Online shopping: German consumers ahead of the USA in third place


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In a recent survey, the payment provider Klarna examined the importance of online shopping for German consumers in an international comparison.

The preference for online shopping continued to increase in Germany in the last quarter. Germans now prefer online shopping to the same extent as in-store shopping, according to the latest results of Klarna’s Shopping Pulse, for which 18,000 consumers in 11 countries were surveyed. According to this, 47 percent of Germans plan to do most of their shopping online in one year. This means a significant increase compared to the last quarter, when the share was still 42 percent.

In an international comparison, Germany is in third place behind Sweden (48 percent) and the United Kingdom (57 percent) and ahead of the USA. However, the purchasing behavior itself differs from other countries. This is because Germans like to use their computers comparatively well here and are less keen on shopping with their smartphones than consumers in other countries. In Germany, 58 percent prefer the computer to the smartphone. Only in Belgium (66 percent) and France (65 percent) is the love for computers even greater.

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The index (100) defines the point at which shoppers split their purchases evenly between online and physical stores. (Graphic: Klarna)

The trend towards online shopping continues to increase in Germany

The study shows that online shopping is becoming increasingly popular in Germany. After strong growth in recent quarters, Germany is in third place in an international comparison, ahead of the USA. Only consumers from Sweden and the UK rely even more heavily on online purchases. 47 percent of Germans state that they will do most of their shopping online in a year. This means a significant increase compared to 42 percent in the previous quarter.

In an international comparison, Germany is in third place out of 11 countries, just behind Sweden (48 percent) and the United Kingdom (57 percent). German baby boomers (57-75 year olds) are characterized as tech-savvy and prefer online shopping to a greater extent than their peers in any other country, including the UK and Sweden.

Online shopping: Peak time in Germany is Sunday evening

In Germany, most online shopping takes place on Sundays. The late evening hours are particularly popular here. 9pm is the peak time here on an average shopping day. However, Germans use their smartphones for online shopping less often than consumers in other countries. 58 percent prefer the computer. This has become even stronger over the course of the year. It rose from 52 percent in the second to 56 percent in the third and 58 percent in the fourth quarter. When it comes to price comparisons and reviews, 91 percent of German consumers occasionally research online before shopping in stores. 64 percent conduct such research frequently. The most common product category to research before purchasing is electronics. Here, 77 percent of those surveyed do so.

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The Preferred Products Index is calculated relative to the national average. (Graphic: Klarna)

The digitization of retail is progressing

“In the future, we will talk less about online shopping and physical stores as separate entities. The digitization of retail has progressed further due to the pandemic restrictions. Customers increasingly expect retailers to provide them with services and information that enable them to find out more about the brand and products at various touchpoints and make well-founded purchasing decisions. We assume that this will further accelerate the merging of online and offline,” explains Nicole Defren, Commercial Director DACH at Klarna.