What do the 5 fastest-growing e-Commerce Companies in Europe have in common?

The Financial Times and Statista have recently shared the FT1000, the 1000 fastest-growing companies in Europe.

While there are many inspiring businesses present, I chose to focus on the top performing e-Commerce companies. The industry is very competitive with a mix of giants and small independent businesses, working to deliver the best digital experience in a personalised way for each consumer.

Looking at the top five e-Commerce companies listed, success has been a result of market awareness, positioning, and understanding the needs and desires of customers. They haven’t reinvented the wheel, but it serves as a reminder of the importance of creating a good brand experience and customer advocates.

The Top 5 Companies

According to the Financial Times, these are the five fastest-growing e-Commerce companies in Europe:

The Modern Milkman

The Modern Milkman is well-named, for it has modernised the traditional UK milk round with online payments and ordering, delivery on schedule for customer convenience, and a wider range of goods delivered. It was founded in 2018 and has expanded across UK, boasting a growth rate of over 7000%.

Plug-In Festivals

This Germany-based business provides a range of outdoor tech including solar panels, power banks and coolers. Also founded in 2018, they were voted one of the Top 10 Online Shops in Germany in 2023.


OnBuy is an online marketplace that connects businesses and merchants with buyers. The differentiator from other marketplaces is the emphasis on reviews from verified buyers and cashback on purchases. The company saw €13 million in revenue in 2022, experiencing over 3000% growth since 2014.


Stoov provides electric blankets and pillows that are compact and rechargeable. It maintains a small team with astronomical growth, boasting €39 million in revenue in 2022.


This Poland-based furniture designer offers a range of furniture made with sustainably-sourced materials. Over 100,000 customers have purchased furniture across Europe, resulting in the company’s 2700% growth since 2017.

I have noticed four key features between these businesses that have contributed to their success. Not every feature is applicable to every company, but these parallels can act as a guide for remaining competitive.

Effective Positioning and Messaging

These businesses haven’t reinvented the wheel but have built better experiences or products for the modern consumer and are explicit about their differentiators in their messaging.

The Modern Milkman offers a modern twist on the traditional milk round with flexible delivery and online payments, wrapped in a sustainable service. Stoov made electric blankets that are portable, with rechargeable batteries and a simple on-off button for wireless warmth. Plug-In Festivals improved outdoor equipment through better technology and messaging around sustainability.

Customers were still buying milk, blankets and power banks without these businesses, but they have grown exponentially through providing a more convenient and modern approach.

Purpose-driven Brands

Most of the businesses demonstrate, as well as articulate, how they are sustainable and are contributing to green efforts.

The Modern Milkman’s founding story comes from being inspired by David Attenborough’s Blue Planet documentary and wanting to do more for the planet. They are also B Corporation certified and proudly boast about how much plastic has been saved through choosing a more sustainable grocery service.

Plug-In Festivals, Stoov and noo.ma all demonstrate sustainability through their products and delivery, such as rechargeability and better energy sources, and local produce.

Businesses should only claim to be sustainable if they can demonstrate it, but the trend from these businesses demonstrates the importance of purpose to consumers. It has been shown that customers are willing to pay more for products and businesses that align to their values, and higher premiums contribute to revenue growth.

Feeding on Customer Aspirations

These businesses subtly but persuasively promote the lifestyle associated with their brand, that taps into the customer’s aspirations and emotions.

noo.ma offers smart and contemporary furniture, displayed in a way that the customer can see fitting into their home and lifestyle. Simple placements of home items such as candles and mugs takes the customer away from a showroom and into the home they aspire to have.

Stoov shows a variety of uses for the products, such as camping or just relaxing at home. Product names such as Big Hug and Homey are emotive and soothing for the customer. They also use user-generated content, particularly of pets enjoying the warmth of the products that makes the brand relatable to many users.

Consumer Trust

Taking just a quick glance at these websites will showcase that they are trusted by thousands of customers.

Plug-In Festivals promotes a recent award in its header banner that it was voted one of the top trusted companies in Germany and has 4.93 stars. Similarly, OnBuy’s reviews are part of its differentiator and boasts 71,000 reviews on Trustpilot to demonstrate its legitimacy.

Consumer trust and social proof is one of the most important aspects of a growth strategy. Customers are more likely to buy from well-recommended companies, and when backed up by modern products and good customer service, brand advocates are created.

I haven’t used any of these products or services personally but can clearly see they are modern, purpose-driven, relatable and trusted brands. That is the power of strong messaging and positioning.

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