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Germany's B2C and B2B Markets

Both markets boast huge potential for international companies as both markets have been expanding rapidly within the last years. Consumers and businesses alike are becoming more and more online-oriented. Especially developments in the B2B market signal significant potential of an expanding virtual business environment.

B2B e-commerce market

Innovative technologies will become more and more relevant in the e-commerce B2B sector.

According to a 2019 ibi research study, some 77 percent of surveyed companies buy online. More than two thirds of purchasers rate product availability, expected delivery times and price overview the most relevant information on B2B websites. More than 50 percent of respondent companies consider it likely that products will be partially reordered automatically via the “Internet of the Things.” The study also found that 75 percent of companies already generate online revenue – with 17 percent  generating more than half of their revenue online.

However, in contrast to the most relevant information for purchasers, around 25 percent of companies still do not offer information on product availability, price overview and expected delivery times (approximately 30 percent do not provide this information). Ninety percent of interviewed companies expect more than half of their B2B purchases to be made online by the year 2025.

B2C e-commerce market

The German e-commerce market is expanding rapidly. During the period 2017 to 2022, B2C e-commerce grew by 69 percent – from EUR 58.5 billion to EUR 99.1 billion. With 58 million people – 84 percent of the German population over the age of 16 – purchasing online on a regular basis, Germany boasts not only the most internet users in Europe but also the greatest e-commerce customer potential. Fashion, Electronic Goods, Computer, Games and Software followed by Household Goods and Furniture, Lamps and Decoration were the five sectors with the highest revenue in Germany in 2021.

Top 10 Online Shops in Germany 2021

Online shop


Turnover 2020


Amazon EU S.a.r.l.


EUR 13,876 million


Otto GmbH & Co.KG


EUR 4,500 million


Zalando SE

Apparel, textiles, shoes

EUR 1,944 million


Media Markt Saturn E-Commerce GmbH

Computer, consumer electronics

EUR 1,842 million


Media Markt Saturn E-Commerce GmbH

Computer, consumer electronics

EUR 1,104 million


Lidl Digital International GmbH & Co. KG


EUR 1,016 million


Apple Distribution International Ltd.

Computer, consumer electronics

EUR 878 million


IKEA Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG

Furniture, household goods

EUR 861 million

9 AG

Computer, consumer electronics

EUR 818 million


H&M Hennes & Mauritz GBC AG

Apparel, textiles, shoes

EUR 713 million

Source: iBusiness 2021

Combined with an extensive, highly developed logistics infrastructure, Germany is the clear continental leader and offers a myriad of opportunities for international online retailers and service providers alike.

B2C online market places

In 2021, some 51 percent of B2C e-commerce revenue was generated via online market places in Germany. Revenue of EUR 50.5 billion for the year represented an almost 20 percent increase on 2020 turnover levels.

There are 214 B2C market places in the DACH region (German-speaking countries in Europe Germany, Austria, Switzerland) – three times as many as in 2015 when only Amazon and eBay were of real relevance. In the last two pandemic years  more than a hundred new players have emerged and 30 have been forced to close down. Nearly all categories show a considerable diversity of providers. Seventy-two of the 214 market places focus on sustainability or offer second-hand products.

Thanks to better price conditions, a broader product offer and higher comfort, online marketplaces are becoming more popular among consumers in Germany. A recent study by sendcloud found that 87 percent of German consumers regularly purchase via online market places and 38 percent intend to increase their purchase intensity levels on digital market places.

Delivery options play a crucial part. Sixty percent of customers would cancel their order process on a market place if their preferred delivery option is not available. Forty percent of consumers have signed up to a delivery subscription service, the most popular of these being Amazon Prime.

Top 10 online market places in Germany 2021

  1. Amazon
  2. eBay
  3. Otto
  4. Zalando
  5. Etsy
  6. About You
  7. Shop Apotheke
  8. Alternate
  10. Avocado Store

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