|Social Networking and UGC|
|Online Travel Market|
|Total Online Population (000's) in 2012||67,365|
|Percentage of Population Online in 2012||82.7%|
There were 67,364,898 internet users in Germany (representing 82.7% of the population) in mid-year 2012 (June 30, 2012), according to Internet World Stats. (Internet World Stats,October 2012)
76% of the German population used the internet in March 2012, according to BITKOM, the Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media in Germany. Findings also show that 37% use mobile internet. (eMarketer, May 2012)
There will be 59.6 million internet users in Germany by 2016, according to eMarketer.
Internet users in Germany, 2011-2016:
- 2011: 55.6 million
- 2012: 57.1 million
- 2013: 58.3 million
- 2014: 59.0 million
- 2015: 59.3 million
- 2016: 59.6 million
(eMarketer, May 2012)
Of Europe's 372 million unique visitors, Germany accounted for most users with 50.4 million unique visitors during August 2011, according to comScore. Users in Germany spent an average of 24.5 hours online in the past month, consuming 2,710 pages online. (comScore, October 2011)
Social Networking and UGC
46.4 million German internet users accessed a social networking site from a computer at least once during the month of December 2012, according to comScore. The German Press Agency (DPA) recently published a snapshot of the social networking landscape in Germany using comScore MMX data and unsurprisingly, Facebook captures the majority of users with an audience of 38.6 million unique visitors.
Google Plus is in second position with 5.6 million unique visitors, Xing is a close third with 4.2 million users and Stayfriends is fourth with 3.5 million unique users. Twitter is 5th in the rankings with 3.1 million German users and LinkedIn comes in 8th place with an audience of 2.7 million. (comScore Data Mine, February 2013)
eMarketer estimates there are more social media users in Germany than any other country in Western Europe, with the total expected to reach 29.2 million at the end of 2012. This puts it ahead of the country with the No. 2 spot in the region, the UK, by more than 3 million users.
Users in Germany are active with brands on social media sites, as well. According to an April survey of brand fans in Germany conducted by Tomorrow Focus Media, 66.8% of those who followed brands on social media read the posts and messages of brands or products that they followed.
While a majority were consumers of content, a substantial minority also shared and interacted with brands on social media: 29.6% shared posts and 26% commented on the sites.
Nearly all brand fans (85.6%) expected to be kept up to date with current information and news about their chosen brands, while a smaller percentage expected custom content (57.8%), direct contact and interaction (45.8%), and exclusive social media deals (41.0%).
Despite high user numbers however, social media in Germany is still comparatively undeveloped. Out of the EU-5 countries of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, Germany has the lowest social media penetration among internet users, at 51.1% in 2012, leaving more room for growth. (eMarketer, July 2012)
55% of the 14-and-older population in Germany used social networks in March 2012, according to BITKOM, the Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media in Germany. eMarketer's estimate for social network penetration for 2012 is a bit lower, coming in at 35.9% of the total population. However, eMarketer measures users of any age, and the inclusion of children under 14 would naturally depress this figure. In addition, eMarketer includes social network users who visit the sites at least once per month throughout the year, while BITKOM's survey was of a single month's usage.
Regardless, social networks in Germany show no signs of slowing down. eMarketer forecasts total social network users in Germany to reach 34.7 million in 2014, almost 43% of the total population.
Facebook was the most popular social network in the country, surpassing local incumbents StudiVZ sites and Wer-Kennt-Wen.de, according to October 2011 data from comScore. eMarketer estimates that 20 million people in Germany will access Facebook at least once per month during 2012, nearly a quarter of the total population and 68.5% of total social network users in the country.
Socialbakers.com, an analytics firm that reports data directly from Facebook's API, estimated Facebook users in Germany at 23.2 million in April 2012, but this may have included duplicate accounts. The firm found that users in Germany skew slightly more female, and that most users were between 18 to 34 years old.
