Study on payment methods: online purchases preferably on account

Status: 05/04/2022 10:21

In online stores, Germans still prefer to buy on account. According to a study, the second most popular payment method is PayPal. Meanwhile, the war in Ukraine is slowing down the online boom.

Purchase on account is the most popular payment method for online shopping in Germany, albeit with a downward trend. This is the result of the “Online Payment 2022” study by the Cologne retail research institute EHI. While 30.4% of all online purchases were still paid by invoice in 2020, the percentage dropped to 28.3% in 2021. Paying with the PayPal online payment service was almost as popular with consumers. It was able to increase its market share from 24.9 to 28.2%.

Corona also indirectly inspires PayPal

“During the pandemic, online business became the engine of business growth,” said Horst Rüter, head of the payment systems research department and author of the study. “Depending on the industry, retail companies now account for 30 to 50 percent of e-commerce sales, and the trend is growing. Customers are paying more and more often with PayPal.”

The direct debit procedure was in third place among the most popular payment methods on the Internet with a sales share of 17.4 percent, slightly lower than the previous year. Credit cards were used for 11.4% of purchases, even a little less frequently than the previous year. All other payment methods such as purchases made in advance, direct transfers or cash on delivery have played a subordinate role.

“Buy now, pay later” is not very common

According to the study, the “buy now, pay later” model, which allows customers to defer payment, is not yet widespread in Germany. No noticeable growth rates have been observed in the past two years, on the contrary: according to the study, the share of invoice sales or installment purchases, which are predestined for a later payment, has actually decreased over the past two years. Installment purchases lost 1.9 percentage points over this period and account purchases even lost 4.5 percentage points.

Forecasts of ceilings of trade associations for online commerce

Meanwhile, the German Retail Association (HDE) is cutting its forecasts for e-commerce in this country. “After two record years in 2020 and 2021, growth in online retail sales is likely to reach its limits this year due to poor consumer sentiment due to the Russian war in Ukraine,” the HDE explained. The proceeds continue to grow, but not as strong as last time. For 2022, the association lowers its sales estimate from plus 13.4 to 12.4 percent and therefore from one billion euros to 97.4 billion euros.

Strong growth in the pandemic

In the first two years of the pandemic, 2020 and 2021, internet commerce grew even more strongly at 23% and 19%, mainly due to the closure of businesses during the lockdown. It is clear that “the online sector, like the entire retail sector, is suffering from the current mood of consumers,” said Deputy Director General of HDE Stephan Tromp. After two record years, the situation is now normalizing a bit. The reasons for the decline in consumer mood are the crown pandemic, which has not yet been overcome, and above all the Russian war against Ukraine.

According to Tromp, sales in the fashion, consumer electronics and electronics sectors in particular have increased tremendously over the past year, with the online share growing fastest in the living and furniture sectors (by almost 30 percent) and in food and cosmetics (by 30 percent). ).

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