menu

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.

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. More tips for ecommerce in Germany can be found at EcommerceWiki.

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

Otto Group: coronavirus has lowered the return rate

The corona crisis has led to a surge in online shopping, but consumers aren’t returning more. That’s what the Otto Group has noticed. It doesn’t have a simple answer to why this is the case, and whether a general trend reversal can be derived from this.

Checkout Charlie expands to Italy and Spain

Checkout Charlie, a German company with many consumer and discount portals, is expanding in Europe again. The business, part of A company of the Media Group RTL Germany, has launched two new voucher portals: Buonisconto.it in Italy and Topdescuento.es in Spain.

Dutch Fonq leaves Germany

Online department store FonQ has left Germany. The Dutch ecommerce company says it wants to focus solely on its profiting businesses in the Netherlands and Belgium instead.

Marley Spoon offers Dinnerly in Germany

Marley Spoon has started offering Dinnerly, its affordable food delivery service, in Germany. The spin-off sells meal kits that starts at 2.99 euros per serving.

Ecommerce shipping in Germany 2020

Online retailers in Germany should better inform their customers about the status of their orders. One in four ecommerce companies only sends a single email after checkout, a study about Ecommerce shipping in Germany shows.

Read all our articles about ecommerce in Germany.

Last update: June 2020