What Does the E-commerce Market in Germany Look Like?



What Does the E-commerce Market in Germany Look Like?d-tags
11 January 2023
Do you want to go international? Are you wondering which market will be the most suitable for your online store? Germany is a country with 84 million people, where almost everyone uses the internet and shops online. What is Germany's e-commerce market size and what to pay attention to when planning your marketing activities there?



Table of contents:

Germany’s E-commerce Market

Let's begin with answering the very first question that comes to mind when talking about e-commerce - is online shopping even popular in Germany? Yes, e-commerce in Germany is popular and doing well. As many as 94% of Germans actively use the internet, and 83% of them buy something online at least once a year. So, how many people exactly use e-commerce in Germany? With a population of around 84 million people, almost 69 million Germans are shopping online - that's a big market with great opportunities to explore. And how often do Germans shop online? In 2020, according to Statista - 29% of German consumers shopped online at least once a week, and 31% at least once a month. There is no doubt that Germans like shopping online and that investing in this market if done right, can be very profitable. One of the best channels to reach potential customers are social media platforms - 78.7% of Germans use them regularly. Every day, an average German spends almost 5.5 hours online, so you have a lot of time to attract their attention. To make sure you have a great start in the German e-commerce market we dived deeper into the details.

German E-commerce Market Size

The e-commerce market in Germany is steadily growing each year, reaching €99 billion in 2021. [caption id="attachment_50917" align="aligncenter" width="750"]german ecommerce market size every year Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/434303/consumer-goods-e-commerce-revenue-germany/[/caption] Compared to the year 2020, revenue increased by 19% in 2021, which is a bigger growth than a year before - 14.6 percent. This trend is predicted to continue, as e-commerce is growing in popularity everywhere in the world, and German market is not an exception to this rule.

German E-buyers

If you consider selling on the German market, you should keep cultural differences in mind. Trust, loyalty, familiarity, quality, and security are core values for German customers. As reliable traders are loved by German citizens, international sellers should strive to adapt their online stores to local communities (i.e. e-commerce website domains should have a national .de extension). Apart from that, each website should include details about its owner in the footer. Quality marks, badges, certificates - all these elements should attract German buyers. Note that according to German law, consumers have the right to return unwanted goods within 14 days for a specific reason. This applies to almost all goods. Items that aren’t subject to returns are custom-made products, hygiene products, e-books, games, CDs/DVDs, and event tickets. You have to expect that the number of product returns in Germany will certainly be higher than in countries without such regulations. ecoomerce in germany

What Devices Do German Customers Use?

Mobile is very important here. There are more than 112 million active smartphones in Germany and 95% of people use them. If your online store isn't mobile-friendly, it's high time to optimize the website, UX and UI. These should be your first steps before going international. Apart from smartphones, Germans use:
  • laptops and desktops (83.8%)
  • tablets (52.7%)
  • game consoles, e.g. Playstation, Xbox (37.9%)
  • smart TVs (24.3%)
  • smartwatches and smart bands (23.9%)
Any conclusions? Before launching your first SEO and PPC campaigns in the German e-commerce market, test your store on various devices. Check the entire customer journey path from site entry through the purchase process and order finalization. Make sure that no one leaves your e-store because of 404 errors, or unreadable messages. Why do you need this information? Because it’ll help you optimize your online store and test implemented solutions before you interact with e-customers. Which web browsers are most commonly used in Germany?
  • Google Chrome (48,4%)
  • Safari (22,1%)
  • Firefox (11,9%)
  • Microsoft Edge (5,9%)
  • Samsung Internet (5,6%)
  • Opera (3,4%)
  • Internet Explorer and others (2,7%)
When it comes to search engines, this market (similarly to other corners of the world) is dominated by Google. More than 91% of people in Germany use this search engine. Bing (5.34%), Ecosia (1.12%), DuckDuckGo (0.9%), and Yahoo (0.72%) are next in the ranking. 98.8% of Germans use at least one of these once a month, and 23.9% of them use voice search.
Need help with optimizing your website for the German market? Check out how to do SEO in Germany!

