Germany is one of the wealthiest countries and holds the second rank in the world in e-commerce market. The e-commerce and economy of this country is thriving. Customers of e-commerce and online spending is much higher in this country as compared to other European countries. Hence, Germany provides an excellent opportunity to the people venturing into e-commerce business.
The average online expenditure of a single person in Germany is around 867 dollars and the population online is 72.2 million. The reason why e-commerce is thriving in this country is that, 80 percent of the German population own smartphones which gives easy access to the sites and makes online shopping convenient. The sale of smartphones alone accounted for 40 percent of digital sales last year. Another trend that boosts this market is the payment procedures that the population prefers. Instead of upfront payments, Germans like to opt got payment plans and account creation. One the most popular methods of payment, preferred by 52 percent of the population is PayPal. It is followed by invoice, credit cards, debit cards and a very low percentage prefers paying by cash.
Germany has a law which allows return of products within 14 days of purchase, without any questions asked. This results in the country to have one of the highest return rates in the world.
In this article we will look into ten of the best e-commerce sites that dominate the sector in Germany.
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Top 10 German E-Commerce Platforms
It is a US based e-commerce site that has been functional since the 90s. It is estimated that the visitors to this site per month is around 578.80 million, which is a huge number. This site was launched in Germany in the recent year of 2016 and yet, it has paved its way to the top of the list of best e-commerce sites of Germany. It has ranked to be the third largest website in the world and also the third largest in the country. This mega brand has been dominating the e-commerce market in Germany for quite some time now.
Amazon Germany is popular because this site sells a wide variety of products. Books, electronics, digital media, clothing, groceries and many other essentials are all available on this single site. Video streaming and cloud computing services are also available on this site. The availability of variety of things and the simple yet interactive interface makes this popular among the Germans.
This site however adds a 5-7 percent sales charge on the products and there is always a price battle for the same product among different sellers, making it difficult to decide.
The number of visitors of this site on a monthly basis is estimated at 229.32 million. This is also a US based site which was launched in the year 1995. More than 20 countries across the globe are using the eBay site for selling and buying things.
On eBay you can buy absolutely anything. Both individuals and businesses are selling their products on this site which can be bought either directly from the seller or through an auction sale on their online platform. The site sells items in the category of fashion, home essentials, motor vehicles and electronics which is the biggest category for the consumers of Germany. eBay also sells second hand goods which are in a good condition.
The site ranks sixth among all the e-commerce sites in the country. The user interface is slightly cluttered and with multiple buying options things can get a little confusing. But the services it provides is good enough to cover up the tiny flaws.
In English it is known as eBay Classifieds. This site is Germany’s largest site which is classified and it was launched in the year 2005, so it is newer in comparison to Amazon Germany and eBay Germany. It allows sellers to post ads without any payment. On this site you can browse through a range of goods. The usual items of home, garden, fashion, electronics and other leisure goods are available. But what attracts the users is the automotive, real estate and similar services that the site is selling. This makes it unique from all.
The number of visitors in a month is around 148.78 million making it the eighth largest e-commerce website in the country. The website has a clean and simple design with items categorised. In the search bar you can look for a specific product that you wish to buy. Hence, the website is easy to use.
This site is popular among the German audience for the items in the fashion, electronics and homeware categories. You can also get products in other categories like sports, garden, and leisure. It is a German based company which had started with mail orders in the year 1949, with headquarters in Hamburg. Later they launched the e-commerce site in the year 1995 and has been running successfully since then.
Around 57.27 million people visit this site every month. Otto is now the largest online departmental store available for the people of Germany. It has expanded business across 20 countries in the continents of Europe, Asia and America. The products are displayed based on the audience of the country. The latest trends in all categories are displayed in the homepage. The collection is well categorised to help choose. All this attracts many users to this site.
This site was started in Germany in the year 2000. On this site the prices of products on different sites and from different sellers are compared. This will help the users to choose the item with the best price possible. After price comparison you can also buy the product on their platform. So, the site serves two purposes. This makes Idealo one of the largest and most popular e-commerce site in Germany’s e-commerce sector.
The categories covered on this site include home essentials, electronics, baby products, children’s items, sports goods, gardening tools, pharmaceuticals, gaming, food and drink and many more. You can buy products based on the consumer reviews and price comparisons. The estimated monthly visitors on this site is 55.70 million. The site also has a security check to protect from spam. It has an attractive user interface which is simple to use.
