Status Quo – Purchasing behaviour of the German people: How does Germany shop online?

This was precisely the question posed by the large online retailer OTTO, which commissioned for this the market research institute Kantar TNS. In a representative study, in which 1,290 individuals aged 18 and over participated, the online shopping behaviour of German consumers was examined taking into account various factors such as gender, age, phase of life and region. One key result was that consumers place more value on punctual delivery than on the actual speed of delivery.

In today’s blog article we offer you a brief overview of the most important results of the above mentioned study.

Purchasing behaviour: What Germans shop for on the web

Nearly three quarters of Germans (72 percent) browse the Internet and buy online.Products and services on the Internet are purchased mainly by younger couples and families, not least because of the simplicity and time savings involved.

The best sellers in eCommerce are clothing and shoes (73 percent), with a clear distribution of roles emerging in online shopping. Where men are more interested in technical products, women prefer more to buy clothing, shoes, beauty products and jewellery. In addition, again compared to the men, they tend to make spontaneous purchases. Products such as clothing, shoes, books, DVDs and CDs are particularly suitable here, but perfume and cosmetics are also ideal items for spontaneous shopping on the Internet.

Spontaneous purchases are very popular

Furthermore, the study makes clear that the emotional state of consumers plays an important role in online shopping and thus influences their purchasing decisions. A total of 74 percent of Germans let their mood guide them towards spontaneous purchases on the net. Younger consumers in particular want to do something good for themselves with online shopping, have a desire for something new or are tempted to make intuitive purchases through their good mood.

In addition, spontaneous purchases can be stimulated by external factors. Certain financial savings may lure consumers into the webshops, such as the offer of coupons or the possibility of free delivery above a certain shopping cart value.

One major advantage of online retail, among other things, is the convenience of shopping from home. This convenience is also reflected in the payment methods used when shopping online, with on-account and PayPal being the preferred payment methods on the Internet. For security reasons, women tend to prefer payment on-account, whereas men prefer to use PayPal for its convenience. Younger consumers are more open to digital payment methods and also use direct debit or immediate bank transfers.

Technology is gladly bought online

About two thirds of the consumers surveyed buy technical equipment on the Internet. Consumer electronics (TV, smartphone, PC) with 69 percent and household appliances (refrigerator, dishwasher) at 62 percent are the most popular categories for online shopping. Not surprisingly, men do more technical shopping than women.

Customers, however, attach far more importance to honest delivery information, such as delivery duration or date, than to the actual speed of delivery. Overall, women are more demanding than men when it comes to assessing service performance – as are families and the elderly.

Secondly, when buying consumer electronics and household appliances online, the preference to buy from an online specialist retailer is now the same as for a universal retailer.

In addition to technical devices, digital content itself is becoming increasingly popular. Around half of all Germans (48 percent) use pay-TV subscriptions, buy/rent music and also stream films/TV series. Innovative devices such as smart speakers are also in great demand, especially among younger audiences.

Although large cities have many shopping opportunities to offer, the study clearly shows that in large cities (from 100,000 inhabitants) more people use their laptops for shoppingthan in the provinces.

Online shopping is long since the norm

The results of the study are summarised as follows by the Director of Marketing and spokesman for the OTTO concernMarc Opelt:

“Online shopping has long since become a matter of course in Germany. This shows that our enjoyment of digitisation, our curiosity for innovations and our ability to change have been rewarded.

At the same time, the study makes clear that we are still a long way from reaching our limits. Customers are increasingly demanding new product groups and technologies. In the near future these will make the shopping experience on the Internet even easier, even more ingenious.”

That retail will change enormously in the future due to increasing digitisation, and what you as an online retailer should absolutely observe, can be read in our blog article “Retail under change: How purchasing behaviour will alter in the future”.

But don’t let the impending changes in purchasing behavior unsettle you.Even if more and more competitors are establishing themselves in online retail, you can still escape the high competitor pressure. Retailers and manufacturers in eCommerce can, after all, easily keep an eye on their market and take the necessary measures at lightning speed to remain competitive. To this end, innovative technologies such as blackbee, collect the necessary market data on the Internet and process it immediately. Its astounding data quality makes blackbeethe market leader in the field of price management and market analysis in eCommerce.

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