Germany is characterized by a large population and high internet penetration. More than 57 million Germans made purchases online during the last year. A good part of those, more than 50 %, also bought physical products from a foreign country which makes the German market very interesting from a cross-border perspective.
The United Kingdom, US and China are the most popular foreign markets for German online shoppers. Clothing & footwear, followed by home electronics and CDs are the products most frequently bought online from other countries.
According to new figures from BEVH (“Bundesverband E-commerce und Versandhandel Deutschland”), German e-commerce maintained strong double-digit growth during the second quarter of 2016. E-commerce sales of goods increased by 15.8 % between April and June. That means that the growth during the second quarter more or less kept up with the strong 17.7 % increase seen in this year’s first quarter.
The fastest-growing product group in the second quarter was computers/accessories/games, with a 37.7 % increase compared to the same period last year. Clothes/fashion, which is the largest online product group in Germany, grew by 3.5 % which is well in line with the development in other major European e-commerce markets during the second quarter.
One vital thing for e-commerce companies planning to enter the German market to keep in mind is the issue of returns. A majority of German online shoppers consider an easy-to-understand and trouble-free returns process as one of the most important criteria when choosing from where and whom to buy online.
Source: PostNord study “E-commerce in Europe 2016” and BEVH