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