4.4.10 AliExpress
  5. 5. Preparing for business and key challenges
    1. 5.1 Fulfilment Options
    2. 5.2 Returns
    3. 5.3 Digital Marketing and Localisation
    4. 5.4 Payments
    5. 5.5 Achieving Sufficient Customer Service
    6. 5.6 Scaling Operations
  6. 6. Relevant e-commerce services providers and partners
    1. 6.1 Marketplace Integrators
    2. 6.2 Digital Marketing Services
    3. 6.3 Third-Party Logistics Providers
  7. 7. Appendix
    1. 7.1 E-Commerce Checklist
    2. 7.2 Helpful e-Commerce Definitions
    3. 7.3 Trade Commissioner Service Resources

Get help from the Trade Commissioner Service

Please contact the trade section of the Mission of Canada to the European Union at if you have specific questions or are facing issues about an EU-level regulation or legislation. Contact the Trade Commissioner Service for information about business opportunities or potential barriers to trade. Trade Commissioners in one of our 24 offices in the EU will assist you.

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