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B2C E-Commerce in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria Continuing to Rise

In its latest “Central Europe B2C E-Commerce Report 2012”, Hamburg-based secondary market research company analyzes current trends, sales, shares, as well as leading product categories, Internet users, online shoppers, and leading competitors in the B2C E-Commerce markets in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.

Hamburg, Germany, December 09, 2012 --( While B2C E-Commerce sales in Germany have grown at an increasing speed in the years up to 2012, the pace of growth in both Austria and Switzerland has slowed. The share of online shoppers on the population was also higher in Germany in 2011, than in its two neighboring countries.

The Share of Online Sales on total Retail Sales in Germany grows

In Germany, B2C E-Commerce revenues was forecasted to increase by a low double digit percentage figure in 2012, while the share of B2C E-Commerce on total retail sales in Germany was expected to grow by more than half a percentage point in 2012 as well. At the same time, mobile shopping also gained in popularity. According to forecasts, the number of Internet users in Germany is said to increase by only a low single-digit percentage figure annually between 2011 and 2016. Overall, the online purchase rate of consumers in Germany was higher than the European average: In 2011, almost two thirds of all Germans bought products or services for personal use online. “Fashion items, textiles and shoes” was the most frequently ordered product category in Germany, followed by “media, images and sound” as well as “consumer electronics”. The B2C E-Commerce website with the highest number of online shoppers in Germany in 2011 was also came out on top regarding online revenues, followed by In summer 2012, every tenth visitor to - the second largest online bookshop in Germany - accessed the site from a mobile device. Online fashion retailer Zalando was not only able to welcome nearly 6 million visitors to its online shop in 2011, but also made the top 20 of online shops in Germany by B2C E-Commerce sales.

Low Online Shopper Rate despite high Internet Usage in Austria

In Austria, approximately half of all online orders were conducted on foreign websites in 2011, with German ones leading the way. Growth in B2C E-Commerce sales of products was projected to drop considerably in the years following 2011. Online revenues increased by more than a third annually between 2007 and 2011, but they are expected to grow by less than ten percent every year from 2011 to 2016. While the share of Internet users on individuals surpassed three quarters in 2011, less than half of all inhabitants of Austria conducted online purchases. “Clothing and sports goods” as well as “travel accommodations and other travel arrangements” were purchased especially often by online shoppers in Austria in the second quarter of 2012. The highest B2C E-Commerce revenues were generated by and mass merchants and In October 2012, British fashion retailer Marks&Spencer launched its online shop in Austria.

B2C E-Commerce and Mobile Shopping Continue to Increase in Revenues in Switzerland

Between 2010 and 2011, B2C E-Commerce revenues grew by a low double digit percentage figure. The total number of Internet users in Switzerland is increasing slowly but steadily as is their share on the entire population. However, the growth rate is not very high. The growing popularity of mobile shopping is helping to increase revenues in Switzerland, where mobile Internet websites are becoming increasingly popular. In 2012, competition from foreign business increased in the Swiss online market. It is especially attractive to German B2C E-Commerce players, due to the low language barrier. The most frequently purchased online products are from the categories “travel and hotels”, “books and magazines”, “fashion”, and “digital media”. In Switzerland, auction site and consumer electronics retailer generated particularly high revenues in 2011. Ricardo was also the most popular online shop among customers in Switzerland, followed by Amazon.

The “Central Europe B2C E-Commerce Report 2012” by points out the differences and similarities between B2C E-Commerce in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Mass merchants such as Amazon and Otto generate high online revenues, especially in Germany and Austria. Furthermore, mobile shopping increases in popularity in Switzerland and Germany.

For further information, see:

Press Contact: GmbH & Co. KG
Behringstrasse 28a, D-22765 Hamburg
Phone: +49 (0)40 - 39 90 68 50
Fax: +49 (0)40 - 39 90 68 51


About has been committed to research up-to-date, objective and demand-based data on markets and competitors for top managers from various industries since 2005. Headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, the firm has a strong international focus and is specialized in secondary market research. In addition to offering reports on markets and competitors, also carries out client-specific research. Clients include leading global enterprises from various industries including B2C E-Commerce, electronic payment systems, mail order and direct marketing, logistics, as well as banking and consulting.
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Lukas Schöberlein

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