• Jonas S. Müller

Statistics About the E-Commerce Market in Germany

Updated: Aug 14

All of our lives changed quite rapidly over the last decade. The digital technology shapes how we live. Even though Germany might not be the pioneer in digitalization, the digital transformation still also arrived in almost everyone's everyday life in Germany. The current corona crises only increase this trend and seem to have a profound impact in the years to come. Since this trend also shapes how consumers buy their products, we want to show you some interesting statistics about the e-commerce market in Germany.

Germany is the second largest e-commerce market in Europe

The e-commerce market in Germany

The shopping behavior of Germans also became more digital. More and more Germans use the possibility to participate in the electronic marketplace. In 2019, seven out of ten people in Germany had shopped online in the previous three months. Meanwhile, the revenue in e-commerce in Germany reached an all-time high of more than 70 bn Euros in 2019. Normally the revenue would be expected to increase further. What impact the corona crisis has for 2020 is hard to say since the e-commerce industry has struggled in these times as well. However, the crisis will not change the long term upward trend in e-commerce.

As selling online gains relevance and momentum, we want to show you the most important and interesting facts and trends about German's online shopping behavior.

More people in Germany buy online than you would think

This might be surprising for some: Germans shop more online than the EU average. By the way, Germans also buy more online than people in the old, western part of the block. That means that Germany is not only the biggest country in the EU and the biggest economy in Europe but also is a highly relevant market when it comes to e-commerce. In fact, Germany is the second largest e-commerce market in Europe, just behind Great Britain.

Percentage of people who purchased online in the previous 3 months

EU 15: data for 2019 not available

Source: Eurostat [isoc_ec_ibuy]

Online purchases from abroad

Good news for foreign online shops selling to Germany: more and more people in Germany buy from online shops abroad. In 2019, more than one out of three online shoppers bought from foreign online shops while in 2014, only one out of five did that. I will provide more statistics about Germans buying from international online shops in one of my next articles.

Percentage of online shopper in Germany that bought in the previous 12 months from online shops abroad

EU 15: data for 2019 not available

Source: Eurostat [isoc_ec_ibuy]

How often do Germans buy online?

Seventy-three percent (of those who bought over the internet in the previous three months) placed three or more orders online. Thirty-five percent purchased six times or more, while sixteen percent made even ten or more orders.

Frequency of online purchases in the last 3 month of people who bought in the last 3 months online

In Germany, 2019

Source: Eurostat [isoc_ec_ibuy]

How much money do Germans spend online?

This is perhaps one of the most important questions: how much money do people spend online in Germany? Two out of three Germans (who bought in the previous three months online) spent more than 100 Euros at that time, and seventeen percent spent 500 Euros or even more during these three months. This means that online shoppers in Germany also spent quite a pretty amount of money on the online marketplace in Germany.

How much money people who bought in the previous 3 months spent online in the previous 3 months

In Germany, 2019

Source: Eurostat [isoc_ec_ibuy]

Age of online shoppers in Germany

The examination of online shoppers by social-economical segments shows that there is no noteworthy difference among the society, except by age group. Whereas for Germans that buy from online shops abroad we can see some interesting social-economical differences. To find out more about, subscribe the newsletter.

Regarding the age group, we see that, especially among the population younger than 55, many people buy online. Interestingly teenagers buy less online then people above twenty. That might be due to their lower available income. The most active age group is the one between 25 and 34. Nine out of ten Germans between 25 and 34 shopped online in the previous three months. Whereas people older than 54, expectedly, buy less over the internet. Still, almost 60 percent of those between 55 and 64 and a solid 40 percent of people between 65 and 74 shop online.

People who bought in the previous 3 months online, by age group

In Germany, 2019

Line: percentage of people of all age who purchases online in the previous 3 months

Source: Eurostat [isoc_ec_ibuy]

How about the other German-speaking counties Austria and Switzerland?

Having Germany as a targeted country also always comes along with the option to expand to other German-speaking countries. This allows expanding the market to roughly 100 m people in total. Having this in mind, it might be interesting to see how many people in Switzerland and Austria shop online.

Percentage of people who bought in the previous 3 months online in the German-speaking countries

Line: EU 28 (incl. UK)

Source: Eurostat [isoc_ec_ibuy]

Switzerland is a highly interesting country to expand to for online shops who already sell to Germany. The high level of wealth, the low VAT rate of around seven percent, and the high share of people who buy online make it a profitable country to sell too. Unfortunately, the customs procedure makes some preparational and administrational work necessary, which European companies do not have elsewhere in western Europe. For Austria, there might not be such good arguments to export to as for Switzerland. But it is easy to export to Austria as well since they are in the EU.


© 2020 by Müller & Müller Consulting GbR