Retail in Germany has been exposed to strong influences recently – from inflation to the energy crisis to the effects of the Corona disaster: All have strongly influenced and changed the buying behaviour of German consumers. 62 per cent of German consumers would like to shop exclusively according to actual needs in 2023.
As a result of the representative “Shopping Annual Report 2022”, for which eBay Ads, with the support of the opinion research company Civey, surveyed 2,501 consumers in Germany and evaluated shopping behaviour based on searches and sales on eBay.de at various times in 2022 and 2021 in comparison to previous years, the following can be determined:
Given the increased cost of living, price plays a central role among consumers: 21 per cent of German consumers plan to rely more on discounts and special offers when making purchases next year. Most people will not make impulsive purchases in the coming year if they like something, and only 20% of the population will make spontaneous purchases in 2023.
Companies and brands should continue to plan for seasonal occasions and events such as special sales or Black Friday to take advantage of high-turnover periods for themselves and their sales. At the same time, in dynamic phases like these, it is also important to always keep an eye on current developments to react flexibly to them in their retail media activities.
Energy crisis: demand for energy-saving products and alternative mobility skyrockets
Rarely has a topic moved German consumers in 2022 as much as the energy crisis. The desire to buy products to counteract the exploding electricity and heating costs increased rapidly. The demand for items that make it easy to save energy at home behaved accordingly on eBay.de: for example, for smart home lights (demand increased by around 600 per cent), window seals (about +100 per cent) and draught excluders (about +70 per cent). To keep an eye on electricity consumption, consumers increasingly use meter for measuring effective power (around +200 per cent), power meters (about +180 per cent) and electricity meters (about +160 per cent). However, products for generating one’s electricity and heating water using renewable energies were also in high demand last year, such as photovoltaic (around +400 per cent), solar panels (about +200 per cent) and solar thermal systems (about +130 per cent) as well as small wind turbines (around +70 per cent).
Because of the climate crisis? Sustainability is an essential criterion in purchasing decisions
The topic of sustainability has continued to shape shopping behaviour in the past crisis year. Criteria such as fair trade (around +250 per cent), recyclable (about +300 per cent), resource-saving (about +500 per cent), microplastic-free (around +2,500 per cent), climate-neutral (around +1,200 per cent) and organic (about +60 per cent) have gained massively in importance in product selection in 2022. Particularly in the case of household appliances, energy efficiency also played an important role in terms of climate protection. For example, refrigerators (around +1,400 per cent) and dishwashers (around +2,200 per cent) with the A+++ energy label recorded massive growth in sales figures on eBay.de. Demand for refurbished electrical goods increased significantly (around +200 per cent). In the fashion segment, the purchase volume of fair fashion (around +400 per cent) and second-hand (about +300 per cent) on eBay.de has grown enormously since 2019.
Corona loosening boosted sales of travel products and party items as well as accessories
After over two years of Corona, Germans finally got back into the mood for travelling last year. This is reflected in the increased interest in products for summer holidays and corresponding travel accessories. As of April 2022, Germans were once again increasingly on the lookout for travel guides (around +500 per cent), holiday flats in Germany (about +60 per cent) and the right travel equipment for the family (e.g. travel buggies: about +80 per cent). Long-distance travellers went searching for package holidays (around +300 per cent), airline tickets (about +150 per cent), rental cars (about +140 per cent) and passport covers (about +70 per cent), while for campers, equipment for holidays in a tent, van, or caravan was the focus of holiday shopping (e.g. gas cookers: around +120 per cent).
As of 2022, Germans were again able to party with others more often and impartially than was possible in previous years. Demand for the right equipment was correspondingly high. In addition to lighting and decorative items for the right atmosphere, additional seating, such as beer benches or beer tent sets, was targeted to provide space for relaxing with friends and family. The appropriate accessories were also brought home for an upbeat party feeling (e.g. cocktail mixers: around +90 per cent).