E-commerce DACH: surpasses €100 billion

April 7, 2021 by
Sanne Leenders

For the very first time, e-commerce in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (DACH) reached a consolidated volume of more than €100 billion (including VAT). The German-speaking e-commerce markets are now generating more sales than any other language area in Europe. In Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the average order per capita was around €1,000 a year. That is significantly more than in France, for example. However, it is still considerable less than in the UK.

Switzerland experiences strongest e-commerce growth

In terms of percentage, last year’s growth of the e-commerce market was strongest in Switzerland. The country experienced an increase of 27.9% compared to 2019. This DACH country is followed by Austria (+17.4%) and Germany (+14.6%). The e-commerce share in retail continues to rise steadily in all three markets.

Comparing the countries

Germany, Austria and Switzerland (DACH) definitely differ in their shopping behavior. In 2020, consumers in Switzerland bought goods worth CHF 13.1 billion (equivalent to €11.84 billion, +27.2%) online. Online purchases have thus doubled within six years. In the previous year, the Austrian branch was able to generate more than €8.5 billion in e-commerce for the first time. The turnover generated via mobile devices has increased by more than 50%. This was more than in Germany, where the volume only rose by 11.1%. However, the share of mobile commerce in total e-commerce sales in this country is more than twice as high as in Austria. In Germany, online sales of goods for 2020 will be €83.3 billion. This results in a percentage increase of 14.6% compared to 2019.

Online grocery shopping

Although the grocery trade in all three countries had never closed during the entire COVID-19 outbreak, it increased the most in percentage terms in online trade. But the e-food sector is still nowhere stronger than in Switzerland. At €1.5 billion, it is well below the German online food trade (€2.3 billion, +43.75%). However, with a roughly comparable population size, it is more than twice as high as in Austria (€693 million, +20.9%). On the other hand, every German per capita did not even spend €33 on grocery online (a total of €2.7 billion, +67%). In Switzerland it was more than €175, in Austria more than €78.

Online pure players

The big online pure players in Switzerland continued to achieve high growth rates of up to 50% at a high level. In Germany, almost every second euro spent in 2020 was made on online marketplaces and platforms. The growth of this category, which is particularly pronounced at more than 20%, conceals an increase in large and small retailers. Marketplaces such as Amazon, Mercateo, otto.de or Zalando also play an important role by making it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) start in online trading.

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