Each region is unique and has its own dynamics. The DACH region is among the most developed in the world. E-commerce is a reflection of a strong economy and high standards of living.
What is the DACH Market?
An abbreviation DACH stands for D — Deutschland (Germany), A — Austria, CH — Confoederatio Helvetica (Switzerland). It is German-speaking Europe.
DACH is an acronym used to describe Germany (D), Austria (A), and Switzerland (CH). These neighboring countries represent the largest community where German acts as the de-facto nationwide official language and is the first language of the vast majority of the people. As individual nations, all three of them are among those who have the highest standards for human development, reflected in the social and the economic dimensions measured. Together, they have a total population of almost 100 million inhabitants, with 80 million of them living in Germany alone, and an average life expectancy at birth of 82.04 years. The vast majority of the DACH residents live in urban areas, a rising trend especially visible in Germany.
Are you an export-oriented business? If you are selling goods to the European markets, then you have likely also considered selling products and services to German consumers and companies. After all, it’s the wealthiest mass market on the continent. But how about the DACH markets?
The annual average purchasing power in Germany and Austria is roughly EUR 24,000 per person. In Switzerland it is 42,000 EUR, due to considerably higher costs of living.
All DACH countries have a good infrastructure, a well educated workforce, and, despite its speed, a digital infrastructure that does connect consumers with the internet.
The DACH region’s e-commerce landscape
Germans love the internet. They dedicate 5 hrs and 26 min per day to engage in online activities. In total and on average, all German consumers (16-64) produce 17.3 billion minutes of online opportunities every day.
And a typical social media day in Germany has around 4.5 billion minutes. That’s the time all German consumers (16 to 64) spend on social channels.
That’s a lot of time to engage with them.
While there are many similarities between the Swiss, Austrian, and German e-commerce markets, each one is growing at its own pace. Continue reading to learn more!
The German market is one of Europe’s largest markets and provides a favorable environment for ecommerce development. Germany accounts for 4.54% global economic activity. It is the largest player in Europe’s e-commerce market, after France and the United Kingdom.
The German e-commerce market was worth 65.10 trillion euros at the close of 2018. This is an increase of 11.4 percent in the past year. This was driven mainly by online marketplaces, whose revenue increased 9.7% to reach $30.62 billion and became the largest distribution channel in Germany.
In 2018, e-commerce was 13.8% of total German retail. We can identify three categories of e-commerce most in demand: electronics, consumer media, fashion.
Germany is Europe’s leading country when it comes number of online shops. There were more than 800,000 estores across Europe in 2017. More than 175,000 of these online stores were located in Germany in 2017, which is 21%. With a 1.6% share in all European online shops, Switzerland ranked 15th in the report.
We can mention Zalando, Otto and Amazon as the top 10 online shops in Germany. Below are links to other online retailers and their 2017 e-commerce sales. It is a mixture of local and global e-shops, as you can see.
According to a We Are Social research, the most popular categories in 2020 were Furniture and Appliances.
Because of its strong economy Austria is ranked 23rd in the World Bank GDP per head rankings. Nearly 5.2 million people in Austria use the internet to purchase products such as household items, clothing/sporting goods and travel.
Online retailers made up about 9,000 of Austria’s retail outlets in 2017. The number of online shops has tripled over the last ten years. The number of online shoppers from Austria has increased twice in the past decade. It is important to mention that online sales accounted for 4.3% of the total Austrian retail volume.
Austrians are most likely to shop online from abroad in Germany (65 billion USD), Italy (100.8 billion USD), China (9.1 trillion USD), China (9.1 miliarde USD), Switzerland (8.9 million USD), and the Czech Republic (6.93 Billion USD).
In 2018, Zalando and Universal were the top three most popular online stores in Austria. With its net sales of 809 million U.S. Dollars, the first one dominated the rest. The following list contains the top 10 Austrian online shops in 2018.
We Are Social research also provides interesting data. The highest growth is seen in the Food & Personal Care categories.
Despite being one of the most small European countries, Switzerland still has a significant share of European e-commerce sales. Although Switzerland is not part of the European Union, or the European Economic Area (EUA), it is still developing and finding its place on the European market.
Switzerland boasts a remarkable percentage of internet users, 95% of its population are regular internet users, and 90% have shopped online at minimum once.
In 2017, online sales in Switzerland reached 7.4 Billion Euros.
The Swiss are more likely to shop online on foreign websites than those from other DACH countries. Cross-border sales grew by 23% in 2017, despite the fact that they were up disproportionately. The top reasons to e-shop abroad include lower prices, a lack of availability on domestic platforms and a greater variety of products on foreign websites. Online shoppers from Switzerland most often buy from France, Germany, and China.
The majority of Swiss prefer to shop online for products in the following categories: multimedia, hi-fi, electric appliances, fashion and shoes.
The most popular online shops in Switzerland are Zalando, Digitec and Amazon.
There is a partial overlap between the largest online stores in DACH for each country. When we look at the top three e-commerce sites in this region, we see that most German-speaking Europeans shop at Amazon and Zalando.