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But not all providers adhere to the rules

Smartphones and online marketplaces increasingly used for retail sales

Online marketplaces are becoming increasingly important in online trading. Current figures from the HDE Online Monitor show that, for the first time, more than half of online sales in Germany could be generated via these platforms in 2023. At the same time, international providers are also becoming increasingly stronger. The German Trade Association (HDE) insists on fair competition and the consistent enforcement of law and order. Smartphones now dominate access to online shopping. In 2023, a record 55 percent of online sales were achieved via these devices.


'Online trading was the sales boost for retail in Germany for many years. However, the high growth rates during the Corona years make it difficult for the industry to keep raising the bar. 'We are therefore experiencing further normalization in online sales this year,' said HDE deputy managing director Stephan Tromp. The HDE is correcting its sales data for online trading for 2023 and the forecast for 2024 is still slightly upward: For 2023 it is going now assumes sales of 85 billion euros, which corresponds to an increase of one percent compared to the previous year. Previously, a minus of 0.4 percent was assumed. The forecast for the current year now predicts sales growth of 3.4 percent compared to the previous year. At the beginning of the year, the forecast was an increase of three percent. The online share of total retail sales in Germany is expected to be 13.1 percent in 2024.

At the same time, the importance of online marketplaces is growing significantly. This is what the HDE Online Monitor 2024 shows: 'Last year, sales via online marketplaces accounted for more than half of total online sales in Germany. That's a new record,' continued Tromp. This was made possible by an increase in sales of ten percent in this area in 2023. At the same time, Tromp warns against international providers who do not adhere to the rules: 'With regard to Temu, everyone is talking about the fact that a significant proportion of the goods ordered there meet our EU guidelines for pricing, website design, product safety, environmental protection or taxes - and does not comply with customs law. This cannot be a permanent situation. Anyone who offers goods in this country must adhere to all the rules. The authorities have to enforce this.' Otherwise, trading companies within the EU that behave correctly would be at a disadvantage. The HDE sees fair competition at risk here.

The HDE online monitor also makes clear the now dominant position of smartphones for online shopping. In 2023, sales generated via smartphones were a record 55 percent of total sales in online retail in Germany. This corresponds to almost 47 billion euros in sales.

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