Chicago / IL. (mi) While German consumers are no strangers to online shopping, the number of consumers doing so has reached new heights. New research from Mintel reveals that as many as 93 percent of German consumers have shopped online in the last year. Furthermore, it appears that older consumers aged over 55 are beginning to realise the advantages of shopping online. Indeed, the proportion of over 55s having made an online purchase reached 90 percent in 2017.
Today, more than four in five (86 percent) Germans use their desktop computer or laptop to shop online, up from three in four (74 percent) in 2016. Meanwhile, three in 10 online shoppers (29 percent) say that they use their smartphone for online shopping, up from 23 percent in 2016, and one in five (20 percent) say the same about their tablet, up from just 12 percent the previous year.
When it comes to online shopping, Mintel research finds that consumers value the amount of choice available, as well as the ease with which they can compare different products. Almost three in five (57 percent) Germans who have shopped online in the last 12 months agree that online retailers offer a wider range of products, while over half (53 percent) agree that shopping online allows them to compare products more easily. Lower prices are less of a priority to online shoppers in Germany with less than half (48 percent) agreeing that online retailers offer the lowest prices.
Thomas Slide, Retail Analyst at Mintel, said: «Online retailers are profiting from their ability to give consumers access to an unprecedented variety of products while simultaneously making it easier than ever to find what they are looking for. As the vast majority of consumers now say they shop online, this is being supported by late adopters and older consumers, but also continued innovation in the online space, particularly from the store-based retailers that are building increasingly integrated multichannel propositions that better cater to the needs of the customer».
Mintel forecasts that growth in online sales will slow over the coming years as the sector matures and will reach 58.5 billion EUR in 2017, representing 10.8 percent of all retail sales. Over the longer term, the online retail market in Germany is set to experience continued, albeit slower, growth, according to Mintel forecasts, with sales reaching 75.7 billion EUR by 2022, accounting for 13 percent of all retail sales.
While the vast majority of German consumers shop online, the proportion choosing to buy groceries online is still relatively small as today, just 6 percent of German consumers say that they are currently doing more of their grocery shopping online. In comparison, 14 percent of Spanish consumers and 12 percent of French consumers say they are doing more of their grocery shopping online.
Thomas concludes: «There have been recent signs of changes in the online grocery market in Germany, such as the addition of. However, there are many reasons why online grocery retailing in Germany has failed to develop in earlier years; from the strength of the discounters, to the preference for shopping little and often, to the lack of a single dominant market-leader to drive investment and innovation in this area.
«Food retailing will take time to really find its place in the online space as both retailers and consumers work out how it fits into the unique German attitude to grocery shopping. But with significant investment it should gain momentum and we could finally see food become a more significant online category in the future, and could even become a driver of online sales growth in the years ahead».