E-commerce market in DACH crosses the 100 billion euro barrier for the first time – eCommerce Magazin

Per capita was in the three countries in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on average ordered for around 1,000 euros a year – Significantly more than in France, for example (67 million inhabitants and around 46.4 billion euros in comparable e-commerce volume), but still considerably less than in England (82.6 billion euros market volume, around 1,233 euros per capita and year). Together, the German-speaking e-commerce market accounts for a quarter of the e-commerce sales in the USA.

The e-commerce market is growing the fastest in Switzerland

In terms of percentage, growth in 2020 was in Switzerland with a plus of 27.9 percent, followed by Austria (plus 17.4 percent) and Germany (plus 14.6 percent). The share of e-commerce in retail continues to rise in all three markets. Germany, Austria and Switzerland differ in terms of Shopping behavior absolutely. In order to show the differences in the countries, the industry associations have Federal Association of E-Commerce and Mail Order Germany eV (bevh), Handelsverband – Association of Austrian trading companies and compared the results.

Mobile commerce is growing the fastest in Austria

In 2020, consumers in Switzerland bought goods worth CHF 13.1 billion (equivalent to EUR 11.84 billion, up 27.2 percent) online. Online purchases have thus doubled within six years. In the previous year, the Austrian branch was able to generate more than 8.5 billion euros in e-commerce for the first time. Of the Sales generated via mobile devices has increased by more than 50 percent – more than in Germany, where the volume only rose by 11.1 percent. However, the share of mobile commerce in total e-commerce sales in this country is more than twice as high as in Austria.

In Germany, online sales of goods for 2020 will be 83.3 billion euros. This results in a percentage increase of 14.6 percent compared to 2019. Although the grocery trade never closed in all three countries during the entire Corona crisis, the percentage increase in online trade was the strongest in all three countries.

The e-food sector is nowhere stronger than in Switzerland: At 1.5 billion euros, it is well below the German one Online grocery retailing (2.3 billion euros, plus 43.75 percent). But with a roughly comparable population size, the e-commerce market is twice as high as in Austria (693 million euros, plus 20.9 percent). In turn, every German per capita did not even spend 33 euros on groceries on the Internet (a total of 2.7 billion euros, up 67 percent). In Switzerland it was more than 175 euros, in Austria more than 78 euros.

E-commerce market in Switzerland leaps three years

“In 2020, online trading in Switzerland made a three-year leap. We are positively impressed how the retailer as well as the downstream delivery was able to provide such services at a high level over months. Even during the Christmas season, everything worked almost perfectly. It was interesting to observe that omni-channel providers in particular were able to absorb growth rates of a factor of five to ten during the closure phases, ”explains Patrick Kessler, Managing Director of

Rainer Will, Managing Director of the Austrian Trade Association, explains: “In the Corona year 2020 in Austria, online trade grew faster than ever before, by 17.4 percent. The pandemic has thus fueled e-commerce in this country even more than in Germany. All age groups are now shopping on the Internet and it will remain that way after Covid. The trend towards regional purchasing is also continuing – a great opportunity for the web shops in the DACH region to impress with European quality. ”

In Germany, fashion retail leads home electronics

While the fashion segment in Germany was able to expand its gap to the formerly leading home electronics (brown and white goods as well as telecommunications) despite the initial weakness, the opposite effect has occurred in Switzerland. Once again, significantly more orders were placed online in the home electronics category in Switzerland. A sales volume of over CHF 3 billion (plus 48 percent) makes this area the most popular retail range in the e-commerce market in terms of sales.

In Germany, the corresponding ranges reached a consolidated volume of 20.5 billion euros, 12.6 percent more than a year earlier. Clothing and shoes, on the other hand, were bought online in Switzerland for CHF 2.5 billion (plus 15 percent). German consumers bought clothing and shoes online for 21.2 billion euros (plus 13.2 percent) in 2020.

The large online pure players in Switzerland continued to achieve high growth rates of up to 50 percent at a high level. In Germany, almost every second euro spent in 2020 was made on online marketplaces and platforms. The growth of this category, which is particularly pronounced at more than 20 percent, conceals an increase in large and small retailers. Marketplaces such as Amazon, Mercateo, and Zalando also played an important role by making it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to enter the e-commerce market.

E-commerce market bevh
The clothing sector was ahead of electronics and telecommunications in terms of goods volumes in 2020. (Graphic: bevh)

E-commerce is the engine of trade

“These impressive DACH figures show that – despite all the regional differences in detail – e-commerce is the engine for retail everywhere. This does not even include numerous services purchased online, such as travel or events, nor the much larger e-commerce between companies. The resulting opportunities for value creation and economic growth still need to be raised in many cases, as is our study on Importance of e-commerce for the German economy has shown ”, explains Christoph Wenk-Fischer, General Manager of the bevh.

bevh Wenk-Fischer online trade
Christoph Wenk-Fischer is the general manager of the bevh. (Image: bevh)

The survey methodology: The figures are based on consumer and company surveys in the three countries and have been brought together in a coordinated manner so that both a direct country comparison and a view of the entire region is possible. Since the values ​​are based on consumer values, they are gross values. At eight percent, Switzerland has a significantly lower VAT rate than Germany (19 percent) and Austria (20 percent), which is reflected in the total volume. Comparative values ​​for England, France and the USA were based on the representations of calculated.

Of the Federal Association of E-Commerce and Mail Order Germany eV (bevh) is the industry association of interactive retailers, i.e. online and mail order retailers). In addition to the senders, well-known service providers are also affiliated with the bevh. After merging with the Federal Association of Grocery Online Retailers and the Federal Association of German Mail Order Booksellers, bevh represents all companies and more than 75 percent of the industry’s turnover in the end customer business. (sg)

Also read: E-commerce industry: sales in Germany rise to over 83 billion euros