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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.

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COUNTRY
GERMANY
Population 81.1 million people
– % internet users 85%
Online sales €57.8 billion (predicted for 2019)
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

Online shoppers in Germany (47 million in 2015) are keen on using invoice, as it is their preferred online payment method. According to a 2013 survey almost six in ten online customers in Germany pay afterwards whenever they’ve ordered something online. But it’s not only invoice that’s popular, 34% of the German customers use credit cards (MasterCard, VISA or American Express). Other online payment methods that are often used are PayPal, ELV, GiroPay, Sofort Überweisung , RatePay and cash on delivery.

Online payment methods in Germany, according to Payvision.
Online payment methods in Germany, according to a 2014 survey by Payvision.

Another study, one from BITKOM, suggests that with 63% invoice is the most important payment method in Germany, followed by online payment services such as PayPal (56%), debit (46%), credit card (29%), immediate transfer/Giropay (26%), payment in advance (24%), cash on delivery (9%).

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 more keen on shopping online instead of shopping offline. According to a study from BITKOM, 65% of German citizens have shopped online during 2012, up from 53 percent in 2008. The current European average is 45 percent. In Germany, 85% of the people have access to the internet.

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.

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.

Online retail sales in Germany (2000-2019). Source: Handelsverband Deutschland
Online retail sales in Germany (2000-2019). Source: Handelsverband Deutschland

 

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

Fiverr.de launched in Germany

Fiverr now offers a German online marketplace. For the platform, which connects businesses with freelancers offering digital services, Germany is the first market outside of the United States. The localized website Fiverr.de wants to give German SMEs, startups and solo entrepreneurs better access to experts from all over the world.

Germany makes destroying products more difficult

The Cabinet of Germany has launched a draft law that is aimed to improve waste avoidance and to increase recycling. For online retailers this means the destruction of products will be more difficult, so they need to find a better way to deal with returns.

Otto Group’s online revenues €8.1 billion in 2019

The Otto Group saw its global online revenues increase to 8.1 billion euros in the 2019/2020 financial year. This is an increase of over 5 percent compared to the situation one year before.

Dutch T-shirt startup Girav launches in Germany

Girav, a Dutch startup specialized in extra long T-shirts for men, is going abroad. The ecommerce company has opened an online store in Germany.

Number of online marketplaces in DACH region more than doubled

The amount of online marketplaces in Germany, Austria and Switzerland has increased significantly in the past five years. In 2015, there were only 81 online marketplaces, but nowadays there’s 173 of them.

Read all our articles about ecommerce in Germany.

Last update: April 2019