The German market is vast: It has the highest population in the EU with over 83 million inhabitants and presents an opportunity for e-commerce brands to acquire new customers with high purchasing power. Read on to learn the latest trends that shape the German e-commerce industry.
Since the worldwide pandemic, the trends of e-commerce in Germany have changed. It was an accelerated process that economists expect to continue beyond 2022.
Here are the German e-commerce trends that you need to be aware of in 2022:
- Trend #1: Customers prefer shopping on marketplaces to shopping in branded e-commerce stores
- Trend #2: Online buying isn’t limited to B2C products
- Trend #3: Social media and mobile devices
- Trend #4: Omnichannel selling is becoming the norm
- Trend #5: Influencers merge with brand partners
- Read more about digital marketing in Germany
Trend #1: Customers prefer shopping on marketplaces to shopping in branded e-commerce stores
After a massive shift to online shopping since 2020, it’s necessary for all businesses to have an online presence. But consumer behaviour still favours convenience, and that’s why marketplaces are preferred over single-brand e-commerce stores.
To conquer the German market, you can’t brush aside the marketplaces because these platforms offer straightforward purchasing solutions and deliver within the shortest time to their customers.
According to an e-commerce report in Europe 2020, Germans prefer to shop on online marketplaces. According to the e-commerce in Europe 2020 report, about 88% of German e-customers shopped on Amazon at least once. 31% bought on Zalando and 56% on eBay.
Ecommerce stores that don’t have the infrastructure to compete with top marketplaces may fail to cope with the pressure of increased traffic and the fulfilment and shipping expectations from their new customers. But marketplaces like eBay and Amazon provide the necessary infrastructure and can easily meet such customer expectations.
While marketplaces are good for business, you don’t own your client data which may limit your brand’s future growth. However, if you’re planning to open a new e-commerce store, or your brand doesn’t have the recognition and prominence (yet) that it needs to stand on its own, start by selling your products or services at the top industry marketplaces. You’ll benefit from high traffic, less organizational burden caused by logistics and shipping, and you can gather marketing experience with a large pool of local customers. If you are interested in finding out how to drive sales and gain data with your own online marketing, contact us and let’s find your digital marketing strategy together.
Trend #2: Online buying isn’t limited to B2C products
In 2021 businesses had to accelerate the innovation and implementation of digital transformation. Part of the notable changes was the emergence of the direct-to-consumer model for B2C brands in e-commerce.
Here, the selling process includes businesses selling their services or products to the end-user directly without intermediaries. The trend picked up because consumers had no alternative but to turn to e-commerce to get everything they needed. An action that prompted offline stores to open online stores.
Suddenly, consumers could buy gadgets, clothes, groceries, furniture, electronics, and vehicle parts delivered to their homes. Even with things going back to normal, e-commerce brands can profit if the buying experience they offer is so positive that new online customers prefer to continue to buy online in the future as well.
Whether your sales were coming from retail, specialized re-sellers or other intermediaries before: If your products could be available online, they should be. All you have to do is make it convenient for your customers to get them.
Trend #3: Social media and mobile devices
A report from Statista over the Christmas 2020 season indicates that 64% of all purchases were done using a tablet or mobile device. The figure is slightly above the average European threshold of 61% for purchases made during this holiday season.
It indicates a rise in prominence accompanied by a surge in social commerce. Further statistics show that a quarter of Germans aged between 18-34 years used mobile devices to make purchases in 2020. This means that in 2022 there is no way around having a shopping experience that is first and foremost optimized for the mobile user.
Trends indicate that the numbers will continue to grow because social commerce is now a mainstream platform fueled by the purchasing power of young consumers. Innovative retailers are also building social communities to promote their products and services.
For example, in 2020, the mobile app of popular shopping platform “KleiderKreisel”, a second-hand online fashion store with a highly engaged community of users, received more downloads than the mobile apps of eCommerce giants eBay and Amazon. Generally, the German market relies on mobile channels when buying gifts or making local recurring purchases.
TipSocial media consumption is expected to grow beyond 2022 as brands are becoming innovative in advertising their products. Emergent, content-rich social networks such as TikTok, provide new opportunities and less competition when advertising to consumers. Take advantage of this trend by publishing videos and tutorials explaining the benefits of your products, how to use them, and where to buy them.
Trend #4: Omnichannel selling is becoming the norm
German consumers are always looking for ways to shop conveniently. Retailers are now building personalized services based on customer requirements and information to cover this demographic and preference.
Omnichannel marketing means delivering seamless customer experiences across different online and offline platforms, including social media, brick-and-mortar stores, and across different devices when the customer switches between their phone or computer. In 2020, e-commerce traders thrived and managed to satisfy their German customers exceptionally well on omnichannel platforms.
We can already see this trend by observing the way digital players are developing their tools:
- Amazon Pinpoint enables brands to capitalize on customer communication and improve their customer experience across multiple channels. eCommerce brands can integrate touchpoints like SMS, push notifications, or in-app messaging.
- Google finally made its latest event-based Google Analytics 4 the default version for new installations, replacing the session- and page-view-based Universal Analytics. It is now easier than ever to gather user data from non-Google products, aggregate it with your website and app data, and analyse the data for deeper insights.
TipConduct customer research to uncover the things that matter to your customer by following them into their various frequently visited channels. German ecommerce customers are looking for a cohesive platform that offers a seamless buying experience across multiple channels. It's tempting to want to be everywhere the customer visits, but it's best to focus on the channels they frequent and sell to them there.
Trend #5: Influencers merge with brand partners
Trends indicate that most e-commerce brands have a problem creating content that can scale their marketing efforts. An emerging trend is that of brands looking to partner with influencers for content creation, and the German e-commerce market is no exception.
As a brand, you can offer influencers free products and services, or financial compensation to gain access to their audiences.
TipTap into the vast audience of influencers and grow leverage for your ecommerce store. Start by building a relationship with influencers in your space. You can get creative when it comes to the terms of your partnership. Often you can offer value to influencers by helping them grow their audience, offering free merchandise, or providing them the platform to create content freely.