KnowGermany

Reaching and engaging your consumers

FAMILIARISING YOURSELF WITH THE LOCAL MARKET

  • Germany boasts a well-developed e-commerce environment, giving German consumers the option to be particular when purchasing goods from online stores. It is therefore essential to effectively localise your website and offering in order to compete.
  • Only around half of the German population are multilingual, so translating your website into German is vital to ensure you maximise the reach of your website and achieve optimum conversion rates.
  • It follows that you should ensure that the translation of your website takes into account local and cultural values; be careful of slang and localised phrases that might serve to alienate these consumers.
  • German consumers often wish to call or contact an e-retailer before making a purchase, so being able to offer German-language support will add value to your online store.
  • Retailers should display all elements of pricing in the German currency (Euros) and ensure that all numbers and dates are displayed in line with German practice. Interestingly, numbers are always written with a ‘.’ to show how large a figure is, as well as a comma to show decimal places, for example, 5.3000,40.
  • Being transparent and promptly displaying all associated costs is important when targeting consumers in any market, and Germany is no exception to this rule. 48% of German consumers surveyed reported abandoning their baskets as a result of shipping costs being added that were higher than expected.
  • On average, German consumers are willing to wait 6 days for delivery from a country within the EU and up to 10 days for delivery sent from outside the Union. Nearly half of consumers surveyed felt that it was essential to be able to track their order from purchase to delivery.

MOBILE OPTIMISATION

  • The use of mobile internet in Germany has grown extensively in recent years, with 65% of the population now having smartphone accounts. With 39.2 million active mobile internet users, it is estimated that over 30% of total e-commerce turnover in Germany will come from mobile transactions during 2015. It is therefore essential to make your website ‘mobile friendly’ to make the most of this market.
  • Research has also shown that German consumers are less likely to comparison shop when using a retailer’s mobile app/store, demonstrating the benefits of mobile optimisation in driving sales.

CONSUMER PROFILE

  • Highly internet-savvy and have great expectations when it comes to a website’s usability.
  • The average German spends a massive 25.2 hours online per month and this is ever-increasing. Germans are also amongst the most frequent online shoppers with 81% shopping online at least once a month.
    Likely to pay attention to the details of transactions; 63% of German consumers will study a website’s terms and conditions prior to making a purchase online.
  • Security-conscious and shown to be more trusting when offered familiar payment methods (see payments page for more detail).
    Display high levels of brand loyalty – Germans shoppers show a strong preference for favoured brands, even when price is taken into consideration.
  • Respond well to receiving deals and promotions based on their location or transaction history; make sure to personalise customer experience in this market.
  • Show a tendency to review a retailer’s returns policy before making a purchase.

PEAK ONLINE SHOPPING

German consumer online spending hits its daily peak at 8pm.
Key hours are between 12pm – 8pm.

MARKETING TOOLS

Germany’s most popular marketing channels and their percentage share of marketing investment forecasted for 2015:

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

There are 28 million active social media accounts in Germany, and Germans spend an average of 2.1 hours a day on these websites. 66.8% of these users follow their favourite brands and retail stores on social media platforms.

The most popular social media platforms amongst German citizens are:

SEARCH ENGINES

Market share of the most popular search engines in Germany:

Other areas of interest

Meeting your regulatory responsibilities

The legislation and tax applicable to you when selling to German consumers will vary depending on whether you are an EU incorporated entity or operating outside of the Union.

Receiving payment from your customers

German consumers are traditional in their online payment methods, favouring direct debit or online bank transfer mechanisms.

Getting the goods to your customers

The German logistics market is the most developed in the world and ranks first in the World Bank’s 2014 International Logistics Performance Index.

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