Press Release

Power to the purchaser!

Know yourself and your customer

Berlin (GTAI) - Karl-Heinz, a 53-year-old, has just taken delivery of a new pair of designer jeans from an internet retailer. They fit ok, they are faultless in stitching and colour, but as he faces his mirror in the cold light of day, they just don’t seem to hang in the way he wanted them to, nor, if he were honest, are they the colour he thought he wanted. Ultimately, despite there being no fault on the retailer or supplier side, Karl-Heinz is not satisfied. So he returns the jeans (at the retailer’s cost) before he has even settled the bill for them.

Karl-Heinz is a fairly typical German internet customer. He is older than you’d expect, more discerning and trendy with his choices, and will only pay upon both receipt and satisfaction with his order. It’s not a profile of customer that retailers would normally expect and pander to, but in Germany, the customer has significant bargaining power. Customers such as Karl-Heinz will be the focus of a presentation by federal economic development agency Germany Trade & Invest’s Manager of Consumer Markets and e-Commerce, Nadine Litchfield, at the Ecommerce Berlin expo on February 2. As well as talking about what to look for in German customers, Ms. Litchfield will also give a full briefing on the dimensions of the German market and the advantages of an investment in Europe’s largest retail market.

With 68 million people (84% of the German population) online on a regular basis, Germany boasts not only the most internet users in Europe, but also the greatest e-commerce customer potential. Germany is also responsible for around one quarter of all European B2C e-commerce revenue. The A.T. Kearney Global Retail E-Commerce Index 2015 identified Germany as Europe’s second largest online market behind the UK – but with almost triple the UK’s current growth potential. Germany has the highest total purchasing power and is the biggest market in Europe with 82.2 million potential customers.

There are strategic considerations too. Germany is located in the center of mainland Europe, which offers a number of practical advantages for companies to expand into and deliver to the rest of Europe. In today’s e-commerce world where shipment time is crucial for customers, setting up a warehouse or logistical facility in Germany is beneficial. “The German market is the biggest consumer market in Europe with the highest total purchasing power, making it highly attractive,” said Ms. Litchfield. “It is highly competitive, with the highest standards expected by its customers. But an investment in gaining a foothold within this market is undoubtedly a strategic goal worth achieving. Ms. Litchfield’s presentation will be on Thursday February 2 at 11.40 on Stage A. For more info on the trade show, please see the link below.

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