According to analysts Schickler, German shoppers spent more than €100bn online in one year for the first time in 2016.
Compare that with the UK. The IMRG say that in 2016 Brits spent £133bn, about €153bn. That’s 16% growth year on year by the same measures and that’s interesting. That’s greater percentage growth in 2016 than 2015. So all is well in UK ecommerce and it seems that the accelerating growth is largely thanks to the growing popularity of mobile commerce.
The methodology though for the German results is, however, unusual and probably means that the online market in Germany is even bigger than they say. It only includes private expenditure and not B2B spend.
It’s long been the case that the UK has been a more adventurous online shopping nation than Germany. And there are several reasons for that: a more vibrant consumer culture, easier access to credit and a willingness to use online payments services. The Germans are still very much committed to bank transfers which can be cumbersome.
But the overall message here is good news. Ecommerce continues to grow and develop and a confident buying public in Germany is good news for Britain and sellers who export within the EU. We’ll have to see if Brexit develops in a way that might hamper that opportunity.