Demographic profile of Facebook users in Germany, April 2, 2012 (% of total):
- Gender: 48% (male) / 52% (female)
The demographic data is not particularly surprising. Germany has a significant population of young, urban professionals who are plugged in to the internet and can access via mobile devices. Also, many in the 18-to-34 age group have switched from StudiVZ, which marketed heavily to primary school and college students at the time of their founding but has been unable to maintain momentum as users migrated to the global network of Facebook. As a result, eMarketer expects Facebook to maintain a majority share, at 68% of all social network users, through 2014. (eMarketer, May 2012)
58.8% of internet users in Germany will use social media by 2014, according to eMarketer.
Level of social network use in Germany, 2011-2014:
- 2011: 46.1% of internet users
- 2012: 51.1%
- 2013: 55.6%
- 2014: 58.8%
(eMarketer, May 2012)
The widespread use of the internet in Germany continues to increase unabated, and around two-thirds of the population are now online. Recent analysis conducted by GfK Panel Services shows that in July 2010, the websites eBay, Facebook and Google led the way in terms of the total usage time of all internet surfers. Individual internet users spend particularly long periods visiting gaming and social networking sites.
The auction portal eBay was visited by around 40% of all German internet surfers in July 2010. In Germany, each user spent on average slightly more than two hours on the website during the month, which corresponds to a total usage time of more than 38 million hours. Thanks to its large reach, eBay had a considerable lead over other websites. Facebook was in second place with a total of around 33 million hours: members of the social networking site spent on average just under three hours visiting the site during the month. The search engine Google was ranked third, with a total of approximately 30 million hours. Although the length of time spent by individual users on the site was only one hour, around three-quarters of all German internet surfers used Google's services in July.
The Gayromeo platform is in the lead among the social networking sites, with an average monthly usage time of 12 hours, and also takes first place among the 500 websites with the largest reach. The communities Jappy and meinVZ also beat their competitor Facebook by a clear margin, with usage times of 6.5 and 5.5 hours respectively. However, significantly fewer people are visiting these websites, and Facebook can therefore assert its clear market leadership in terms of total usage time. As regards the age of the members, all the named networks have a disproportionate share of users in the 20-40 age group. And there is another common characteristic: members of these networks often live alone in cities. The users of Gayromeo are, as might be expected, almost exclusively male, and it is striking that the website has a disproportionately large share of academics and a high level of income per head.
This analysis is based on the findings of the GfK Media Efficiency Panel, which comprises 15,000 households in Germany and records online behavior, media usage, online purchases and purchases made in bricks-and-mortar stores. GfK WebValue, which was developed in order to conduct standard analyses of websites, shows the reaches of more than 20,000 internet domains and enables more detailed analysis to be conducted for more than 3,000 internet domains on a monthly, quarterly and half-yearly basis. (GfK Group, September 2010)
9 in 10 internet users in Germany will shop online in 2012, according to eMarketer estimates, and just under 8 in 10 will make a purchase-the second-highest online buyer penetration worldwide. But compared to the rest of the EU-5, average spending by these buyers ranks last.
June research from Arbeitsgemeinschaft Online Forschung (AGOF) suggests that lower-ticket purchases may be at least partially responsible for those somewhat depressed spending figures. While those who go online to research products do not seem to discriminate by price point, that changes at checkout. (eMarketer, November 2012)
B2C ecommerce sales in Germany reached €6.34 billion ($8.81 billion) in Q1 2012, 18% more than the Q1 2011 total, according to the April 2012 report, "Interaktiver Handel in Deutschland" issued by the Bundesverband des Deutschen Versandhandels (bvh), known in English as the German E-Commerce and Distance Selling Association.
The trade association estimated that ecommerce accounted for 70.8% of total online and mail orders in the quarter, up from 66.2% in the prior year. One reason for the jump may have been a higher percentage of internet users in the country buying online. eMarketer estimates that online buyers as a percentage of internet users will increase to 78.3% in 2012, up from 74.6% in 2011. By 2013, more than 80% of internet users in the country will be online buyers.
Germany was Europe's second-largest ecommerce market in 2011, behind the UK, according to eMarketer's estimates. More than 41 million residents will buy online in 2012. Also, Germany is suffering less than other European countries from the continuing financial squeeze in the region. The German economy is in good shape overall, and many consumers are actually seeing a rise in disposable income.
