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Ecommerce in Germany

Information about ecommerce in GermanyGermany is Europe’s largest economy and after Russia it’s also Europe’s most populous country. After World War II Germany was divided into two different states: West Germany (officially called the Federal Republic of Germany) and East Germany (the German Democratic Republic). The western part sought established links with other Western European countries, while the communist GDR was more connected with countries like the Soviet Union, Hungary and Poland. As of July 2013 it’s estimated 81.1 million people live in Germany, of which 42% is between 25 and 54 years old.

COUNTRY
GERMANY
Population 81.1 million people
– % internet users 85%
Online sales €103.4 billion (predicted for 2020)
Online stores worth mentioning: Otto, Zalando, Mediamarkt

Content:

Ecommerce events in Germany

Every year there are several ecommerce events being organized in Germany. We have a handy ecommerce events calendar, where you can find all the major online retail events in Europe. But you can also check out only the ecommerce events in Germany.

Ecommerce customers in Germany

PAYMENT METHODS – Online shoppers in Germany (47 million in 2015) are keen on using invoice, for years this was their preferred online payment method. A study in 2020 showed that, among consumers who have a preferred payment method, PayPal was the most popular choice. Other popular methods are invoice, credit card, and direct debit.

PRODUCT CATEGORIES – Online fashion is the most popular product category in Germany, followed by consumer media and electronics. Especially in the categories ‘consumer electronics & computers’ and ‘media’ (books, music, movies, video games) German consumers are keener on shopping online instead of shopping offline. According to a study from RetailX, 85 percent of German citizens have shopped online during 2020. And 95 percent of the population has been online that year.

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RETURNS – Germany is known for its high return percentage. Some reports claim that 50% of all orders gets sent back. This is important to know if you want to do business in Germany.

The ecommerce market in Germany

In April 2019, Handelsverband Deutschland shared some interesting statistics about ecommerce in Germany. The market was worth 53.3 billion euros in 2018 and is expected to reach 57.8 billion euros in 2019. Another study, by RetailX, shows that ecommerce in Germany was expected to reach 103.4 billion euros in 2020.

And according to a study from Deutsche Card Services, the east-west difference in German online retailing has vanished. In terms of purchasing activity nowadays there is virtually no disparity between the western and eastern parts of Germany any more.

Development of ecommerce in Germany (2013-2020)
The development of ecommerce in Germany (2013-2020).

Big online stores in Germany

Ecommerce in Germany seems all about two big players: American retailer Amazon and German-founded Otto. They own almost half of the online market, so it’s pretty clear that it’s quite hard for smaller merchants to make a difference. The top 10 online stores in Germany are: Amazon (€8.82 billion), Otto (€2.96 billion), Zalando (€1.3 billion), Notebooksbilliger (€752 million), MediaMarkt (€734 million), Lidl (€594 million), Bonprix (€591 million), Cyberport (€533 million), Conrad (€494 million) and Alternate (€472 million).

Latest news about Germany

Hornbach let store employees deliver online orders

German DIY-store Hornbach saw its online turnover increase significantly during the Covid-19 outbreak in Europe. The company quickly changed its click-and-collect model and also tested a home delivery model where its own store employees took care of the deliveries.

71% of German shoppers want to choose logistics company

More than two thirds of online shoppers in Germany would like to choose which logistics company sends their online order. The most important reason for this is because it enables them to influence the delivery reliability.

Schuhe24 Group partners with Neckermann in Austria

Schuhe24, which sells shoes online from over 2,000 connected retailers in Germany, is partnering with Neckermann in Austria. The cooperation should benefit both Neckermann and the retailers connected to the Schuhe24 Group, which also sells clothing, bags, jewelry, and more.

Otto Group closes German returns-processing facility

Otto Group has announced the upcoming closure of the last returns-processing facility in Germany. The facility is operated by Otto subsidiary Hermes Fulfilment in Hamburg and will be closed down in the second half of next year.

Otto wants its own payment service provider

German ecommerce company Otto wants to found a subsidiary to handle all payment functions. It’s the latest step, and a bold one, in the further development of Otto as an online platform.

Read all our articles about ecommerce in Germany.

Last update: June 2020