The new “Branchenreport Onlinehandel 2018” of IFH Cologne provides detailed figures on the German online market. Just like last year, the experts are forecasting sales growth of around 10 percent. Amazon continues to make a decisive contribution to this growth and is significantly involved in online purchasing decisions.

There’s no end in sight. Online trade in Germany grew by around ten percent in 2017 and this year, too, there is no stopping in sight: IFH experts are forecasting online sales of around 63 billion euros for 2018. The results of the new IFH study “Branchenreport Onlinehandel 2018” show that online trade in Germany will continue to grow in the future: While consumer spending by private households grew by around 12 percent and retail sales by 15 percent between 2012 and 2017, online trading grew by 74 percent in the same period. This is an increase of 92 percent until 2018.
“On the provider side, new offers and better services are the main drivers of market growth. The online segment is gaining further momentum due to increased demand from online shoppers from older age groups,” explains study author Hansjürgen Heinick, Senior Consultant at IFH Cologne in a press release.

Amazon contributes decisively to growth

Amazon is still the dominant player in the German online trade. The online giant is not only expanding its supremacy through its own trading business, but is also profiting above all from the flourishing marketplace business.
Amazon Marketsplace accounts for around 25 percent of all German online trading, while proprietary trading accounts for around 21 percent. According to IFH estimates, suppliers who sell their products via Amazon achieved an increase of more than 20 percent in 2017 compared to the previous year.

Amazon has a decisive influence on online trade

The IFH study “Amazonisation of Consumption” takes a closer look at Amazon’s role in the retail world. According to this study, only a quarter of online sales are still independent of Amazon. Used as a product search engine and to compare information and prices, Amazon influences 29 percent of online sales. The study also shows the enormous influence of Amazon in individual industries.

While around 46 percent of online sales in Fashion & Accessories, a comparatively “young industry”, are still independent of Amazon, the share of sales influenced by Amazon in Leisure & Hobby and CE & Electro is well over 90 percent. At CE & Elektro, only seven percent of sales are not influenced by Amazon. Dr. Eva Stüber, member of the management board at IFH Cologne, comments: “Individual industries can still hold their own against Amazon’s market power. But: Amazon’s influence on purchasing decisions as a whole is already enormous for a large number of products. For dealers and manufacturers it is important to develop their own qualitative approaches to the customer”.


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