How Asendia can help your business deliver

A focus on the German e-commerce market and Asendia's parcel services to Germany

Germany is a thriving economy – the largest national economy in Europe and the fourth largest in the world by nominal GDP. It is also a significant importer – in 2017 the country imported US$1.168 trillion of goods from around the world, making it the third largest importer globally.

The growth in e-commerce sales is expected to outpace that of general retail sales in Germany, which will give the e-commerce market a 10% share of total German retail sales by 2021.

Overview of the German Market

Online Payment Culture

Invoicing is the preferred method of payment in Germany for 50% of consumers shopping online. This is rather different to the UK market where other payment methods, such as credit cards, are much more dominant. A Retail Week survey found that this wasn’t just unique to older generations, as some 37% of German consumers aged 18-24 also identified invoicing as their number one way to pay for an e-commerce purchase. However, despite this quirk, German consumers are also very wedded to PayPal as a purchase method with 72% of shoppers using PayPal when shopping online.

Desktop driven purchasing

For 91% of German e-commerce shoppers it’s the desktop from which online purchases are still made. According to the latest figures, only 3% of shoppers made purchases via a smartphone and 5% via a tablet.

Burgeoning social media use

Currently, social media penetration in Germany is at just 46.9% of the population. This is fairly low compared to other countries, such as the UK where social media penetration is currently at 66%. However, figures are improving with the numbers expected to reach 53% by 2021 and so social shopping is also likely to gain ground here too.


Did you know?

68.6% of Germans are expected to make at least one digital purchase this year

German retail in general is a sophisticated market and one that is highly competitive. It faces a number of challenges, some of which are unique to the German market.

German retail trends

The consumer market is aging.

By 2050 it is estimated that one in three Germans will be aged 60 or over and this is having a big impact on the way that retailers evolve. Such a significantly aging population demands adjustments in everything, from store layout to the kinds of payments methods that are offered online.

Mobile has yet to make much impact in the world of retail.

Mobile e-commerce has been slow to catch on in Germany and doesn’t have anywhere near the same penetration as somewhere like the US or the UK. Only 3% of Germans make purchases using their smartphones. However, use of mobile payment methods is currently increasing with 1 in 10 Germans expected to make a mobile payment in the next 12 months., so having a mobile-friendly website is growing in importance.

Discounters are beginning to embrace customer experience.

The success of stores such as Aldi and Lidl has been as a result of a no-frills approach that has never incorporated much customer experience. Both of these brands are German and are growing increasingly popular in retail markets across the world – as well as their own - thanks to ultra competitive pricing. However, the current retail trend is away from low cost and no-frills as the only components necessary for these retailers to be competitive. Now, customer experience matters as much as price - something to consider when you're attempting to sell to german customers.

Asendia offers a range of services to those keen to export to German consumers. Our logistics and postal services cater to key German expectations, including cost, the ability to track goods and ensure safe and simple returns.

How Asendia Can Help You Export Mail And Parcels To Germany

  • A range of delivery options - Choose from cost effective reliable postal delivery, as well as tracked parcel services with free shipping and tracking platforms for parcels up to 30kg.
  • Simple and effective returns - We offer a range of returns services, including tracked returns so that customer return purchases are easily trackable and traceable, both for you and for your customers
  • Direct mail - If you’re looking to conduct a direct mail campaign to reach this exciting consumer market we can help you to do it with our mail fulfilment and postal services. German consumers are very receptive to direct mail and catalogues.
  • Customer magazines - Have you considered the power of a magazine to build customer loyalty and increase sales? We have a specialist business division that can help you produce and deliver magazines.