German e-Commerce Develops well but 13% of Goods are Returned

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German e-commerce market
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The German e-commerce market develops very well. Numbers confirm that: 83% of the population are active e-commerce shoppers. 37% even admits to being frequent shoppers, making at least one purchase a week in the last two months of 2020. Three-quarters of the shoppers indicate that they value home delivery and independence of store opening times. The German consumers also seem to enjoy making use of new technologies: 6% of the online shoppers use wearables to purchases online.

German e-commerce market

German e-commerce trends

Consumer age does not have much influence on the preferred product category as apparel and shoes are a clear winner across all age groups. This is further supported by the overview of the top 5 online stores. These feature two typically strong fashion players: Zalando and Otto. One difference based on age is, however, that seniors active in the e-commerce market buy medicinal drugs more often than others. There are also some gender differences: German women tend to shop more for books, cosmetics, and furniture, while men tend to purchase more electronics. How predictable!

According to Bitkom, German online shoppers return every eighth (13%) online purchase. This obviously brings a big burden to the environment. This number is even more alarming among young consumers between 16 and 29. This age group sends back every fifth purchase. Furthermore, four percent of the returned goods are destroyed. Donating these is an option but would mean paying additional taxes. On the other hand, German consumers are becoming more conscious of the environment. One-third indicates that they already buy second-hand products online and another fourth is seriously considering it.


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Avatar for Lana Buschhoff

Business Development Manager D-A-CH at Icecat

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