Austria - Country Commercial Guide
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General Overview

Austria ranked as the 27th largest market worldwide for eCommerce according to eCommerceDB GmbH. The Covid-19 pandemic fueled growth in eCommerce as consumers in Austria were limited to shopping in person only at supermarkets and pharmacies. However, based on the latest “eCommerce Study Austria” published by the Austrian Retail Association (Handelsverband Österreich) in June 2023, the upward trend did not last post-pandemic. Between May 2022 and April 2023, a 3% decrease in average annual spending per online shopper was reported, leading to a total amount of annual spending of about $10.8 billion. A recovery of the online market is expected to be seen by Spring 2024.

At the same time the number of Austrians buying online continuously increases. According to the Austrian Institute for SME Research, a total number of 6.1 million Austrians, mostly 15 years old and above, made online purchases, a 5% increase from May 2022 to April 2023. International eCommerce companies dominate the Austrian market with every second Austrian customer ordering from abroad. 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 in Austria with net sales of $922.4 million in 2022. Amazon is regionally based in Germany and has also increased its footprint in Austria over the past few years with four logistics centers, one webservice office and one R&D office. Other leading eCommerce companies are the German fashion platform ($424 million revenue), followed by ($235 million revenue), then the German consumer electronics platform ($196 million revenue) and ($192million revenue). Twenty-six percent of Austria’s top 100 online stores have active presence on Amazon and 20% on eBay. 

Austrian eCommerce sectors by market shares are divided as follows according to eCommerceDB GmbH: electronic (22.5%), hobby & leisure (20.5%), fashion (19.4%), furniture & homeware (13.7%), DIY (10%), care products (8.9%) and grocery (5%).

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 an “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, cybersecurity, 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. For the DESI 2022 Austria ranked 10th with a score of 54.7, after Estonia and before Slovenia. Details about Austria’s digital infrastructure and capacities in DESI 2022 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

Sixty-four percent of online shoppers in Austria research online when planning a major purchase, mainly using smartphones or tablets. The trend of using smartphones for online purchases continued in 2022, where 23% of online purchases were made via smartphones, amounting to about $800 per person on average. In 2023, there was a 2% decrease in expenditures for this sector.  

Fifty-three percent of online shoppers find customer reviews helpful for decision-making. Twelve percent of Austrian consumers have Internet-based personal assistants such as Amazon Echo or Google Home. However, only 40,000 consumers use Alexa other Internet-based personal assistants for orders in online trading and the number is declining.  

Facebook is the most used social network with 68%, followed by YouTube (67%), Instagram (60%) and TikTok (33%).  

About a third (35%) of online purchases in Austria were paid by credit or debit cards, whereas Mastercard makes up around 80% of the card market share. Other payment methods are bank transfers (32%) with Electronic Payment Systems (EPS), e-Wallets (25%) led by PayPal, and cash (4%). Payments via invoice/installment and SEPA direct debits are also common in Austria. Buy now, pay later services, such as Klarna and Ratepay, only make up for a small share, but are increasing.  

In 2022, about half of all online shoppers returned at least some of the products they ordered. The most frequently returned products are clothing (35%), shoes (18%) and bags & accessories (8%).

Environmentally conscious, sustainable shopping behavior is also becoming an increasingly important topic in eCommerce. This helps domestic online shops as customers 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. According to eCommerceDB, the leading shipping service providers for eCommerce in Austria are Österreichische Post (39%), DHL (26%) Click & Collect (24%), 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 Gebrueder Weiss GmbH, LKW Walter Internationale Transportorganisation AG and Cargo-Partner Group Holding AG have their headquarters in Austria.

The Austrian Retail Association offers services and events to encourage eCommerce growth including its annual Commerce-Day where current trends and challenges in online retail are discussed. The next eCommerce-Day will take place on June 13th, 2024, in Vienna. Highlights of the “eCommerce Study 2023” can be viewed here: