The German ecommerce market is a strong force, both in Europe and worldwide; accounting for 25% of the European ecommerce turnover, and ranking 5th in the world with online sales volume. Germany also sits among the world leaders in cross-border ecommerce, behind only the US and the UK. Mobile commerce is a significant trend in Germany, with 10% of all online sales being made via a mobile device.
Where brand awareness is the factor, trust schemes can play a major role whilst clear and concise information about the product, returns and customer support is vital. Communications also include localisation of the offer and customer support channels. Germany ranks behind some smaller countries in the number of consumers that speak English.
The proliferation of social media, online communities and mobile communication have generated large amounts of consumer data of interest to marketers. Simultaneously, technologies to collect and analyze the data have improved greatly. The result is insight into the preferences of individual consumers and the ability to implement one-to-one marketing with unprecedented effectiveness. In fact, it can be argued that mobile technology will be central to all the future trends, e.g. Internet of Things, virtual or augmented reality, and wearables. Mobile is already the main focus of innovation and increased ad spending for countless major brands. This is no surprise, bearing in mind how rapidly smartphone penetration is rising globally.
Cross-border Ecommerce Opportunities
Language as a Key Driver
Demographics show that females are more likely to make purchases via mobile devices in most categories. The gender gap is biggest in the clothing and book sectors with electricals the only sector where this is reversed. 18 to 44 year-olds are also the biggest user group in these sectors but older groups are still showing a strong propensity to use mobile channels.
Mobile is of increasing importance with smartphone penetration at over 60% and clothes and electricals being the most popular sectors for the mobile consumer. The German ecommerce market survey in 2010 (market survey of the 1,000 largest online-shops of physical and digital goods) highlighted the following as the top 10 ecommerce brands. amazon.de otto.de telekom.de conrad.de neckermann.de thomann.de weltbild.de bonprix.de baur.de notebooksbilliger.de. 
German consumers are most likely to purchase fashion from foreign websites with the UK and US the favourite markets to buy from and at the same time, highlights the appetite for cross-border trading. 46% of online consumers have already purchased from a foreign website.
Special promotion days:‘Mother’sDay’ in Germany is on the second Sunday of May, as opposed to the English equivalent in March. ‘Black Friday’ has recently gained prominence, with the first dedicated sale activities taking place in 2014.