Free delivery an exception in DACH

Free delivery an exception in DACH

Only a fraction of online retailers in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland offer free delivery for online orders. The largest group of sellers charges shoppers an average of between 2 and 5 euros for shipping.

This is according to recent research on shipping and return management by the German retail institute EHI. Out of the 81 established online retailers examined in the DACH region, only 4 do not charge shipping fees.

Shipping costs

For 3 retailers , shipping costs average below 2 euros, the largest group of sellers (47, or 58 percent of the total) charge an average of between 2 and 5 euros, 38 providers (47 percent) charge an average of between 5 and 10 euros. A handful of retailers charge shoppers more than 10 euros for shipping.

A handful of retailers charge shoppers more than 10 euros for shipping.

So, free shipping is far from the norm; it is an exception in the DACH region. The same study by EHI also highlighted that avoiding returns is a significant focus for online retailers in the three countries mentioned.


In a statement, EHI relates its research results to the current headwinds for online retailers. According to the institute, they must “examine their processes and cost structures and optimize them if necessary”. After all, “after long periods of growth for online retail, the current forecasts are far from optimistic”.

‘Forecasts for online retailers are far from optimistic.’

Online product spending in Germany experienced a double-digit decline for the first time last year, recently reported by the Bundesverband E-Commerce und Versandhandel Deutschland.

Delivery fee focus

Meanwhile, consumers are also watching their spending, as evidenced by this week’s published Ecommerce Delivery Benchmark Report 2024, based on extensive research into eight major online markets, including Germany and four other European countries. Consumers prioritize delivery fees over speed, convenience, tracking, and sustainability, according to the Auctane study.



Arjan van Oosterhout has been contributing to Ecommerce News Europe since the spring of 2023. He writes news articles for the website on a freelance basis.

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