Companies can post their ads on this site and track the user traffic. This helps them to analyse the audience and sell products easily. So, this site is beneficial to both the buyers and sellers.
Started as a brick and mortar store in the year 1979, MediaMarkt has now become a notable e-commerce website in entire Europe. This site is known for its electronics. The store has been a known one for a long time and it gained more popularity when it went online.
Sale of electronics in Germany is the highest as compared to other items. It accounts for a large percentage of the total online sales amount. So, MediaMarkt being an electronics store makes good business in the country. This brand is running successfully in 12 other countries also. The brand is owned by MediaMarktSaturn Retail group. Currently it is the second largest electronics brand for consumers in the world. It is a tough competitor of the Americal electronics brand BestBuy, which stand at the first position worldwide.
The site has an appealing appearance which attracts the buyers. Search bar lets you look for a specific item in electronics. You can add items to the cart and buy them together. Customer support provided by the brand is also commendable. The estimated number of visitors on a monthly basis is 33.47 million for this site.
Another one of Germany’s top e-commerce sites is Lidl. This brand was also started by the Germans in the year 1930. It is one of the oldest brands that is doing great business in the e-commerce sector of Germany till date.
Lidl is the proud owner of around 10,000 stores in more than 28 cities across Europe as well as the United States. It is a chain of supermarket which offers groceries and many other items at high discounted rates. Lidl has become a popular name in households across Germany and the entire Europe. Number of Monthly visitors to this site is around 26.84 million. It offers a wide range of wine and food. Most items are available on discounts. Gardening tools, kitchen items, indoor and outdoor plants and outdoor living are some of the non-food items that you can get on the site.
The homepage of the site displays the ongoing offers on items and also the upcoming ones to keep you up to date. The site has a section with top picks of the week. Recently they have updated the customer updates section to include information regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The user interface is a neat one with easy navigation.
It is based in the capital city of Germany, Berlin. The site was founded in the year 2008 by Rocket Internet. The brand’s business is based on the categories of fashion, accessories, beauty, sports, and shoes. The fashion segment is the most successful and popular category on this site. You can get multiple international brands as well as small niche brand products on the site.
The online fashion megabrand is running successfully in the whole of Europe and also in fifteen other countries worldwide. This site is also known to operate with other international subsidiary companies.
You can avail vouchers and discounts on this site. The homepage is really attractive, intuitive and easy to use. The products are sorted in three major categories of “Men”, “Women” and “Kids”. They have a 100 days free return policy which is loved by the consumers. It also lists the popular brands and the designer products on the site. Navigation is also easy on the site. The search bar lets you look for a specific item that you want. When most e-commerce sites charge quite an amount for delivery of products, Zalando delivers the goods for free to its consumers, which explains its popularity.
With 22.59 million monthly visitors, Thomann is an e-commerce retailer selling music equipment. Starting from a variety of musical instruments like guitar, drums, flutes and keyboards, the site goes on to sell accessories, cases or bags, cables, connectors, DJ equipment, PA equipment, microphones, sheet music, software, lighting, studio and recording equipment and many more things required in the field of music.
This is the best place for the musicians and composers to get all that they need for practice and performance. The brand was founded in the year 1954and is known to be operating in multiple countries around the world. The best part about the site is that it can change the language based on the location of the audience it is serving. Even though the site is focused on one category of items, it never fails to make its place among the top ten e-commerce sites of Germany.
The site has a lot of things on it to keep the visitors interested. The latest products are shown in the top of the homepage followed by a section of the different categories of music equipment available. You can also browse brand wise. The site brings you hot deals where you can get goods at great prices. They also have a blog section on the site.
The last item on the list, Saturn is a website which is owned by the MediaMarkt Retail Group. Just like the giant electronics brand MediaMarkt, this site is also a platform where you can get electronic items in various categories. This brand operates online and also in-store. It is available in many countries across Europe, including Russia, Austria and Luxembourg.
The estimated monthly visitors are 20.59 million. The homepage is not very attractive but is easy to use and provides items in a well categorised manner.
Future Of eCommerce in Germany
Indeed, the future of eCommerce in Germany seems to be very bright – there are consumers to buy the commodities the market has to supply, the people are financially capable to afford them as the living standards are quite high and the entire country is connected through one mode of transport or the another – the country is a small one hence connectivity is hardly an issue. Hence, there certainly is space and scope for the growth of eCommerce platforms in the country.
From the list given above it is clear that the e-commerce sector in Germany is booming every year and hence it is one of the wealthiest sectors of the country.