In March 2012, Eurostat, the statistical agency of the EU, released 2011 demographic data on online buyers. The survey found that internet users in Germany ages 25 to 34 were the most likely to have purchased online, at 79%, followed by users ages 35 to 44 at 70%. (eMarketer, April 2012)
A total of 34.1 million Germans aged between 14 and 69 bought goods and services online in 2009, according to findings from the German Online Shopping Survey (OSS) 2010. This represents a rise of 2.2 million customers compared to the previous year.
With 14.9 million online shoppers, books are the most popular product category, pushing clothing (14.7 million) into second place. Then come event tickets (12.5 million), CDs and DVDs (8.5 million) and hotel bookings (7.4 million). The highest gains were made by books (+2.5 million), followed by event ticket sales (+2.2 million) and clothes (+2.1 million). In percentage terms, growth in the number of online shoppers was particularly high for cars (+61%), car accessories (+25%), white goods (+32%) and food supplements (+23%).
Where shoppers had not yet bought online, the online shopping survey also examined why not. In this group, the proportion of individuals who saw no necessity for online shopping in principle, preferring to shop locally in person had grown markedly. It seems to be difficult to persuade these shoppers of the delights of online shopping, since they are firmly convinced that using local retailers is preferable.
While online shopping is not yet particularly popular in some socio-demographic segments, there is certainly potential for gaining more online customers in certain product groups. These areas include travel services, such as hotel bookings and car rentals, and the purchase of medical supplies, food supplements and technical goods like computers and software.
The online shopping survey (OSS) is an annual survey by ENIGMA GfK, an institute specializing in media research which offers information services for TV, print, radio and online media. In January and February 2010, 1,183 Germans aged between 14 and 69 were telephone-surveyed on the subject of the Internet and its impact on their shopping habits for 29 different goods and services. (GfK, March 2010)
German consumers spent around EUR 15.5 billion on goods and services online in 2009, According to GfK. Overall, e-commerce sales recorded a significant increase of 14%.
The Internet has become a popular shopping venue for Germans, and remains the fastest growing sales channel. E-commerce sales rose significantly once again in 2009, bucking the general trend for non-food products. Nevertheless, the economic crisis has also taken its toll on online retailing. Whereas the growth rate stood at +19% in 2008, online business in the first three quarters of 2009 recorded somewhat moderate development, at +12%. However, sales regained their former strength in the fourth quarter of 2009, with growth of +19%.
The positive growth is primarily attributable to the fact that consumers are spending more money on the web, with average expenditure rising by 10% to EUR 506 per consumer in 2009. Purchasing frequency remained constant, at 9.4 purchases a year.
The individual product segments showed significant differences in growth levels. For example, the durables, which includes furniture, DIY products, toys, books, household products and similar items, and the electronic sector recorded disproportionately low growth of +11.5% and +12.3% respectively. Conversely, sales in the fashion segment rose considerably by 24.5%. (GfK Group, March 2010)
Particularly dynamic growth was recorded by German consumers using their cell phones to carry out transactions, the number of which was up by 157% from 2.1 million to 5.4 million users in 2010, according to the findings of the 2011 Online Shopping Survey (OSS) carried out by ENIGMA GfK.
While 2.6 million cell phone users downloaded games, 2.1 million downloaded music and 1.9 million used their mobile phones for online banking. These were closely followed by 1.4 million users, who didn't just download items, but shopped online for goods and services. (GfK, March 2011)
Online Travel Market
The impact of social media on travel decision making has been exaggerated and remains way below the impact of traditional media, according to a study by leading online marketers at German group Agof on online consumer behaviour and travel buying in Germany.
The study suggests internet consumers remain mostly interested in traditional media and technology providers.
The findings, released at ITB 2013, appear to fit the conclusions of an academic report to be published in April 2013 at the World Tourism Forum in Lucerne. This concludes social media in travel ‘is less important than so far believed'.
