Austria - Country Commercial Guide

Describes what a company needs to know to take advantage of e-commerce in the local market and covers prominent B2B websites.

Last published date: 2022-09-12

General Overview

Austria ranked as the 23rd largest market worldwide for eCommerce with a revenue of $8.6 billion in 2021, placing it ahead of United Arab Emirates and behind Thailand, according to the Germany industry research firm eCommerce Statista GmbH. eCommerce has grown strongly in Austria since 2000, now occupying an indispensable place in the economic lives of many. Growth is expected to continue at an annual rate of 5% through 2025. The number of Austrian eCommerce users is projected to increase by 15% by 2021 to about 7 million users.

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to fuel growth in eCommerce. During the national lockdowns from 2020 to 2021, Austrian consumers were limited to shopping in person at supermarkets and pharmacies, which resulted in a continuous increase in online retail sales volume by 20% or $1.6 billion in 2021. The “eCommerce Study Austria”, published by the Austrian Retail Association (Handelsverband) shows that in 2021, around 14% of total retail spending by Austrian private households was through eCommerce channels, with the average annual spending of $2,000 per online shopper.

International eCommerce companies dominate the Austrian market with every second Austrian customer ordering from abroad. The domestic on-line stores also benefit from the growing market, but only to a limited extent. Major international eCommerce companies sell into Austria from their headquarters or hubs in larger nearby European markets. heads the list of top 10 Austrian eCommerce players with net sales of $1 billion in 2020 and growth of 15th from 2020 to 2021. Amazon is regionally based in Germany and over the past few years has increased its footprint in Austria with three logistics centers, webservices and R&D offices, as well as a growing offering of Austrian products. Austrian eCommerce company leaders are ($375 million revenue), ($165 million revenue), ($156 million revenue) and ($155 million revenue. Together, these top five online stores account for 41% of online revenue in Austria.

ECommerce in Austria concentrates in five product categories: fashion (28%), electronics & media (28%), toys, hobby & do-it-your-self items (21%), furniture & appliances (14%), and food & personal care (9%).

Legal & Regulatory

As of July 1, 2021, the EU implemented VAT changes for online sales for EU consumers. that should simplify the process for vendors and be more transparent for consumers. All goods entering the EU are now subject to VAT, which eliminates the previous VAT exemption for low-value goods. The EC rules established a “Import One Stop Shop” (IOSS), where eCommerce vendors can streamline their VAT payment obligations for their sales throughout the EU. It allows easy VAT registration in EU and ensures that the correct amount of VAT will be paid to the Member State based on sales location. For more details, please visit

The European Commission has been monitoring the digital progress of the EU Member States through its Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) reports since 2014. This report includes a European-level analysis of broadband connectivity, digital skills, internet use, digitization of businesses, digital public services, emerging technologies, cyber security, ICT sector and R&D spending. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown how important digital assets have become to the economy and how networks and connectivity have allowed daily work to continue. Details about Austria’s digital infrastructure and capacities in DESI 2021 can be found at:

Data Privacy under the guidelines of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation and VAT considerations should be examined when establishing an eCommerce sales channel for Austria. The EU’s VAT system is semi-harmonized. While guidelines are established at the EU level, the implementation of VAT policy is the prerogative of each Member State. The EU VAT Directive allows Member States to apply a minimum 15% VAT rate, with some exceptions. For details on the GDPR and EU eCommerce Directives, please consult the U.S. Commercial European Union Country Commercial Guide and Commercial Service experts at the U.S. Mission to the EU.

Consumer Behavior

71% of online shoppers in Austria research online when planning a major purchase, mainly using smartphones or tablets. Customer reviews are helpful in decision-making. 16% of Austrian consumers use Internet-based personal assistants such as Amazon Echo or Google Home. However, only 60,000 use Alexa & Co. for orders in online trading. When it comes to social media, Austrian online stores mainly use Facebook.

In 2021, almost a third (32%) of online purchases in Austria were paid by credit cards, followed by e-Wallets (20%), bank transfers (14%) and cash (6%). Other payment methods include invoice/installment and SEPA direct debits.

In 2021, about 47% of online shoppers returned at least some of the products they ordered, which is expected to decline significantly in 2022. The reasons for fewer returns include better product data and descriptions, more sustainable customer behavior, faster delivery with accurate information, digitalization of all business processes including the use of the app and active selection process for orders in front of the screen.

Environmentally conscious, sustainable shopping behavior is also becoming an increasingly important topic in eCommerce. The local online buyers pay particular attention to regionality and short delivery routes, opting for more environmentally friendly options when comparing products. Amazon has developed a section in its MarketPlace platform for products from small regional sellers, providing opportunities to serve larger markets.

While most eCommerce orders are delivered directly to the consumer, if offered by the vendor, some consumers opt to pick up products from the store in-person. Leading shipping service providers for eCommerce in Austria are Österreichische Post (57%), Click & Collect (28%), DHL (27%) and the French-owned DPD “Dynamic Parcel Distribution” (20%). Austria’s transportation infrastructure is sophisticated and allows for ease of delivery including in rural regions where one-third of the population lives. Major international logistics firms such as LKW Walter Group, Schenker & Co AG and Kuehne + Nagel AG have bases in Austria.

The Austrian Retail Association offers services and events to encourage eCommerce growth including its annual trade show which was held in a hybrid format in June 2022. Highlights its newly published “eCommerce Study 2022” can be viewed in this link: