Ecommerce in Germany: Opportunity Amidst a Pandemic

Germany hosts Europe’s largest market and, with 83.7 million people, its second-largest inhabitants, after Russia. It is the fifth-largest ecommerce market on earth and the second-largest in Europe, behind the U.K. Eighty-five percent of the population has Internet access. Germany has one of the world’s best-developed logistics infrastructures and navigated the Covid-19 pandemic better than many European nations. It has limited the damage to its economy and provides a stable environment for ecommerce.

To sum up, Germany represents a fantastic chance for internet sales.

According to Statista, which adjusted its forecast to account for Covid-19 impacts, German ecommerce revenues will reach approximately US$82 billion in 2020, a 13 percent increase.

Covid-19 Outcomes

As with other nations, Germany has experienced an uptick in online sales during the pandemic — especially for markets and pharmacy items — and attracted shoppers which weren’t previously regular ecommerce customers. The products that are now flourishing online are food and hygiene products. Online fashion sales have declined.

According to July study from AfterPay Insights, a European pay-after-delivery supplier, German clients continued to shift purchases from offline to online in June.

Seventeen percent of German online shoppers say they shopped online and less in physical stores in June, while 7 percent said they shopped in physical stores and less online. German shoppers say they will buy less overall but will do more of their buying online in July.

Ahead of this pandemic, online-only merchants controlled ecommerce sales. German brick-and-mortar retailers have been slow to establish an online presence but Covid-19 prompted some to establish websites. The huge majority of brick-and-mortar retailers are small businesses with fewer than five employees; before the pandemic they discovered little reason to promote online. A few of those companies have formed small local online marketplaces that collaborate to deliver groceries and other goods locally.

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Online Shoppers

German customers prefer to shop from ecommerce sites in their native language and have a”.de” domainname, according to this”Germany 2020: Ecommerce Country Report” from RetailX. Shoppers prefer detailed product descriptions. Cross-border earnings are lower than in other European countries, with more customers buying from national retailers. In 2019, 37 percent of German consumers bought from vendors overseas according to RetailX, largely from China.

Electronics and apparel/accessories will be the products Germans most frequently purchase online.

Laptops are the most popular devices available on the internet, with 58 percent of shoppers using them in 2019, according to RetailX. Smartphones have overtaken desktop computers to become the very popular method to shop online in Germany, with 49 percent of respondents saying they use smartphones.

Germans like to return matters. Any online merchant selling in Germany should be ready for a high return rate. Apparel yields are approximately 40 percent, as an example. German law requires retailers to provide you with a 14-day return period.

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Payments

Another special part of German ecommerce is the excellent number of customers who pay via invoice. This contrasts nicely with the lenient return policy. Invoicing means that clients can receive and examine their goods without having to pay upfront. They can choose whether they want to maintain or reunite them before paying. In 2019, 81 percent of German firms still provided payment on account or charge.

Gradually, Germans are adapting to electronic payments, however. According to the Ecommerce Foundation, PayPal now accounts for 56 percent of online payments with invoices at 26 percent.

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Important Online Sellers

Marketplaces dominate ecommerce in Germany, accounting for 40 percent of online revenues.

Amazon.de, which functions Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, and The Netherlands, accounts for around 35 percent of the German ecommerce market, according to RetailX. Seventy percent of Amazon.de shoppers pay by invoice, although 67 percent are now also using Amazon Pay and PayPal, according to research by German ecommerce establishment Handlerbund. The estimated annual traffic on Amazon.de is 434.5 million visits.

EBay.de is the second most visited online etailer in Germany, with 25 percent of the total monthly visits and 22 percent of market sales. It, too, offers payment terms through invoice. Another site, eBay Kleinanzeigen, focuses on used goods, memorabilia, and collectibles, which are popular among German consumers. EBay Kleinanzeigen includes a 14 percent share of German market earnings, according to RetailX.

EBay.de has 25 percent of total market visits in Germany and 22 percent of market sales.

Otto. Founded in 1949 as a mail-order company, Otto is the significant German market for sports, home, fashion, and electronics products. It provides roughly two million products from around 5,000 brands, including its own label. The Otto Group operates in over 20 nations. Otto provides personalized support, with customer helplines staffed by real women and men. Furthermore, it conducts a logistics service.

Zalando. Headquartered in Berlin, Zalando offers clothing, shoes, sportswear, and beauty products in 17 European countries. It’s one of the best-known online sites in Germany, especially among females. Merchants and brands selling on the Zalando marketplace are increasing, with 250 signed up on the Zalando Partner Program. The company intends to strengthen its third party sales with Zalando Fulfillment Solutions and Zalando Marketing Services.

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MediaMarkt. Founded in 1979 as a brick-and-mortar Shop, MediaMarkt is a German electronics provider, like Best Buy in the Usa. It now operates in 12 other states.

Notebooksbilliger mostly sells electronics and related media, maintaining a large online market share.

Lidl, a discount supermarket chain offering groceries and other goods, is now a household name across much of Europe. It’s 10,000 stores across Europe and the USA. Its online store sells clothing, sporting goods, and home improvement products along with groceries.

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