PostNord/Direct Link has conducted studies of the European e-commerce market since 2014, presenting its findings in the report “E-commerce in Europe”. The report is based on interviews with consumers in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. In a series of blog posts, we will take a closer look at the individual e-commerce markets covered by this year’s “E-commerce in Europe 2018”.

Focus on Germany

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Germany is one of the largest e-commerce markets in Europe. In terms of online consumers, it is in fact the largest market with around 41 million active e-shoppers. The country has a strong tradition of distance-selling and mail orders, yet at the same time, its Internet penetration still lags behind the most successful e-commerce countries. This in turn means that there is still a large potential for growth as more consumers get connected and do their shopping online. The products most commonly bought online in Germany are clothes & footwear, home electronics and books.

Efficient deliveries important

The factors that German consumers value most highly in their choice of online shop differ somewhat from most other European markets. In Germany, price is less important than in all other countries in the survey. To Germans, the most important factor is transparency regarding an order’s total cost. Furthermore, they also look for speed and efficiency in deliveries. Few Germans demand same-day delivery, but it must not take more than three days according to a majority of online consumers.

Highest levels of returns

German consumers have the highest levels of returns among the countries studied in this report: 53 percent say that they have made at least one return during the past twelve months. The most returned category is, not surprisingly, fashion goods followed by home electronics and sports & leisure products.

The new 2018 report can be ordered free of charge.

Olof Källgren, Market Information Manager, Direct Link

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