Again double-digit e-commerce growth in 2018

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You do not need to be an analyst to find out that retail and retail habits in Germany are changing. “With an increase of 11.4 percent to € 65.10 billion, gross sales of goods in e-commerce in 2018 continued to grow at double-digit rates”, says an actual study done by bevh. “Pure e-commerce sales thus account for more than every eighth of a euro in the retail sector. The online marketplaces have continued to grow strongly, but in terms of dynamics they have been significantly outperformed by multichannel trading and internet pureplayers.

The data of the largest e-commerce consumer study in Germany shows that the pureplayers could increase by 14.0 percent or more than 1 billion euros in additional revenue to 9.77 billion euros. Multichannel retailers also grew at a double-digit percentage rate of 12.9 percent. Over the past five years, their turnover has more than doubled from € 11.04 billion to € 22.71 billion. The online marketplaces were able to increase their volume by 9.7 percent in 2018 to € 30.62 billion, thus represent the largest distribution channel in German e-commerce.
In the fourth quarter of 2018, the entire interactive trade – online and classic mail order – grossed more than € 20 billion gross (€ 20.27 billion) in one quarter for the first time. This is an increase of 10.2 percent for all non-store based trading in Germany. The online trade alone accounted for 97.2 percent.

Based on the good business results of  2018, bevh expects further growth for e-commerce of 10.5 percent in 2019 to around 71.94 billion euros.”

The development does not come by surprise. A survey concluded by IFH and published this week, analyzed the business development in Germany city centers in 2018, interviewing more of 60.000 shoppers about what they like and do not like when visiting the inner city. In large cities people especially like the social part, closely related to the gastronomic scene that is present. According to the study, the hospitality offer is not attractive to most visitors of small or mid-size cities. In addition, shoppers seem not content with the parking situation and most important the uncertainty if the item they are looking for will be available in a shop in town or not. Most claim, that they can hardly find information about availability in the internet of items at inner cities stores. These facts lead to a situation where especially younger participants of the survey claim to prefer online shopping before brick and mortar-shopping.

In the specific part of consumer goods market that I am working in (houshold and tabletop), the market is not growing. It is stable to slightly decreasing. Which means if online turnover is increasing, at the same time some other channel must lose turnover. We are witnessing a shift from instore retail to online retail.

bevh – Bundesverband E-Commerce und Versandhandel Deutschland e.V. (Federal Association of E-Commerce and Mail Order e.V.)
IFH – Institut für Handelsforschung (Institute for Commercial Research)

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