Despite a high level of reluctance to provide credit card details, a majority of Germans shop online. According to a 2002 Taylor Nelson Sofres report, 73 percent of the nation’s consumers were hesitant to part with their digits, yet research indicates that more than 64 percent of the World Factbook’s estimated 28.64 million German Internet users are online shoppers.
Mistrust could be attributed to low credit card usage – only 36 percent of Germans carry a credit card, according to Forrester Research, compared to 67 percent in the UK – but that doesn’t seem to deter the nation’s 18 million online shoppers. Forrester contends that Germany will account for €5 billion of the projected €20 billion in European Net-influenced sales, since many Germans prefer to use the Internet to research products rather than buy.
Deutsche Welle is reporting an 83 percent increase in 2002 online holiday purchases over 2001, which will bump overall online sales for 2002 up 60 percent over the year prior – translating into an expected €8 billion (US$8.15 billion) and 1.6 percent of Germany’s retail sales.
The German Retailers’ Association (HDE) has high hopes for the 2003 holiday shopping season – the organization is forecasting a 38 percent increase totaling of €11 billion in online sales, and 2.1 percent of all retail sales.
German market research firm GfK Group categorized most online shoppers to be male, and in the 30-39 year old age range, with buying habits that mimic American purchases – books, CDs, video, and clothing are among the most popular items.
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