German e-commerce has grown its turnover 44 % in the past quarter. The Bundesverband des Deutschen Versandhandels expects total spending for 2013 to reach 39.8 billion euro.
Yearly growth also 44 %
If that prediction holds out, it will mean that the full-year growth of German e-commerce will also be at 44 %, one of the fastest growing markets in the European Union and even higher than last year's 27 % increase.
Online purchases make up the large majority of German distance purchases, with 83 %: catalogue sales only represent slightly more than 8 billion euro. Prior to 2009, catalogue sales still outweighed online sales, but that is no longer the case.
6th online retail country worldwide
According to the recently published A.T. Kearny’s Global Retail E-Commerce Index, Germany is the sixth largest e-commerce nation in the world. It is qualified as a “growing online dynamo” and the report expects it to have a faster online sales growth than the rest of Western Europe up until 2017.
The report also believes the German online turnover will continue to increase 12 % every year until 2017. Of its 81 million inhabitants, 83 % have an internet connection and 77 % already purchased online at least once. These consumers also know how to search and compare online, with an average German spending 1.5 hours online every day, using comparison sites like Idealo and Günstiger quite frequently.
Social media and multichannel
Although A.T. Kearny feels German social media are lagging behind, with merely 43 % using social media to stake out a potential purchase, German retailers are catching up and focusing on several types of social media.
A prime example is Germany-based multinational Adidas, who extensively uses social media in its multichannel strategy. Its 10 ‘Adidas Neo’ stores, targeting 14 to 19-year-olds, use touch screen items and social media in the store before they do a purchase.
Amazon has been in Germany for 15 year
The presence of several prominent online retailers and traditional retailers with online ambitions and deep pockets has helped Germany become one of the world’s largest e-commerce markets. Amazon also strategically targets Germany, ever since it had already entered the German market 15 years ago through the purchase of German bookseller Telebuch.
Amazon and German Otto now represent half of Germany’s online retail market, but newcomers like Zalando and traditional parties like MediaMarkt and Saturn (both belonging to Metro Gruppe) are now crashing the party. MediaMarket has bought online competitor Redcoon in 2011, leading to a large, promising market with strong competitors. That should improve Germany’s online momentum, a fight that will become increasingly competitive the next few years.
(Translated by Gary Peeters)