One fifth of retail traders sell online

According to the Federal Statistical Office, about 18% of all retail trade companies sold their products such as books, garment or electronic devices online in 2006. Thus, as compared to the year 2004 online sales increased by 7% in 2006. Retail traders on average generated about 10% of their total turnover online in 2006. Even though this percentage seems to be high, online sales in 2006 in the retail trade business amounted to just 4% of total turnover value.
Even though in public discussions data security and IT security are over and over again said to be of particular importance for electronic commerce, there are still many problems in this respect. Just 44% of retail trade business selling online provided their customers with a fairly secure ordering process through secure data transmission.

Apart from retailers, about 14% of all German businesses sold their products or services online in the year 2006 as compared to 10% in 2004. However, expressed in monetary terms turnover generated over the internet is still quite small: just 3% of total turnover of all German companies combined were generated online.

Furthermore, the use of the internet for online sales varies a lot in accordance to company size. While 12% of companies with less than 20 employees sold online in 2006, this percentage amounted to 27% and even 31% for companies with between 20 and 249 employees and more than 250 employees respectively.

Further details of the survey on the use of e-commerce by German companies are available online. GERMAN