Startups
Nuno Barbosa
2020-01-30

German e-commerce ecosystem. Why is it a booming market for online retailers with high potential for e-commerce tech solution providers?

The e-commerce market in Germany is a great place to grow your business. It is estimated that its 2020 revenue will reach $ 82,155 m. Many thriving companies have made informed decisions to establish their HQ there, as this location can boost dynamic growth and excellent financial results.

A brief statistical overview of the e-commerce market in Germany

The German market holds many interesting e-commerce companies. If you are interested in this industry, you have probably read more about the successes of German companies. Even if not, all you need is a quick look at the available statistics (ours are based on statista.com) to see the potential of this market.

Examples? The average revenue per user (ARPU) currently reaches $1,188,18. The largest segment of this market is the electronics and media, with a market volume of $ 22,714 million. It is estimated that revenues per year will show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2020-2024) at the level of 7.5%, which will increase the market volume to $ 99,813 million by 2024.

Let's also take a look at user penetration. Currently, it is at about 82.5%. It is expected to reach 85.8% by 2024. Further, it is forecasted that in the same year the number of e-commerce market users in Germany will reach 71.7 million. And finally, one more interesting fact – in 2020, 97% of all e-commerce purchases in Germany will be national.

As a short summary of the above, please take a look at a breakdown of the revenue growth of the e-commerce market in Germany year to year:

ecommerce data

source: statista.com

What is more, current data show that the German e-commerce market is right behind the global giants, namely China, the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom.

Thriving e-commerce companies in Germany

To provide some grounding to our ideas, I have prepared a list of five companies that, in my opinion, deserve the attention of the e-commerce market in Germany. They are characterized by a relatively high growth rate, excellent production and – most probably – a bright future.

ABOUT YOU

Founded: 2014

About ABOUT YOU: the company is digitalizing the classic shopping stroll by creating an inspiring and personalized shopping experience on your smartphone. The platform is adjusting the site to each customer’s individual style. At ABOUT YOU, the focus is on the customer and, as a consequence, the infinite number of different personalities expressed through fashion, all supported by ABOUT YOU. In addition to a wide range of inspirations, women and men between 18 and 49 years of age will find an assortment of more than 200,000 articles from over 1,000 brands. With more than 10 million active users each month,  aboutyou.com is one of the largest fashion and lifestyle platforms in Europe.

The fashion-tech company’s  sales reached €283 million in 2017/18. For the current financial year, it is expecting the sales of €450-480 million, which is equal to an annual transaction volume of more than €1.6 billion. The company is currently valued at over one billion dollars, which makes ABOUT YOU Hamburg’s first unicorn.

Mister Spex

Founded: 2017

About Mister Spex: The company establishes a new way of buying glasses that keeps up with the changing times – one that combines the advantages of e-commerce with a range of services and advice from top opticians available at your favorite stores. Mister Spex means greater choice and transparent prices, plus an easy and intuitive process. To put it simply, they provide all the services their customers need. Their approach may be summarized by saying that it’s the today’s way to buy eyewear. Since the start of the online shop in April 2008, Mister Spex has become Europe’s leading omnichannel optician with more than three million customers. The company currently has over 450 employees.

Brille 24

Founded: 2007

About Brille 24: The company is a member of the Essilor Group. Brille 24 was founded in 2007 and is growing dynamically in the very heart of the beautiful city of Oldenburg. They provide more than detailed advice, as their offer also entails a diverse range of products, consisting of over 1,500 fashionable prescription, progressive and contact lenses as well as sunglasses. Their online shops in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the Czech Republic confirm that their customers are receive first-class service in other European countries as well.

Mobile

Founded: 1996

About Mobile: On mobile.de, buyers can find new and used cars as well as motorcycles, trucks and motorhomes. Users who advertise their vehicles for sale can contact customers across Germany and beyond. The mobile.de’s extensive choice and reach guarantee a balance between supply and demand, additionally ensuring excellent sales results. The mobile.de company is not involved at any stage in the purchase or sale of the vehicle. The company’s services are aimed at professional car dealers and private customers. In Germany, about 31,000 dealers use mobile.de., which means that some two-thirds of all car dealers registered in Germany use this online vehicle market. Additional services, such as finding attractive financing and insurance deals or online advertising, round off mobile.de’s offer.

Real

Founded: 1992

About Real: it is a platform that offers quick and easily available products that people need every day – from food and electrical appliances to clothing. Real already has 280 hypermarkets in Germany and employs 45,000 employees. Of course, the offer also includes an online store, where customers can find a wide range of products that are e just a few clicks away.

Ecommerce companies

German e-commerce services providers

In addition to the companies presented above, there are several interesting solutions dedicated to e-commerce companies – services providers on the German market. Let us take a look at some of them.

Shopware

Founded: 2000

About Shopware: this leading e-commerce system is used by some of the largest European brands, retailers and manufacturers across B2C and B2B industries. As a trendsetting open source solution, Shopware gives retailers the freedom to quickly and easily realize their growth potential, with more flexibility and less complexity. Today, more than 100,000 companies rely on a Shopware solution, with all retailers – from start-ups to large enterprises – generating a combined turnover of 5.8 billion euros in 2018.

Idealo

Founded: 2000

About Idealo: This company is a Berlin-base, start-up. Seventeen years ago, Idealo started off with the mission of helping users make the best purchasing decisions. Today, they are the leading price comparison website in Europe and one of the largest portals on the German e-commerce market. They achieved this by obtaining more than 1.3 million page impressions per day, 50,000 online shops, around 3,300 million product offers and more than 4 million app downloads.

Billbee

Founded: 2015

About Billbee: The company offers comprehensive but easy-to-use order processing, inventory management and automation for sellers who sell products through one or more online channels.

All relevant processes in the retail environment, from customer communication to shipping and after-sales service, can be mapped by Billbee or directly connected and integrated partners.

Billie

Founded: 2016

About Billie: They are a breakthrough Fintech start-up from Berlin that aims to revolutionize small business financing. They are a team of large-caliber start-up veterans that successfully founded, grew and sold their first company (founded Zencap, sold to Funding Circle). They are now scaling their next venture. The company has a world-class team on the ground and some of the strongest European investors backing their company.

Based on big data analytics, fully digitalized processes and a highly scalable state-of-the-art tech platform, they offer the simplest and fastest way for small businesses to access capital.

CGTrader ARsenal

Founded: 2011

About the CG Trader ARsenal: It is a complete and 100% scalable 3D product visualization platform for retail.

It includes everything you need to bring 3D visualization to your online shoppers, including 360° product views, augmented reality, and other game-changing 3D experiences for your e‑commerce site.

CGTrader is actually a company from Lithuania, however, taking into account its global scale of operations and support provided by the German e-commerce market, I decided it is worth mentioning right here.

Summary

The e-commerce market is doing great in Germany. It is developing dynamically and in a stable wat, which means that the future will bring more companies that will be national (and maybe even global) successes. In addition, the good conditions of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Germany should be highlighted. For example, Berlin is perceived as one of the most advantageous places to do business in Europe. Some say it is a European tech hub, although similar opinions point to London. In any case, the potential of this market is indisputable.

Read more:

- Exceeded deadlines, overspent budget, unrealized goals… Sounds like your projects?

- Business thriving in Israel? Yes, it is! Check out promising Israel companies

- Painless way to WSL 2 with Docker