In 2022, the German B2C e-commerce sector generated around 84.5 billion euros in revenue. For 2023, forecasts predict 89.4 billion euros. As is evident, figures have only been increasing year after year.
And while there are many online shops in Germany, a few of them take the lead. Let us get closer into how it looks at the moment.
German eCommerce market leaders in 2022 and 2023 are amazon.de, otto.de, zalando.de, mediamarkt.de, and apple.com. The company’s revenues in 2022 were projected at US$16,099.1 million. Followed by otto.de with sales of US$5,466.1 million and then zalando.de with sales of US$2,918.4 million. Three of the top 100 online stores in the German eCommerce market have a combined market share of 39.3%. The ranking is based on the top online stores in terms of eCommerce net sales in 2022 in this market.
However, it’s not only these 3 or 5 shops. It has been estimated that top 1,000 online stores increase sales to almost 80 billion euros in 2021.
Clothing sector for the win
Revenue in the fashion segment is expected to reach 20,414m USD in 2020. In the clothes sector, the situation is as follows: bonprix.de and hm.de are leaders.
The German aboutyou.de store was also included in the ranking among with zalando-lounge.de. Clothing store – soliver.de closes the ranking with a score of 150m USD. The 2023 sees novelties here as you’ll see below – with Shein having more than 9% popularity.
Drugstores are aiming high
The pharmacy and the health sector are doing very well. Here rule doc.morris (500m USD), douglas.de (300m USD) and medpex.de (150m USD). The big surprise is shop-apotheke.com with total growth revenue reached almost 13%.
Online and offline presence – does it pay off?
The trend to be present both online and offline does not subside. E-commerce is usually an addition to a brick and mortar store, it is a rare situation that an online store opens its branch in a city. It is worth looking at the giants included in the ranking – Media Markt, Saturn, H&M or IKEA. Each of them is present both online and offline.
German vs American
All data above show that on German market not only German e-commerce counts. Americans are also big players too. This proves how important the German market is for the global economy. Giants like Amazon have been at the top of German e-commerce rankings for years. Importantly, they persist there because, first of all, they have a German-language website. Secondly, they have a well recognizable brand. And as a large company with a well-known name, they gain the trust of customers. Even as distrustful as those of Germany. Ebay is also growing really strong in 2023.
Top 30 German e-commerce (according to ecommerceDB) in 2020/2021
|country||online store||eCommerce net sales (mln US $)||description|
|1||DE||amazon.de||13,754.5||well-known sales platform thanks to which you can sell almost every item from various category|
|2||DE||otto.de||3,889.4||giant in the fashion and lifestyle industry|
|3||DE||zalando.de||1,788.2||world-famous online store with clothes, shoes and accessories|
|4||DE||mediamarkt.de||1,327.8||online marketplace for technology and electronics lovers|
|5||DE||notebooksbillinger.de||1,143.4||an online store which achieves the most search at “Electronics and Media” category|
|6||DE||lidl.de||989,7||well know groceries and household products store|
|7||US||apple.com||26,191.7 (overall)||specialized at “Consumer Electronics”|
|8||DE||saturn.de||750.1||the younger brother of MediaMarkt, specialized at technology too|
|9||DE||bonprix.de||717.4||an online clothing store with a wide range of sizes|
|10||DE||cyberport.de||688.2||technology marketplace where you can find perfect notebook or smartphone|
|11||DE||alternate.de||676.0||here you can find items belong mostly to the “Lifestyle” category but the biggest sale is at “Electronics and Media”|
|12||DE||hellofresh.de||665.0||specialized at category “Food and Beverages”|
|13||DE||conrad.de||642.2||the nationally-focused online store sells mainly “Electronics and Media” items|
|14||DE||hm.com||3,738.9 (overall)||clothing store which is well known both online and offline|
|15||DE||aboutyou.de||593.5||German fashion retailer belongs to Otto Group|
|16||DE||docmorris.de||559.3||on online store launched in 2000, achieves the biggest sales at “Food&Personal Care” category|
|17||DE||tchibo.de||534.6||an all-round online store with items belong to many categories eg. “Fashion” or “Toys and Hobby”|
|18||DE||baur.de||490.7||an online store which sells mainly items from the “Lifestyle” category|
|19||US||ikea.com||2,508.7 (overall)||Swedish furniture store, popular all over the world|
|20||DE||shop-apotehe.com||474.3||launched at 2002 store, sells mainly “Personal Care” products|
|21||DE||thomann.de||1,079.1 (overall)||the store specialized at “Hobby and Stationery” items, internationally focused|
|22||DE||qvc.de||373.5||sells not only in German but also Spain and France, specialized at “Toys and Hobby” category”|
|23||DE||zooplus.de||374.9||sells items from “Garden and Pets” category|
|24||DE||mytoys.de||352.5||the store sells products for children – toys and clothes|
|25||DE||esprit.de||323.7||fashion store, known all over the world|
|26||DE||douglas.de||322.4||drugstore which is popular not only online but also as a brick and mortar store|
|27||DE||klingel.de||317.0||a store offers products from different categories eg. “Fashion” or “Furniture”|
|28||DE||mindfactory.de||314.7||specialized at “Electronics and technology”|
|29||DE||bestsecret.com||310.1||clothing store, which is available as a stationery store only for club members|
|30||DE||breuninger.com||301.3||clothing store both for men and women|
🔄 Changes Over Time: 2020 vs 2023
The eCommerce landscape in Germany has undergone significant changes when compared to the year 2020. The shifts in rankings and new entrants highlight the dynamic nature of the online shopping industry in the country.