Germans' Favorite Payment Methods

How do German customers pay for online purchases? The statista.com data from 2020 may be surprising. PayPal and similar online payment methods come first, with 48% of the market share. Next, we have invoices, traditional transfers (21%), and debit cards (19%). According to data from the "European E-commerce Report 2019" 77% of customers in Germany prefer Deutsche Post DHL, the national carrier that delivers postal and courier shipments and has its own Packstation parcel machines. Personal pickup (21%), UPS (16%), DPD (15%) and GSL (7%) are other popular options chosen by German e-customers.

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Germany's Biggest E-commerce Stores

Where to look for inspiration when it comes to German online stores? Who is the absolute top of the top in Germany's e-commerce market? According to ecommercedb.com, the biggest .de online stores are:
  • Amazon.de
  • Otto.de
  • Zalando.de
  • MediaMarkt.de
  • Lidl.de

What Do German People Buy the Most?

The fashion segment has the greatest potential for online sales, according to Statista. German internet users spend a lot on clothes. Electronic and telecommunication goods are also very popular. Computers, mobile devices, and software are also in the ranking. These aren't surprising choices, as we see similar preferences in other European countries. fashion segment in germany ecommerce market

What Social Media Platforms Do Germans Use?

Here's the data from the Digital 2021 Germany report from Hootsuite: e-commerce in germany social media WhatsApp is the leader here (79.6%). It clearly wins over Facebook's Messenger (37.3%). In addition, Germans  use social media such as:
  • YouTube (74,8%)
  • Facebook (60,0%)
  • Instagram (46,9%)
  • Pinterest (26,8%)
  • Twitter (22,8%)
Recently LinkedIn has also been gaining increasing recognition. The same applies to TikTok which is used by 18.2% of people. Nevertheless, its reach is still growing.

What are Other Channels for Reaching Customers?

It turns out that TV and search engines have the greatest potential when it comes to influencing the customers' purchase decisions. germany ecommerce market canals

E-commerce in Germany - The Takeaway

What Challenges Do Online Stores in GermanyFace? According to experts, e-commerce is gaining popularity due to the continuous improvement of UX (user experience). Apart from that, cashless payments are simply convenient. Thanks to them, the purchasing process is efficient. Buyers don't have to go to their bank accounts. The customer can pay the entire amount right away, postpone the payment or pay it in installments. German customers value easy returns, low prices, and fast delivery. This is exactly what e-commerce platforms should focus on if they want to attract attention and satisfy Germans. German tycoons offer safe and instinctive purchasing of goods, smooth and fast checkout, and intuitive platforms. Germany is one of the top e-commerce markets in Europe and should be seen as such by growth-oriented international e-commerce owners. Although Germany's e-commerce market is demanding, it gives huge opportunities to online store owners.

Find out how we can help you with international SEO services - let's conquer new markets together!

Earning the trust of German customers can take time and is quite a challenge, but your efforts will translate into satisfied customers who will be loyal to your brand for years to come. Also, before you enter the German market, do a thorough analysis. If you find opportunities for your online store, tailor the shopping experience to German customers. German e-commerce market is highly competitive, but those online sites that evolve and adapt to consumer needs can successfully join the European e-commerce market leaders. To ensure success in the German market get help from professionals! We have experience in working in the e-commerce German market  -  our clients have spectacular results thanks to our SEO efforts. But, don't just take our word for it - check the case studies that prove our expertise: Endera, Superloko, SolovelyBox. Let us know what are your plans and we can make them happen, together!
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Delante is an online marketing agency specialized in generating website traffic from search engines and paid ads (SEO / SEM). Over 80% of our clients are from rapidly growing e-commerce industry.

Logo Delante

Delante is an online marketing agency specialized in generating website traffic from search engines and paid ads (SEO / SEM). Over 80% of our clients are from rapidly growing e-commerce industry.

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