Of these, 69% showed interest in travel and tourism products: 51% in flights, 47% in a holiday or last-minute trip, 38% in hotels (business and leisure) and 5.5% in car hire. Just over half (54%) made an online travel purchase, although this included 12 million-plus rail tickets (mainly domestic). (HOTELMARKETING.COM, March 2013)
Holiday/last minute travel (at 55.8% of respondents) came second behind books as the top product categories researched online by internet users in Germany in June 2012, according to a June research from Arbeitsgemeinschaft Online Forschung (AGOF). Hotels for leisure/business ranked 4th at 51.2%, while train tickets ranked 8th with 41.6%.
Top 10 product categories researched online by internet users in Germany, June 2012 (as a % of respondents):
1. Books: 60.9%
2. Holiday/last minute travel: 55.8%
3. Tickets for the cinema/theatre etc.: 55.6%
4. Hotels for leisure/business: 51.2%
5. Shoes: 47.2%
6. Furniture/home furnishings: 44.9%
7. CDs: 42.5%
8. Train tickets: 41.6%
9. Telecommunications products: 40.8%
10. Women's clothing: 39.9%
(eMarketer, November 2012)
Just over half of internet users in Germany visited travel sites in May 2012, according to a comScore Media Metrix report.
Travel website reach is lower in Germany than all other EU-5 countries except Italy. As a point of comparison, nearly 70% of UK internet users visited travel sites in May 2012, spending nearly twice as much time on travel websites as consumers in Germany.
Travel website reach among internet users in the EU-5, by country, May 2012:
EU-5: 57.7% / 31.5 average minutes per user
- UK: 69.4% reach / 47.1
- France: 61.0% / 30.6
- Spain: 58.7% / 30.7
- Germany: 54.6% / 24.4
- Italy: 41.8% / 17.4
That said, travel remains one of the most popular ecommerce categories among consumers in the country. According to Arbeitsgemeinschaft Online Forschung's (AGOF) ‘Internet Facts 2012-06', nearly 56% of internet users in Germany sought information about holiday or last-minute travel online in the 12 months preceding June 2012, while more than 51% of the 100,000+ respondents to the survey researched hotels for either leisure or business during that time. These two online travel categories were the second and fourth most common ecommerce research activities among internet users surveyed by AGOF.
(eMarketer, October 2012)
When it came to online purchasing, holiday and last-minute travel slipped to sixth place on the list, with 26.9% of internet users in Germany making a holiday or last-minute travel purchase in June 2012, according to Arbeitsgemeinschaft Online Forschung's (AGOF) ‘Internet Facts 2012-06'. While hotel purchases for business and leisure were only slightly higher at 27.7%, this product category held steady as the fourth most popular ecommerce buying activity.
Product categories purchased online according to internet users in Germany, June 2012 (% of respondents):
- Books: 44.9%
- Tickets for the cinema, theatre, etc.: 35.5%
- Women's clothing: 28.4%
- Hotels for leisure, business: 27.7%
- Shoes: 27.6%
- Holiday travel, last-minute travel: 26.9%
- Music CDs: 26.0%
- Menswear: 25.0%
- Toys: 23.1%
- Movies on DVD, videos: 21.8%
Researching for holiday and last-minute travel far outpaces purchasing, suggesting that consumers are often on the lookout for a deal, but are more likely to be looking than booking this type of travel purchase. However, the difference in the percentage of internet users researching vs. booking hotels, in particular, significantly collapsed, especially in older demographic sets.
For example, AGOF reported that more than half of consumers ages 60 and older sought information online about hotels for leisure or business, and 28.8% purchased them. That represented the most popular research category, and also the second most popular purchase category. Seeking information about hotels was the third most popular activity for internet users ages 50 to 59, and it was actually the second most popular purchase category-30.7% of internet users in this age group made hotel bookings online.
