Germans are falling out of love with online shopping, survey reveals

Germans are falling out of love with online shopping, survey reveals

According to a recent survey, the coronavirus-inspired online shopping boom has reached its peak in Germany, with more people returning to physical stores. Companies destroying returns is a major concern holding consumers back from “adding to basket”.

Germans are moving offline to do their shopping

Stuck at home and lured into a retail therapy explosion as the world collapsed around us, the coronavirus pandemic resulted in an online shopping boom across much of the world. Germany was not immune, but as heavy colds and milder forms of coronavirus replace pandemic life, people in the federal republic are returning to in-person shopping.

That is according to a recent survey by Postbank - more people in Germany are opting to take a walk to the shops rather than “add to basket”. Of the 3.038 people who took part in the survey, just 26 percent said that they do half of their shopping on the internet, compared to 32 percent in 2022. However, this is still more than before the pandemic. In 2019, just 24 percent of people said they shopped half online and half in person.

Having now conducted the study for several years, respondents often mention the same reason for hesitating to buy more things online. Most will only shop online if they are almost certain that they will not want to return the purchase, with many saying that they would be more inclined to go digital if better regulations were introduced to stop retailers from destroying stock which had been returned.

Although such a law was recently introduced by the EU Commission, it will not be applicable for another two years and small retailers will be exempt from complying.

Younger people are bucking the offline shopping trend

There is an outlier, however. Always wanting to distance themselves from old-fogey habits like actual interaction in real shops, young people are bucking the general trend.

“Shopping behaviour is returning to normal after the end of coronavirus restrictions,” said Thomas Brosch, Head of Digital Sales at Postbank. “For younger people, however, online shopping is here to stay.”

According to the survey, people in Germany aged between 18 and 39 do 37 percent of their shopping online, compared to 26 percent of people over 40.

Thumb image credit: Peeradontax /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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