Consumer Segmentation

German Internet Use

As the biggest market in terms of population with the highest total purchasing power in Europe, Germany offers a variety of lucrative opportunities for international companies seeking to expand operations. With more than 56 million regular online users (almost 80% of the total German population aged 14+), Germany is home to more internet users than any other country in Europe.


Online shopping is widespread in Germany – and not just among younger members of the population. While close to 100% of individuals aged 18-49 use the internet, the share of adults aged 50+ who surf the web is also increasing dramatically. In fact, those people aged 50-59 use the internet at a rate of close to 90%, while nearly half of all adults aged 60+ utilize this ever pervasive technology. These last two groups are of particular importance for retailers as they constitute the age group with the highest purchasing power.

Online Device Shift

German consumers are switching from stationary computers to mobile smartphones and tablets at an ever increasing rate. By May 2016, 69% of interviewed individuals reported having shopped online using their smartphones –equivalent to a 5% increase on the previous year. While individuals between the ages of 18 and 39 clearly shopped online the most with these devices (84%), the majority of those aged 40+ also reported using a mobile device for mobile shopping purposes (59%). The largest jump in online shopping using tablets and smartphones could be seen among women and normal earners, both of whom now use their smartphones for online shopping at rates of 67% and 69% respectively. These numbers represent a 6% increase in usage for both groups.

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