The survey only reported the top five product purchase categories for each age group, and travel didn't register on the list for any age demographics under 40. While it's possible that a similar or slightly higher percentage of these younger consumers in Germany are booking hotel rooms online, it's clear that as they get older, internet users are seeing travel as one of the most desirable online purchase items. Travel marketers can feel confident targeting these consumers for planned vacations because it's one of the main reasons they are going online to shop. (eMarketer, October 2012)
Agency sales still dominate a German market that has boomed so far in 2012, according to GfK. GfK reported German agency bookings were up 11% year on year in December and January and online sales up 10%, although the latter sold at a "significantly lower" price. A GfK spokeswoman said that travel agencies account for the lion's share of tourism sales in Germany. (HOTELMARKETING.COM, March 2012)
Up to the end of January 2011, overall sales recorded by travel agencies in Germany for the coming summer season increased by 18% in comparison to the prior year, according to GfK Retail and Technology.
At the start of 2011, GfK Retail and Technology integrated bookings made though online travel portals into its tourism retail outlets. Initial comparisons between online and offline booking behavior appear to contradict common assumptions. For example, family vacations are not predominantly booked through travel agencies, but the online share is just as high. Although online travel portals are strong in the last minute segment, they are also in a good position for vacations booked between two and six months in advance, recording similar market shares to high street travel agents.
Marked differences become apparent when it comes to expenditure on a vacation. Germans are significantly more likely to book vacations which are costly, or for which they require more advice, at the travel agent's. The share of vacations costing more than EUR 1,000 booked with travel agents is 53%, compared with only 30% for the internet. This trend is reversed for less costly vacations. If the expenditure is below EUR 750, 47% book via online travel portals and 26% go to conventional travel agencies. A further indicator that the internet is used for cheaper alternatives is the share of 3-star hotel bookings. Almost one in five Germans chooses a 3-star hotel online, while only one in ten does so at the travel agent.
The current data is based on the analysis of bookings made by the end of January 2011 and represents snapshots for the 2011 summer season. The comparison of online and offline booking behavior is based on data from January and February 2011. (GfK, March 2011)
More Germans are booking online with three out of ten Germans currently using the internet for bookings, according to a travel survey "fur reiseanalyse 2011", presented by the German online travel agency association at ITB Berlin in March 2011. This was a significant growth, with last year's survey finding that only 25% of the people surveyed relying on web bookings. Among those surveyed who had personal online access, up to 59% had booked flights, packages or rental cars via the internet. And the web bookers are both young and old, said the survey.
The findings also show that customers are getting increasingly independent, with most travellers not caring which online portal they use as long as it has the best prices. About 50% of those surveyed make use of the internet to search for general information, especially about destinations as well as to conduct price comparison. (https://www.stbpassport.com/index.aspx?source=email, March 2011)
38.1 million Germans aged between 14 and 69 bought goods or services online in 2010, according to the findings of the 2011 Online Shopping Survey (OSS) carried out by ENIGMA GfK. This represents a rise of four million on the number of online shoppers in the previous year. Of these, 18.5 million bought online travel services and 10.1 million were consumers buying items from private individuals.
The league table of products with the most online sales continues to be led by books (18.9 million), followed by clothing (17.2 million), event tickets (13.3 million), music (11.3 million) and hotel bookings (10.9 million). Once again, the strongest increase in online sales was recorded by books (+4.0 million), ahead of hotel bookings (+3.4 million) and music (+2.8 million). (GfK, March 2011)
Mobile / Smartphones
Mobile connections in Germany reached 114.1 million at the end of 2011, approximately 5 million more than in 2010, according to Bundesnetzagentur, the Federal Network Agency.
In addition, the agency found that the number of sent text messages increased by 30% during the same period, to 55 billion. That is approximately 482 text messages per mobile connection in 2011. The data is not surprising: In February 2012, comScore found text messaging was the most popular mobile content activity among mobile phone users in Germany, at 80%.
Other popular activities included using smartphones (40.1%), apps (36.2%) and mobile browsers (33.8%), and listening to music (27.8%). (eMarketer, June 2012)
In February 2012, eMarketer estimated that Germany had 25.7 million social network users by the end of 2011 and that that figure would reach 29.2 million by the end of 2012, a 13.7% jump. At that point, social networks will reach more than half of Germany's internet users and penetration will hover near a third of the total population.
