Ecommerce in Germany: Opportunity Amidst a Pandemic

Germany hosts Europe’s biggest market and, with 83.7 million people, its second-largest inhabitants, after Russia. It’s the fifth-largest ecommerce marketplace in the world and the second-largest in Europe, behind the U.K. Eighty-five percentage 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 market and provides a stable environment for ecommerce.

In summary, Germany represents a fantastic chance for online sales.

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Based on 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 Effects

Like other nations, Germany has experienced an uptick in online sales during the pandemic — particularly for groceries and pharmacy items — and brought shoppers that weren’t previously regular ecommerce clients. The products which are now flourishing online are hygiene and food products. Online fashion sales have declined.

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

Seventeen percent of German online shoppers say they shopped online and not as in physical stores in June, while 7 percent said they shopped more in physical shops and less online. German shoppers say they will buy less overall but will do more of the purchasing online in July.

Ahead of the pandemic, online-only merchants controlled ecommerce sales. German brick-and-mortar retailers have been slow to set up an internet presence but Covid-19 prompted some to establish sites. The vast majority of brick-and-mortar retailers are small companies with fewer than five employees; prior to the pandemic they found little reason to market online. Some of those businesses have formed small local online marketplaces that collaborate to deliver groceries and other products locally.

Online Shoppers

German customers prefer to shop from ecommerce websites in their native language and have a”.de” domainname, based on 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 purchased from vendors overseas based on RetailX, largely from China.

Electronics and apparel/accessories are the goods Germans most often purchase online.

Laptops are the most popular devices available online, with 58 percent of shoppers using them in 2019, based on RetailX. Smartphones have overtaken desktop computers to become the next most popular way to shop online in Germany, with 49 percent of respondents stating they use smartphones.

Germans like to return things. Any online merchant selling in Germany should be ready for a high return rate. Apparel yields are approximately 40 percent, for instance. German law requires retailers to offer you a 14-day return interval.

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Another special aspect of German ecommerce is that the great number of customers who pay via invoice. This contrasts well with the lenient return policy. Invoicing means that customers can receive and analyze their goods without needing to pay upfront. They can choose whether they would like to maintain or return them before paying. In 2019, 81 percent of German companies still provided payment on account or bill.

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

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Important Online Sellers

Marketplaces dominate ecommerce in Germany, accounting for 40 percent of online revenues., which functions Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, and The Netherlands, accounts for about 35 percent of the German ecommerce marketplace, based on RetailX. Seventy percent of shoppers pay by bill, although 67 percent are currently also using Amazon Pay and PayPal, based on research by German ecommerce institution Handlerbund. The estimated yearly traffic on is 434.5 million visits. is the second most visited online etailer in Germany, with 25 percent of their total monthly visits and 22 percent of market sales. It, too, offers payment terms via bill. Another website, 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 sales, based on RetailX. has 25 percent of overall market visits in Germany and 22 percent of market sales.

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

Zalando. Headquartered in Berlin, Zalando offers clothes, shoes, sportswear, and beauty products in 17 European countries. It is one of those best-known online websites in Germany, particularly among females. Merchants and brands selling on the Zalando market are increasing, with 250 signed up on the Zalando Partner Program. The business intends to bolster 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 supplier, like Best Buy in America. It currently operates in 12 other states.

Notebooksbilliger primarily sells electronic equipment and associated media, keeping a large online marketplace share.

Lidl, a discount supermarket chain offering groceries and other products, is now a household name across much of Europe. It’s 10,000 shops across Europe and the USA. Its online shop sells clothes, sporting goods, and home improvement products in addition to groceries.

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