The German e-commerce and mail order business is going from strength to strength, the National Distance Selling Association reported on Monday in its 2011 turnover survey. Online sales were particularly strong.
In 2011, Germans spent more money than ever before on goods ordered on the Internet, a survey by the National E-Commerce and Distance Selling Association (BVH) showed on Monday.
Online trading amounted to 21.7 billion euros ($29.1 billion), an 18.5-percent increase year-on-year. This means that the 20-billion-euro mark was breached for the first time ever last year.
Germany's e-commerce and mail-order industry generated combined revenues of 34 billion euros in 2011 - 12.2 percent more than in the previous year. Distance selling accounted for 8.2 percent of overall trading activities in the country. Clothing and fashion items made up the bulk of the business.
BVH CEO Christoph Wenk-Fischer told reporters in Hamburg he'd not expected such a sales surge amid the eurozone debt crisis.
The BVH said they expected e-commerce and mail-order sales to rise even further in 2012, with turnover reaching 36.5 billion euros..
The Hamburg-based association noted that online sales had been particularly strong, not least due to the increasing use of Internet-enabled smartphones and tablet computers which made online shopping much easier.
But despite the continuing rise of e-commerce, the conventional mail-order catalog in paper form was far from being on its way out, the BVH said.
"The mail-order catalog is still very much alive, and it'll develop further," BVH chief Christoph Wenk-Fischer said.
hg/mll (dpa, dapd)