1. Amazon Germany
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 461.19 million
When it comes to ecommerce, Germany makes it into the top rankings with the fifth-largest ecommerce market globally. It ranks second in Europe after the UK, and compared with other European countries, it is far ahead in terms of the number of ecommerce consumers and average online spending.
In other words, it offers plenty of opportunities for ecommerce businesses looking to make a profit – Amzon being one of them.
It should come as no surprise that Amazon.de is at the top of our list.
This American ecommerce brand (or giant!) has been around since 1994, opening its German online store in 1998.
Not only is Amazon Germany the most prominent ecommerce site nationwide, but it is also the country’s most-visited website overall, after Google and YouTube.
Amazon sells anything you might need, from electronics, food and clothes, to cloud computing and digital media. It is clear why Amazon Germany has captivated (and held onto) the country’s ecommerce market.
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 182.59 million
Second place in the German ecommerce market goes to Kleinanzeigen.
Kleinanzeigen.de is Germany’s go-to classifieds website. Here, users post free ads and customers can browse new, second-hand, private and commercial goods.
It is currently ranked as the 13th most popular website in Germany, attracting buyers in search of products in various categories, including automotive, real estate, leisure items, pets, fashion, and electronics.
3. eBay Germany
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 151.9 million
eBay is yet another US-founded ecommerce platform launched in 1995 and now trading in 190 countries. It is an online marketplace where customers can shop for anything, from big brands to individual items from private sellers. Sales are made either directly, or through eBay’s online auction platform.
Despite its success, this online marketplace has dropped down in the rankings. In 2022, it was the sixth most visited website in Germany, but as of 2023, it ranks at number 19.
Although it is visited less often by Germans, eBay Germany isn’t going anywhere. By offering new and used goods in a wide variety of categories – including electronics, one of the German favourites – this site will continue to draw consumers into 2024.
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 100 million
Germans love Idealo.de for its price comparison services. Consumers can compare different items across a range of electronics categories to find the best value products. Purchases can then be made through Idealo, making it one of the most-frequented and largest online marketplaces in the nation.
But, Idealo does not only cover electronics (although that is its most popular niche). There’s a range of categories to browse, including:
- Sports and outdoor
- Home and garden
- Baby and parenting
- Food and drink
… the list goes on and on.
It is among the most impressive and reliable comparison sites, not only in Germany but in Europe as a whole.
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 64.99 million
Otto had humble beginnings as a mail-order company established in 1949 – more than 70 years ago! Today, the Otto marketplace has transformed into one of the biggest online department stores in Germany.
It’s branched out at a global scale, operating in over 20 countries in Europe, America, and Asia.
Otto is a homeowner’s dream. Their online stores sell an array of items in various categories, including:
As confirmed by their almost 65 million visitors a month, Otto has a vast online audience, especially within the clothing and electronic markets.
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 49.53 million
MediaMarkt is one of the largest online electronic stores in Germany’s ecommerce market. It is owned by MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group and was founded back in 1979. It had humble beginnings as a brick-and-mortar store in Munich, but today it sells in 11 countries, including Poland, Spain and Turkiye.
It was once the country’s second-largest electronics ecommerce marketplace, after Best Buy, but it has been overtaken by big names like Apple and JD.
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 40.49 million
Thomann has been climbing the ecommerce rankings slowly – much to our surprise. In 2022 alone they had 22.59 million visitors and ranked after Lidle and Zalando.
Today, this online retailer of music equipment sees almost double as many monthly visitors perusing their studio items.
Thomann was founded in 1954 in Treppendorf by Hans Thomann Sr. and his family, and is still a family business.
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 37.44 million
Zalando is a successful German fashion marketplace. They stock shoes, clothes, beauty and accessories from both international and local brands.
Zalando’s clothing is its most profitable category.
Since it was launched in 2008 by Rocket Internet, the online marketplace has blossomed into a megabrand across the continent, operating in 26 countries. Zalando also has several international subsidiary companies, including Fision AG and Anatwine Limited.
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 30.87 million
Lidle is a German success story. This supermarket chain has made its name across the world, especially in the US. However, not many people know that the first Lidl store was opened in 1973 in Ludwigshafen – with just three employees!
Today, Lidl has both brick-and-mortar and online stores, with more than 376,000 employees in over 30 countries.
Lidl has a firm foothold in the German market, offering their customers discounted groceries and goods.
Estimated number of monthly visitors: 17 million
It’s no surprise that Saturn has made our list, since they’re also owned by MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group. Saturn sells consumer electronics in a wide range of categories.
German customers can purchase Saturn’s products either in-store or online. They trade in various countries across Europe, including Australia, Spain and Greece.
Is it possible for international brands to enter the German ecommerce market?
Yes, Germany’s ecommerce market offers significant opportunities; however, businesses must adapt to local preferences and regulations.
What are the consumer trends in the German ecommerce market?
Most German shoppers show a strong preference for quality and sustainable products, which tends to influence their online shopping behaviour.
What makes the German online marketplace landscape unique?
Firstly, Germany has the most smartphone users per capita – more than 80% of the population. This has resulted in mobile e-commerce becoming one of the fastest-growing e-commerce segments in the country – it increased by 56.5% in the two years after the pandemic. In 20221, mobile phones made up 6640% of all e-commerce transactions.
Secondly, German online shoppers seem to have unique payment preferences. Instead of making upfront payments like most global shoppers, Germans opt for payment plans or create online accounts.
PayPal dominates the market, with more than 57% of German consumers preferring this payment platform. In second place, at 23%, are mobile wallets like Google Pay and Apple Pay. Then come traditional debit and credit card payments.
Lastly, Germany has some of the highest return rates in the world thanks to an EU law allowing consumers to return their online orders within 14 days, no questions asked.
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