eBay and Amazon are most popular

The most popular online shops are eBay (26%) and Amazon (22%). This was revealed by the “Online Shopping Survey” conducted by the Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung (GfK). This study also states the reasons for this popularity: particularly important to online clients is that they can order the goods in an easy way and that there is a broad product range. Service and the process of returning a product are of secondary importance.

Shopping SiteOnline purchasersPercentage of respondents calling this site their favorite
Ebay.de56%26%
Amazon.de49%22%
Quelle.de20%2%
Otto.de19%4%
Tchibo.de18%2%

(based on the answers of 795 online purchaser who bought in the last 12 months)

This study analysed which criteria are most important from a customer’s point of view and how a favourite site is assessed in comparison with its competitors. Thus, an easy ordering process is crucial for online buyers. According to 81% of respondents, their respective favourite outperforms the competitors in this respect. Similarly important are a broad product range and a large choice (78%). Of relatively small importance, on the other hand, are immediate replies to enquiries (65%), rating by other purchasers (61%) as well as the return of products (50%).

The above rating shows that criteria relating to the products themselves are more important to customers than those concerning service and order processing. The traditional German mail order businesses such as Baur.de, Neckermann.de, Otto.de, Quelle.de and Schwab.de, however, also have to make sure that for instance returns of products can be processed without problems. In this respect they offer above-average services and to 81% of customers they outperform their competitors in this respect. To the operators of a shopping site, however, this criterion is less important from a customer’s point of view.

The study also shows that the online shopping market in Germany has still potential. At the end of last year 56% of the 55 million Germans aged between 14 and 69 purchased on the internet. This corresponds to an increased by 8.4% as compared to the year 2006. Only in the year 2003 the increase had been even bigger (15.8%). Since the GfK “Online Shopping Survey” was first conducted in the year 2002, internet shopping grew on average by 9% each year.

Most popular product groups are still books (12 million), garments (11.5 million) as well as entrance tickets (9.4 million). The number of online purchasers rose e.g. by 1.2 million for garments, but also with regard to drugs (+1.2 million), sport articles and equipment (+1.1 million) as well as computer software and computer games (+1.0 million).

The “Online Shopping Survey” is conducted annually. For the latest study 3300 Germans aged between 14 and 69 were interviewed (1.300 of which by phone and 2.000 online). The study can be ordered from Enigma GfK. GERMAN