Tips & tricks

How to get started in German e-commerce?

If you want to increase your reach, you have to think about international expansion. Read more about how you can easily enter the German e-commerce market.

You want to increase your reach with little effort? Then you should think about international expansion. In the following article, you will learn how you can easily enter the German e-commerce market and what potential cross-border trade offers.

German online trade shows double-digit growth

The German online trade offers a high sales potential for retailers, as over 80 percent of the German population aged 14 and over shop online. This is reflected in the growth in sales:

According the largest e-commerce consumer study in Germany by the Federal Association of E-Commerce and Mail Order Businesses (Bundesverband E-Commerce und Versandhandel e.V.) gross sales of goods in online retailing in 2018 grew by 11.4 percent compared to the previous year to 65.10 billion euros. Pure online sales thus accounted for more than 12.5 percent of total German retail sales. Almost half of this was generated via online marketplaces.

With a volume of 30.62 billion euros and growth of 9.7 percent compared to the previous year, they are considered the largest sales channel in German e-commerce. The potential of online marketplaces has also long been recognised by German retailers, with more than 57 percent of the most successful retailers no longer selling their products only via their own online shop, but in parallel via online marketplaces.


Focus on brand awareness

In order to make it easy and quick for foreign traders to enter the German online trade, it is recommended to start via an established marketplace. Such a marketplace stands for high brand awareness, trust and recognition.

The German player in e-commerce is the local online marketplace With over 21 million visitors per month who can choose from more than 5,000 product categories with a total of more than 15 million products, the platform is one of the largest online marketplaces in Germany.

It also ranks among the top 10 winners from 2019 in the Sistrix Visibility Index. When connecting to the platform, merchants only have to worry about logistics and availability of goods, takes care of marketing, payment processing and many other services.


Benefit from services and advantages

Marketplaces offer both their affiliated sellers and their customers a wide range of special services. For example, retailers who sell their goods through can benefit from the following services:

  • Extensive knowledge of German retail, e-commerce and German consumer purchasing behaviour
  • No risk, because placing items is free and unlimited and the merchant account can be terminated monthly
  • Software integrations with all relevant ERP and store systems such as EffectConnect
  • Large range through existing brand awareness
  • State-of-the-art platform technology of the technical infrastructure
  • Marketing activities such as marketplace SEO, Google optimizations, social media and advertising campaigns (sponsored product ads)
  • Return management and payment processing

In addition, marketplace traders can offer their customers important services:

  • Broad product range bundled on a single platform
  • Bonus programs such as collecting and redeeming PAYBACK points
  • In-store delivery / Click & Collect
  • Various payment and shipping options

Germany is not enough? Expand throughout Europe!

Retailers who join have another benefit: Thanks to IMN, a merger of the four well-known European marketplaces (Germany), CDiscount (France), eMag (Romania) and ePrice (Italy), you can sell in real time to the respective four countries simultaneously with just one click.

The network currently offers around 30,000 active retailers access to over 230 million potential customers in Europe.


With the help of a local marketplace, the entry into the German retail market can be successful. The platforms are regarded as all-round service providers and can offer both traders and their local customers comprehensive services without any risk. Enter the German e-commerce market now and register with!

Do you want to set-up your e-commerce environment in order to sell via international marketplaces? Download the free whitepaper on 'The ideal application landscape for marketplaces sales'

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