E-commerce in Germany: Facts and Figures 2016


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E-commerce in Germany is in continuous growth and while large German retailers dominate the market, there is still space for small e-commerce players to make their mark. The top 10 e-commerce websites make up a quarter of online revenue, while 5 years ago this figure corresponded to just one fifth1.

Let’s take a look at some of the key facts and figures for the German market in 2016.

e-commerce-germany-2016-facts-figures

E-commerce in Germany

Great potential for e-commerce in Germany

Germany has 80.69 million habitants (2016 figures), and of these, 89% use the internet2.

Internet use in Germany

internet-use-germany-2016

E-commerce growth and market share

According to We Are Social, 74% of German Internet users made a purchase online in 20153. These sales contributed to a sales growth of 23.1% in 2015, which is expected to increase by 18.3% in 20164. This growth is visible on the retail trade market, on which online sales represented 12% in 2015. This figure is expected to increase to 14% in 20164 states Retail Research.

Online share of retail trade in Germany

online-share-retail-trade-germany-2016

Online retailers

Top e-commerce sites in Germany

Although international players are in the top 2 places, Otto, MediaMarkt, Lidl and Conrad also feature in the top e-commerce website ranking, showing that Germans are generally loyal to their own market5.

top-websites-ecommerce-germany-2016

German consumer behaviour

What do German consumers buy?

Clothing, books and home electronics are the most popular product categories in Germany6.

Top product categories in Germany

top-product-categories-ecommerce-germany-2016

Cross-border e-commerce and Germany

53% of German Internet users bought a product from a foreign country in 2015⁶, which is actually quite high when compared with other European countries.  When purchasing abroad, German consumers are more likely to buy a product from the UK, the United States or China.

Top 3 countries German consumers buy from  

cross-border-commerce-germany-2016

Logistics and German e-commerce

Top delivery methods in Germany

According to Metapack, home delivery is by far the most popular delivery method (92%) followed by delivery to a pick-up point (21%) and click-and-collect (20%)7.

Top 3 delivery methods
top-delivery-methods-germany-2016

Top payment methods

Bevh states that the top payment method in Germany is credit or debit card (29% of transactions)8  followed by invoices and digital payments in second and third place respectively.

Top online payment methods

top-payment-methods-germany-2016

M-commerce

M-commerce in Germany

There are 107.6 million mobile connections in Germany, which is equivalent to 133% of the population2. According to eSales4u, 63.4% of the top 1000 online stores have adapted their site for mobile devices and 40% of pure players have a mobile-optimised website or a dedicated application9.

Number of mobile connections

mobile-connections-ecommerce-germany-2016

E-commerce traffic on mobile

When comparing mobile traffic, we can see that smartphones take the majority with 56%, while tablets come in at 44%10.

Share of mobile traffic per device

smartphone-vs-tablet-germany-ecommerce-2016

Online advertising and e-commerce in Germany

Share of digital ad spend

In 2015, digital ad spending represented 27.8% of total media ad spending in Germany. eMarketer expects this to increase to 31.8% by 2019.

Share of digital in total media ad spend

digital-ad-spending-germany-2016

What challenges are online retailers to face in Germany?

There are several points to take away from the German e-commerce market:

  • The majority of revenue (24.95 million euros) goes to large marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay, followed by multi-channel sellers (13.97 million euros) and pure players (6.3 million euros)8.
  • Physical contact remains important in commerce, and this is exactly why more and more online shops are opening (or plan to open) a physical store1.
  • The most important buying criteria for Germans are: simple returns, low prices and fast delivery6.
  • Data exploitation is opening up many possibilities for personalisation in 2016. However, with a general lack of knowledge and time being a key issue, many online retailers are turning to automated solutions.

Sources

[1] Süddeutsche Zeitung: Online allein reicht nicht
[2] We Are Social: 2016 digital Yearbook
[3] We Are Social: Digital in 2016
[4] Retail Research: Online Retailing: Britain, Europe, US and Canada 2016
[5] Similar Web: Website Ranking
[6] Postnord: E-commerce in Europe 2015
[7] MetaPack: Delivering Consumer Choice: Report
[8] Bevh: Aktuelle Zahlen zum Interaktiven Handel
[9] eSales4u: Studie zum E-Commerce-Markt Deutschland 2015
[10] Twenga Solutions: M-Commerce in Europa 2015
[11] eMarketer: How does global digital ad spending vary by region and industry?

ecommerce-europe-2016

E-commerce in Europe 2016

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