Ecommerce in Germany Up as Buying Expands to More Product Types - eMarketer
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Ecommerce in Germany Up as Buying Expands to More Product Types

Furnishings lead for growth while some past favorites flounder

July 24, 2017 | Retail & Ecommerce

Double-digit increases in ecommerce sales for several product categories helped push B2C ecommerce sales in Germany up 12% year over year in the second quarter, according to figures from ecommerce and mail order industry association Bundesverband E-Commerce und Versandhandel (bevh).

Between April and June 2017, the country’s B2C ecommerce sales—a figure that includes retail ecommerce plus purchases of digital goods and services such as travel and event tickets, hotel bookings and downloads—rose nearly 12.1% from a year earlier to €13.97 billion ($15.45 billion). Within that total, the digital goods and services category’s sales grew 13.7% to €4.15 billion ($4.59 billion).

Retail ecommerce’s nearly €9.82 billion ($10.86 billion) in second-quarter sales were driven upward by double-digit gains for most major product categories.

Home furnishings led the list of product types seeing increased ecommerce activity, with digital sales up 33.9% compared with 2016’s second quarter.

Other categories with especially strong ecommerce sales growth included computers, computer accessories and games, which grew by a combined 29.7%; and “daily needs” such as food, pharmacy items and pet care, which rose 24.9% overall—powered by a 28.9% increase in digital purchase value for food in particular.

B2C Ecommerce Sales in Germany, by Segment, 2011-2017 (billions of € and % change)

Online sales of clothing and shoes—historically Germany’s largest retail ecommerce category—expanded by a slow-by-comparison 2.9%. Worse still, ecommerce sales of books and ebooks declined by 7.2%.

According to bevh, the second quarter’s increase in overall B2C ecommerce sales helped push Germany’s total ecommerce spending in the first half up 11.1% vs. the first six months of 2016. That figure was in line with bevh’s expected rise in retail ecommerce sales in Germany for the year.

eMarketer’s most recent forecast for retail ecommerce in Germany predicts sales (excluding travel and event tickets) will expand 11.3% in 2017 to $65.13 billion.

—Cliff Annicelli

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