German online sales fall 15%

German online sales fall 15%

In German ecommerce, online sales of goods fell 15 percent in the first quarter of 2023. This is mostly the case for fashion items. On the other hand, sales of digital services such as holiday bookings increased by over 28 percent. The food segment remained stable.

Bevh, the German federal association for ecommerce, released the statistics this week. These are the results of a survey under 40,000 Germans aged over 14 about their consumption and spending behavior. Last year, online retail in Germany showed a 5 percent decrease and sales during Christmas dipped for the first time since 2014.

Fashion sales fall over 20%

Between January and March of this year, online sales of goods generated 19.4 billion euros (including VAT). This is a 15 percent dip compared to the same period in 2022, when sales brought in 22.8 billion euros.

The decrease is mostly felt by the fashion segment.

The decrease is mostly felt by the fashion segment: fashion sales including shoes fell by 20,8 percent. In this category, sales of jewelry and watches lowered nearly 30 percent, followed  by car and motorcycle accessories with a 25,8 percent decrease.

Digital services retail grows 28%

On the other hand, sales of everyday goods took the smallest hit with a 3 percent dip. Online food purchases was the only category that remained stable – food sales increased by 3,7 percent in Q1. Digital services, such as ticketing and holiday bookings, continues its upward trajectory after the pandemic: sales increased by over 28 percent to 2,4 billion euros.

‘People are putting off non-urgent purchases’

Although the first quarter typically shows a decline after the holiday season, the numbers are also impacted by political uncertainty, Bevh writes. “The list of political uncertainties not only remains long, more and more are also being created,” Deputy Managing Director Martin Groß-Albenhausen says.

“Online trade will continue to consolidate this year.”

“Online trade will therefore continue to consolidate this year. People are putting off purchases that are not urgently needed, such as fashion, jewelry and entertainment items. It looks better in daily supplies for everyday use at home.”



Jasmijn writes all types of news and background articles with a focus on sustainability in ecommerce.

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