E-Commerce Report 2010: Credit card the most popular payment method in German online trade for the first time
COLOGNE, 23 November 2010 – For the first time, credit cards are the most popular payment method in German e-commerce. This is one of the results of the E-Commerce Report by Deutsche Card Services. German consumers use credit cards to pay for 38% of their purchases. In the preceding years, direct debits were the most popular payment method. The third place goes to giropay, a new payment method developed by the German credit institutions and based on the well-known online banking PIN and TAN procedure.
Fewer seasonal fluctuations in e-commerce
In contrast to the preceding year, seasonal fluctuations were small in European e-commerce. This is a marked difference from stationary business, which registers a typical summer break each year. This summer break is less visible in e-commerce than in the preceding years. As a result, merchants – above all in Germany and the UK – find that their sales are spread more evenly across the year. The only exception is December, when sales jump on the back of a still strong Christmas business.
Monday the day with the largest sales
Tuesday lost its status as the most popular day for online shopping in Europe (which it held in the two preceding years) to Monday. Only outside Europe is Wednesday the day with the highest online shopping activity, according to the Deutsche Bank subsidiary’s study. Germans show a national peculiarity in that they do an above-average proportion of their online shopping on Sundays – even more than on Fridays, which are, after all, working days. This distinguishes them clearly from other European consumer groups.
Women predominate in e-commerce for the first time
German women already predominated in online goods trading in the preceding year and now have left men behind in overall e-commerce as well. In European e-commerce, women have a share of more than 40%. There are gender-specific differences in purchasing behaviour, too. Women do much of their shopping during core working hours (between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.) and spend more on each transaction. Germany is the only exception; here, men’s transaction values are higher than women’s.
Decline in the average transaction value
The average transaction value declined from a record high of EUR 84.31 in the preceding year. On average, consumers from Germany, the UK, the rest of Europe and non-European countries spent only EUR 65.35 in European online shops during the observation period. One reason is the economic and financial crisis. However, the Deutsche Card Services analysis gives another explanation, too. Average transaction values declined in the two transaction value categories of EUR 10 – EUR 100 and EUR 100 – EUR 500. In contrast, purchasing activity increased in the lowest transaction value category (less than EUR 10). This is the category which mainly covers services, such as downloads The overall decline in online transaction values is particularly visible among customers from outside Europe and from Germany.
Importance of giropay increasing further
The new payment method giropay is gaining importance among both merchants and customers. This is evident from two facts: On the one hand, more and more merchants offer giropay, which provides a payment guarantee for up to EUR 10,000, and on the other, the average value of purchases paid for with this method is increasing. The average transaction value in overall e-commerce declined, in particular if payment was effected via the uncertain direct debit method. In contrast, it rose from EUR 76.09 to EUR 91.45 if the secure giropay method was used. According to the Deutsche Card Services data, giropay is used in particular to pay for luxury goods worth more than EUR 500.
E-Commerce Report based on real-life purchasing transactions
The E-Commerce Report analyses purchasing and payment behaviour and non-payment risks in online trade and has been published since 2002. In contrast to other research, the study by the Deutsche Bank subsidiary is based on real-life purchases and not on surveys. It starts from about 24 million transactions processed via the Deutsche Card Services platform. All data are fully anonymised and comply with all data-protection requirements. The study is available for download from the online shop of Deutsche Card Services.
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