E-commerce & Shopping Trends of Germany

Across many fields, Germany is a force to be reckoned with, so it comes as no surprise that their economy and e-commerce are also attracting a great deal of interest from business owners looking for growth. Germans were among the first to recognize the potential and importance of e-commerce, and the country is now the 5th largest market for e-commerce in the world with revenue of US$88 billion.

With your business acumen and our international shipping expertise here at PackageHopper by MyUS, take the next step in expanding your business into Germany and flourishing in a country that takes e-commerce seriously.

E-commerce Is Essential for Germans

A fast and busy lifestyle means they don’t have the luxury of going from store to store physically as much as they’d like, so many German shoppers use the Internet to do their shopping. They have one of the biggest percentages of online shoppers with 82% of the total population buying something online at least once. Especially during the pandemic, 29% of Germans shopped online every week during the lockdown in 2020. The number of e-commerce users is expected to reach over 71 million by 2023, so now is a great time to secure your place  and make sure shoppers recognize your brand everywhere. 

What Do They Like to Buy?

People aged 25-44 make up the largest consumer group, and their favorite categories are as follows: Fashion and Media and Electronics share the first place with 26% of the e-commerce revenue each, followed by Hobbies, DIY and Toys with 21%. The 3rdand 4th places go to Furniture and Appliances with 14% each, and finally Food and Personal Care make up the remaining 13%.

When it comes to markets, amazon.de is the most visited website by far with revenue of US$15.8 billion in 2020. 

Second in line is the German website otto.de, often dubbed the German version of Amazon as it offers everything from sewing supplies to bathtubs and appliances. As #2 in revenue, its revenue for 2020 was US$4.2 billion. 

Third, with US$2.1 billion in revenue, is the online store zalando.de, which makes most of its revenue from apparel, as well as the food and personal care sections. 

Clothes and shoes are the most purchased products with 58%, while groceries trail behind a little with 18%.

German citizens also like to buy from influencers and small businesses on Instagram, Facebook, eBay, Etsy, YouTube, and Pinterest. In other words, they love supporting small businesses and niche brands! In fact, 29% of the total yearly revenue comes from small businesses, so if we take into consideration the US$72 billion revenue of 2020, that means UD$20.88 billion came from small businesses. That amount of money should be a sign for you to start planning your shipping there with us.

One of the Best Economies in the World 

Germany is a capitalist country that has a highly-developed social market economy (also known as Rhine capitalism). It is the largest economy in Europe, and 4th largest in the world by nominal GDP (US$4.31 trillion). Around 2/3 of the leading trade fairs in the world take place in Germany, making it the world’s top business location. 

This sort of economy gives people of all social classes an equal chance to earn their bread and climb higher by learning and improving themselves, and thus improving their chances of landing better paid jobs.

Devices and Payment Methods Preferred 

Seems like nothing can top laptops and desktops computers for German e-commerce users. One advantage is a larger screen to see products clearly and ensure compatibility with their country so all orders go through. Statistically, 58% of online shoppers buy their goods from laptops, while the rest (42%) use mobile phones and tablets.  

Unlike shoppers from other countries, Germans still prefer the old ways of using invoice as a payment method. In fact, it is still one of the most popular payment methods (used by 22%), but now it holds the honorary second place, with e-wallets taking the throne at 41%. Only 16% of German shoppers use cards to pay for their online purchases, 7% use bank transfer, and 1% pay in cash upon delivery. 

Duties, Taxes, and Packaging

As a shipper, it is your obligation to prepare the items accordingly, and describe them accurately for customs officers. It’s best that you describe them in as much detail as possible, and provide the correct value of the item(s) as each package is inspected thoroughly to comply with import regulations. Please note that items may be prone to taxes even if they’re listed as gifts.

To avoid any unwanted and awkward situations, check our list of restricted and prohibited items, and we encourage you to read the country’s list on their official website as well.
It is always recommended to respect the laws and rules because that is your best chance that customs will not return your shipment. However, we’ll be happy to help you if you have any questions about whether you can ship something, and we’ll inform you in case an item needs to be returned to you. Just reach out to the PackageHopper team! We’re here to simplify the process.

German Shopper Expectations 

A busy lifestyle means German shoppers don’t like to wait for their orders for too long. Fast shipping is very important for them, and nearly 80% of them expect their packages within 3 days. Also make note that 60% of online shoppers will not buy an item if shipping is too expensive. Here’s where PackageHopper comes in—we deliver for you at the best rates and speed!

Shoppers also care about the quality of items, with 71% of shoppers who need to know details about what they are buying. It’s always recommended that you have the best description and photos available on your website or the platform you’re selling through.

About 23% of Germans prefer fast delivery and 35% want to be able to choose the exact time of delivery. People’s preferred pickup places are at home and at the office, and (rarely) a pick-up location. With our accurate tracking system, open communication, and amazing carriers, your customers will get the best when shopping from your store.
Don’t hesitate to start taking orders from German shoppers, you’ve got this. And PackageHopper has got your back in affordable international shipping and getting through the process seamlessly!

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