Going Global; Ecommerce in Germany

Operating in foreign countries is never going to be easy, but with a little guidance, you just never know - you must just become the next big thing!

Supply chain management and ecommerce service provider arvato SCM Solution, in association with IMRG (the UK's industry association for online retail), just released a guide for U.S. companies interested in taking advantage of the opportunity available in the German e-retail market (which just so happens to be the second largest in Europe).

The report predicts the market will achieve 15 percent year-over-year growth in 2015 - reaching a value of EUR 47 billion - and provides some useful insights into the cultural differences that foreign sellers should understand before entering the market. The guide suggests that retailers pay particular attention to German customer's adherence to open invoicing (which allows 'try before you buy' behavior), the expectation of free returns and consumers' high sensitivity to data protection. The report also highlights the high service expectations of German consumers - 14 percent demand a one- to two-day delivery window.

"For American brands and online retailers the fast growing German ecommerce market is very attractive," said Andrea Mahon, Business Development Director and responsible for the U.S. Business at arvato SCM Solutions.

"We know this from our activities in the USA and from many consultations with customers. The guidebook titled Germany Passport provides excellent assistance to open up and develop this important but also challenging key market in Europe. The report imparts the required knowledge of experts, informs about the national characteristics and answers all essential questions to help inform their successful international expansion."