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B2C ecommerce sales in Germany reached €6.34 billion ($8.81 billion) in Q1 2012—18% more than the Q1 2011 total, according to the April 2012 report, "Interaktiver Handel in Deutschland” issued by the Bundesverband des Deutschen Versandhandels (bvh), known in English as the German E-Commerce and Distance Selling Association.
The trade association estimated that ecommerce accounted for 70.8% of total online and mail orders in the quarter, up from 66.2% in the prior year.
One reason for the jump may have been a higher percentage of internet users in the country buying online. eMarketer estimates that online buyers as a percentage of internet users will increase to 78.3% in 2012, up from 74.6% in 2011. By 2013, more than 80% of internet users in the country will be online buyers.
“According to our estimates, Germany was Europe’s second-largest ecommerce market in 2011, behind the UK,” said Karin von Abrams, eMarketer senior analyst. “More than 41 million residents will buy online in 2012. Also, Germany is suffering less than other European countries from the continuing financial squeeze in the region. The German economy is in good shape overall, and many consumers are actually seeing a rise in disposable income. We expect that a sizeable part of that will be spent on purchases over the web.”
In March 2012, Eurostat, the statistical agency of the EU, released 2011 demographic data on online buyers. The survey found that internet users in Germany ages 25 to 34 were the most likely to have purchased online, at 79%, followed by users ages 35 to 44 at 70%.
With a strong base of online buyers among the two age groups that generally represent early- to mid-career professionals, expect online sales to continue to take the lion’s share of distance sales (i.e., sales to consumers in Germany made by a retailer outside of Germany) in the future.
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