📉 Notable Exits: Farewell to Notebooksbilliger
One of the most striking changes is the exit of Notebooksbilliger from the top 5 list. This indicates a reshuffling in consumer preferences and market dynamics.
🏆 The New Top 3: A Fresh Line-up
In 2020, the top 3 online shops were Amazon, Otto, and Zalando. Fast forward to 2023, and we see a new lineup: Amazon, eBay, and Otto now hold the top spots, showcasing the evolving competitive landscape.
🚀 Rising Stars: About You’s Impressive Climb
About You has made a remarkable leap, moving up to the top 10 from its #15 position in 2020. This ascent signifies the brand’s growing influence and successful strategies.
🌟 New Entrants: A Stellar Debut
Two brand new players have made their debut in the rankings—Meinreal and Aliexpress.com, capturing 11% of the market. Additionally, Shein has entered the scene with a bang, grabbing 9% of the market share. What a debut indeed!
Extra Takeaways On Online Shopping in Germany
1. The Dominance of Top Players Remains
The top three—amazon.de, otto.de, and zalando.de—continue to dominate, accounting for over 40% of total e-commerce sales, similar to previous years. The fourth and fifth places still belong to electronics giants mediamarkt.de and notebooksbilliger.de. These top players have maintained their positions due to a combination of brand trust, extensive product ranges, and efficient delivery systems.
2. Impact of COVID-19
The pandemic has not only accelerated the shift towards online shopping but also influenced consumer preferences. Health and safety have become paramount, leading to contactless deliveries and digital payments becoming standard. The pandemic has also made e-commerce indispensable for many, especially for essential goods.
3. Sustainability in E-commerce
Sustainability is now a key focus for many e-commerce shops. From eco-friendly packaging to carbon-neutral shipping methods, companies are taking steps to reduce their environmental impact. This shift is not just corporate responsibility but also a response to consumer demand for more sustainable options.
4. Emerging Sectors: Home Fitness
The home fitness sector has seen a surge due to gym closures during the pandemic. Brands offering home workout equipment and online fitness programs have capitalized on this trend. This sector is expected to continue growing as people find the convenience of home workouts appealing.
5. Emerging Sectors: Sustainable Goods
Eco-friendly and sustainable products are gaining more attention. Brands that focus on sustainability are seeing increased consumer engagement and loyalty. This trend is expected to continue as climate change remains a pressing issue.
6. FMCG and Groceries on the Rise
Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and groceries have seen significant growth. Lidl.de, for example, has reached a 10.2% total growth revenue, while shop.rewe.de has also performed well with 150m USD of growth revenue.
7. Apple’s Influence
Apple.com is the first non-German e-commerce site to make it into the top rankings, securing the 7th position. Its success can be attributed to its global brand recognition and high-quality products, which resonate well with German consumers.
8. Fashion Sector Insights
Revenue in the fashion segment is expected to continue growing. Leaders like bonprix.de and hm.de have maintained their positions, while German stores like aboutyou.de and zalando-lounge.de are also making their mark. The fashion sector is diversifying, with more focus on sustainable and inclusive clothing.
9. Health and Pharmacy Sector
The health and pharmacy sector are doing exceptionally well, led by doc.morris, douglas.de, and medpex.de. Shop-apotheke.com has been a big surprise, with total growth revenue reaching almost 13%. This sector’s growth can be attributed to an increased focus on health and wellness, especially during the pandemic.
10. The Importance of Omnichannel Presence
The trend of maintaining both online and offline presences continues to be effective. Giants like Media Markt, Saturn, H&M, and IKEA have successfully implemented this strategy. Smaller German brands like Mytoys.de and cyberport.de are also finding success with an omnichannel approach.
11. Local vs. Global Players
While American giants like Amazon continue to dominate, local German shops are showing significant growth. This competition is healthy for the market and offers consumers more choices. The key to success for local players lies in understanding the unique needs and preferences of the German consumer.
12. Trust and Brand Recognition
Having a well-recognized brand and a localized website are key factors for success. Amazon’s continued dominance in Germany is a testament to this, as they not only offer a German-language website but also have built significant brand trust over the years.
Forecasts for 2024
As the German eCommerce landscape continues to evolve, we can expect several trends to dominate the market.
The industry, currently led by giants like Amazon, Otto, and Zalando, is likely to see increased competition as Shopware gains traction as a preferred eCommerce platform. The top online stores, which currently account for a significant market share, may face challenges from emerging players who specialize in niche markets, such as beauty, home improvement, and fashion.
Moreover, the market is showing a shift towards sustainable practices and customer-centric models. With Germany being a frontrunner in environmental consciousness, online shops that align with these values are expected to gain prominence.
Then, the integration of advanced technologies like AI and machine learning will enhance personalized shopping experiences, thereby increasing customer retention rates.
However, it’s crucial to note that the market has shown some fluctuations in growth rates, which could be indicative of market saturation or economic variables. Therefore, adaptability will be key for online shops to thrive in this dynamic environment.
Overall, the German online shopping sphere is set for a transformative phase, filled with opportunities and challenges alike.