The latest figures from the Handelsverband Deutschland Retail Association in Germany show a reversal in the growth rate of e-commerce in Germany compared to the past few years.
According to research data from the e-Commerce Foundation, Germany’s e-commerce market has been hovering at 11% and 12% per cent over the past few years, but growth appears to be beginning to slow.
Last year, Germany’s B2C e-commerce industry was worth 53.3 billion euros and is expected to grow 8.5% this year, according to the Handelsverband Deutschland Retail Association. If that happens, the value of e-commerce in Germany will reach € 57.8 billion by the end of this year.
Across Germany’s retail sector, companies remain divided over the nature of its growth.
Of the companies surveyed, 35% expect sales to fall in 2019, 32% expect sales to grow, and the remaining 33% expect total retail sales to stagnate.
But when asked about online sales expectations for the multi-channel industry, 64 percent expected growth, while only 11 percent thought sales would fall this year.
Although Germany’s e-commerce industry is expected to grow by 8.5% this year, physical retail is expected to grow by only 1.3%.
The most popular payment method in Germany
Germany is Europe’s largest economy, with a population of 80 million, nearly 20 million more than the UK, a per capita GDP of nearly $50,000 trillion, an internet penetration rate of 83%, an online purchase of 81% people and a per capita online purchase of 726 U.S. dollars.
According to Eurostat data, online shoppers account for 60% of Germany’s 16-74-year-old population, higher than the EU average, ranking second behind Denmark.
In Germany, online shopping users (47 million in 2015) are keen to use invoices, so this is their preferred way to make their own payments. In Germany, nearly a 60% of online consumers pay after a net purchase, according to a 2018 survey.
In addition to invoices, credit cards are popular among online shoppers in Germany, accounting for 34% of these customers, who often use MasterCard, VISA or American Express. Other popular online payment methods include PayPal, ELV, GiroPay, Sofort Uberweisung, RatePay and cash on delivery.
Another study by BITKOM showed that although PayPal is widely used in Germany, invoice is the most important payment method in Germany, accounting for 63%, that is, after receiving the payment notice from the seller, consumers pay according to the above amount and account number.
This was followed by online payment services such as PayPal(56%), followed by debit CARDS (46%), credit CARDS (29%), instant transfer /Giropay(26%), prepayment (24%), and cash on delivery (9%).
It is reported that 58% of online buyers in Germany are first after the order to pay. In addition, 34% of Germans are used to paying with credit cards, including MasterCard, Visa and American Express.
Germany’s most popular e-commerce products
Online fashion is the most popular category in Germany, followed by consumer media and electronics.
Especially in “consumer electronics and computers” and “media” (books, music, movies, video games), German consumers are more interested in shopping online than offline.
According to the data, 47% of German online buyers like to buy books, movies, music and games on the internet, 43% will shop for clothes, 41% will buy consumer electronics on the net. It’s worth noting that 61% of German consumers in 2017 said they had bought at least one book through mobile device purchases.
According to a BITKOM study, 65% of germans posted shopping online in 2012, up from 53% in 2008. The average Internet penetration rate in Europe is 45 per cent, compared with 85 per cent in Germany.
Local logistics in Germany
Nine out of 10 germans like home delivery, and how and when it is delivered is crucial to them.
83% of consumers said they would decide whether to buy the same product based on the seller’s logistics evaluation. Moreover, 55% of consumers believe that standard delivery times (3–5 days) should be free of postage.
The main local logistics suppliers in Germany include Depost, DHL, DPD and so on. From Germany to the major EU countries generally 2-7 days can be reached, Germany’s local delivery of goods is generally 1-3 days.
In 2017, the top 10 B2C online retailers in Germany (ranked by revenue) were: