Voice of the Industry

122 billion reasons to love the German ecommerce market

Thursday 6 October 2022 08:47 CET | Editor: Irina Ionescu | Voice of the industry

Adrian Burgess, Head of Strategic Growth, PPRO, describes the German ecommerce climate and how adjusting to local preferences for payment methods can help merchants flourish in this growing market.


It’s boom time for online shopping in Germany. Between 2021 and 2026, the German ecommerce market will grow from a value of USD 122 billion to USD 184 billion1. This USD 62 billion growth alone is almost twice as large as the entire Swedish ecommerce market today1.  

This growth is powered partly by the arrival of new consumer behaviour that has arisen over the last two years: more Germans are shopping online than ever before.

A study released in December 2021 estimated that the changes to German shopping behaviour — including bringing new demographics, such as older shoppers, online — had added roughly USD 37 billion to the value of the German ecommerce market. Researchers also found that not only are Germans who previously preferred brick-and-mortar stores now shopping online, but those who already shopped online before 2020 are also spending more. 

For instance, 23% of the consumers responsible for the increase in online spending on consumer electronics shopped online before 2020 but are now spending more than they used to2. For pharmaceuticals, the figure is 26%, and for groceries 41%2, with the available evidence showing that this shift is here to stay. 

Regardless of whether they were online shoppers before 2020 or not, Germans say they’re now likely to carry on shopping and spending more online in the future3. This helps to account for the fact that, between 2021 and 2022, the average amount that German online shoppers spent with ecommerce merchants has grown from USD 1,462 to USD 1,6101.

The picture that emerges from recent research is of a German ecommerce market at the point of acceleration. The pandemic gave shoppers a reason to try ecommerce for the first time, or — if they were already experienced online shoppers — to buy from new categories and try new online retailers. 

Since the pandemic receded, not only have shoppers not wanted to give up the convenience of ecommerce, but new trends also — such as rising costs and the need to hunt for bargains — have given them even more reasons to double down on their enthusiasm for ecommerce. This is evidenced by the fact that macroeconomic factors around the globe have driven consumer prices to new highs, despite the German ecommerce market continuing to grow by an annualised average of 12%4.   

To gain and grow a foothold in this rapidly expanding and evolving market, online merchants must understand German consumers’ preferences. 

One of the most striking of these is how Germans like to pay and manage their finances. Germans use credit and debit cards in just 14% of all online transactions1, which indicates that any merchant trying to break into the German market using a payment experience designed around Anglo-American norms and preferences will likely underperform against their peers. 

The most popular online payment method, which Germans use in 34% of all ecommerce transactions, is bank transfer1 using local bank-transfer apps and services, such as giropay and Sofort (German for ‘instantly’, giving a clue to the app’s USP). 

In total, Germans spend approximately USD 41 billion with online merchants every year1. Other popular payment methods include e-wallets (used in 29% of online transactions) and a range of minor, local payment methods, and cash (23%)1.

The German ecommerce market is one of Europe’s largest, with a fast growth and a rising average amount of money spent by consumers. For any ecommerce merchant or the providers that support and enable them, this is a massive opportunity. To take advantage of this chance, those wanting to break into the German market should look to optimise and localise for German market preferences.

PPRO is the industry’s trusted provider of digital payments infrastructure worldwide, powering global growth for payment companies. Companies at the forefront of payment technology, including Citi, Mollie, PayPal, Worldpay and many others, leverage PPRO’s platform, expert services, and local payment methods to boost sales in over 80 ecommerce markets worldwide.

With a large presence in Munich, as well as offices in Berlin and Cologne, and a long history in Germany, PPRO understands the German ecommerce market deeply. Our technical, commercial, and legal experts can help partners find exactly the right mix of payments for any business model. To find out more about how to optimise for online success in Germany, speak to our experts at Money 20/20 USA from 23-26 October. 

To book an appointment with PPRO experts at Money 20/20 USA please click https://www.ppro.com/events/meet-us-at-money2020-usa/ 


About Adrian Burgess

Adrian Burgess is a payments expert with over 10 years of experience. He has worked for some of the largest payment institutions in the world and is an advocate for payment innovation and financial inclusion. As Head of Strategic Growth at PPRO, he is responsible for a team of payments experts who provide deep insights and consultation to PSPs and merchants on how to optimise their payments growth strategies.


About PPRO

PPRO is the leading global provider of local payments infrastructure, powering growth for payment service providers and enterprises with payment platforms. Companies at the forefront of payments technology leverage PPRO's unified platform, expert services, and local payment methods to boost sales in over 100 ecommerce markets worldwide. In 2020 alone, PPRO processed over USD 11 billion for its customers, including companies such as Mollie, PayPal, Worldpay, and many others.

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Keywords: ecommerce, ecommerce platform, online shopping, online payments, local payment method, marketplace, bank transfer, payment methods, instant payments, digital payments, mobile payments, credit card, debit card, e-wallet, cash
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: PPRO
Countries: Germany
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


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