Trend Report

“E-Commerce Market Germany 2023”: Top Payment and Shipping Methods

Our annual collaboration with the EHI Retail Institute yielded this year’s “E-Commerce Market Germany” report. Following the previous weeks’ summaries, today we present the preliminary results of the top three preferred payment and shipping methods among Germany's top 1,000 online stores.

Article by Nadine Koutsou-Wehling | October 17, 2023

Just as important as a seamless checkout process is the immediacy and directness of shipping in eCommerce. Offering customers the payment options they are most accustomed to helps complete the purchase process, while customer satisfaction also depends on how quickly their parcel arrives and whether the contents are undamaged. 

Given the importance of these two variables to online shopping, our study “E-Commerce Market Germany 2023” identified the payment methods, providers, and shipping methods most used by Germany's top 1,000 online stores. To give you an idea of the report's contents, we introduce the top 3 results in each category below.

Most Online Stores Offer eWallets and Credit Card as Payment Options

There are two perspectives on the share of online stores offering different payment methods. The first is the share of all the top 1,000 online stores that offer customers specific payment options on the checkout page. Since stores typically offer more than one payment method, shares exceed 100%. 

Among the top 1,000 online stores in Germany, eWallets are the most common payment method, offered by 94.8% of stores. Credit cards follow closely behind with a share of 94.4% of online stores. The third most popular payment method is bank transfers, which are offered by 78.4% of online stores.

Top Three Payment Methods in Germany by Number of Shops and eCommerce Revenues

The second perspective focuses on each store's contribution to the total revenue generated by the top 1,000 online retailers in 2022. In this approach, stores with higher revenues have a greater impact than those with lower earnings. 

Of the total €77.7 billion in eCommerce revenue generated in 2022, stores that account for 95.2% of the total figure offer payment by credit card. Invoice follows farther behind, with stores generating 85.6% of the total, while bank accounts come in third again, this time with an 83.5% share.

PayPal, Visa and MasterCard Are the Most Used Providers

Using the same two-tiered perspective for payment providers, most of the 1,000 online shops, at a rate of 93.9%, offer PayPal at checkout. The remaining two places are also occupied by eWallet providers, namely Amazon Pay (23.9%) and Apple Pay (15.4%).

Top Three Payment Providers in Germany by Number of Shops and eCommerce Revenues

In terms of each store's contribution to total eCommerce revenue, credit card providers play a dominant role. Visa and Mastercard are almost tied for the top spot, with 94.5% and 94.4% of total eCommerce revenue respectively being generated through stores that offer these payment options. American Express trails in third place, offered by online stores that together account for 67.5% of total eCommerce revenue. 

Having examined both the most common payment methods and payment providers offered by online stores in Germany, it is time to explore the top 3 shipping methods below.

German Postal Service Is Most Widely Used by Top Online Stores

As before, we first looked at the most popular shipping providers as a percentage of the top 1,000 online stores in Germany. The clear winner from this perspective is the German postal service DHL, which is offered by 76% of the top 1,000 online retailers. 

The next two shipping methods fall further behind. Forwarding agencies account for 27% of online stores, and self-collection by customers in affiliated stores or by click & collect is offered by 24% of stores.

Top Three Shipping Methods in Germany by Number of Shops and eCommerce Revenues

When looking at the shipping providers offered by stores in relation to their contribution to total eCommerce revenue in Germany, DHL emerges as the leader. Sites using DHL for shipping contribute to 79% of the country's online sales. Hermes and various freight forwarders are close behind, contributing 53% and 52% respectively to total eCommerce revenues.

Order the Study "E-Commerce Market Germany 2023"

For the 15th year in a row, our research in cooperation with the EHI Retail Institute provides insights into German eCommerce variables. It goes beyond rankings and sales figures to include analysis of product categories, sales platforms, web traffic metrics, marketing strategies, case studies, and more. 

Order the report here. To stay informed about eCommerce news and our insights, follow us on LinkedIn.