According to an October 2011 survey by artegic, more than three-quarters (77.3%) of internet users in Germany said they accessed mobile social media occasionally, and of those, almost half (48.2%) reported accessing social media at least regularly. Predictably, regular and heavy usage was more prominent among younger groups, teens and young adults.
Regular or heavy mobile social media users in Germany, by age, October 2011 (% of respondents in each group):
- 14-19: 62.8%
- 20-29: 60.7%
- 30-39: 49.2%
- 40-49: 37.4%
- 50-59: 21.2%
(eMarketer, March 2012)
32.2% of mobile subscribers in Germany used a smartphone in the 3 month average ending August 2011, according to comScore.
Mobile Use in Germany, 3 Month Average Ending August 2011:
- Sent Text Message: 79.1%
- Used Application (excl. pre-installed): 29.8%
- Used Browser: 27.8%
- Listened to Music: 25.8%
- Accessed Social Networking Site or Blog: 16.8%
- Accessed News: 15.1%
- Played Games: 25.2%
- Used Smartphone: 32.2%
(comScore, October 2011)
Of the total 49 million consumers aged between 14 and 69 who used the internet in 2010 from a location in Germany, a third stated that they also had mobile phones with internet access. In tandem with the market success of enhanced internet functions is the number of consumers actually using their cell phones to go online, which rocketed a massive 4.7 million to 10.6 million in 2010. This corresponds to a 79% rise.
Particularly dynamic growth was recorded by consumers using their cell phones to carry out transactions, the number of which was up by 157% from 2.1 million to 5.4 million users. While 2.6 million cell phone users downloaded games, 2.1 million downloaded music and 1.9 million used their mobile phones for online banking. These were closely followed by 1.4 million users, who didn't just download items, but shopped online for goods and services.
Email was the most popular of the mobile internet functions, ahead of sending/receiving photos (MMS). Ranked third among the functions used came GPS navigation and of the editorial offerings on the mobile web, weather forecasts came top of the list by far, followed by political and sports news. Most mobile social media activities centered on online networks and video portals. (GfK, March 2011)
comScore, Inc. reports key trends in the German smartphone market during the three month average period ending November 2010. The November report found that Symbian led among smartphone platforms with 47.7% market share, followed by Apple (19.5%), Microsoft (13.7%), Google (10.6%) and RIM (4.8%). Google Android gained the largest market share and went up 9.2% points compared to November 2009. (comScore, January 2011)
Tablet sales in Germany more than doubled in 2012, according to data from BITKOM. The number sold rose 122% to 4.4 million, from 2.1 million in 2011. And annual tablet purchases are set to leap further in 2013, the same source predicted, to more than 5 million.
Germany will boast nearly 13.4 million tablet users in 2013, eMarketer forecasts, to match the UK, which registered the largest user base in the EU-5 until this year.
Tablet users in Germany, 2010-2016:
- 2010: 1.6 million
- 2011: 3.9 million
- 2012: 9.7 million
- 2013: 13.4 million
- 2014: 17.1 million
- 2015: 20.8 million
- 2016: 23.8 million
In a February forecast, Cisco Systems predicted that the number of connected tablets in Germany will multiply more than sixfold between 2012 and 2017, to 13 million. But rising tablet usage is just one factor in the country's booming mobile market. During the same period, the number of smartphones is expected to reach 68 million. The per capita average for connected mobile devices will leap from 1.4 in 2012 to 2.2 in 2017, Cisco forecast.
Mobile devices metrics in Germany, 2012 and 2017:
- Smartphones: 25 million in 2012 and 68 million in 2017
- Connected tablets: 2 million in 2012 and 13 million in 2017
- Total mobile connected devices: 120 million in 2012 and 188 million in 2017
- Mobile connected devices per capita: 1.4 in 2012 and 2.2 in 2017
4G mobile broadband metrics, 2012 and 2017:
- 4G connections: 0.7% of total mobile connections in 2012, 20.5% in 2017
- 4G data traffic: 6.5% of total mobile data traffic in 2012 and 52.1% in 2017
(eMarketer, March 2013)
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 08:53