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No threat from e-commerce

A study carried out by the German Post World Net reaches the conclusion that Germany’s DIY retailers will not suffer any serious competition from e-commerce, now or in the future

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The number of Internet users in Germany is continuing to rise, with a parallel increase in online shoppers as well. Around 14 mio of the 24 mio Internet users now make purchases regularly or occasionally on the Internet. How this affects the DIY store market is shown by a study carried out by the German Post World Net, “eCommerce Facts 3.0”, for which 1 250 Internet users were interviewed.
Just on four out of ten shoppers in the area of DIY and garden store products look for information online, and a good six out of ten offline. Only three per cent then prefer to carry out their actual purchase online too. Online ordering was most frequently done for garden and DIY articles (60.6  per cent) and tools (38.4 per cent). Automotive accessories and paint follow in third and fourth place. Consumer sites are interesting sources of information for six out of ten online shoppers buying DIY store articles. A good half of those questioned find shopping portals interesting. Approximately 40 per cent obtain information either from online shops or from manufacturers’ web sites, only about 30 per each from online trade magazines or opinion portals.
The motives behind the purchase of DIY products are characteristically functional, since not all that many shoppers make their purchases because online shopping is such fun (44 per cent) or because they find the search for the right products exciting (27.3 per cent). Seen in absolute terms, what most frequently attract users are the possibility of making price comparisons (68.7 per cent) and the convenience of home delivery (62.6 per cent).
The demands made by shoppers of online shops in this product category largely correspond to the demands made of all online shops in general. The possibility of extending the guarantee and payment by mobile phone are higher up the list of demands here than usual. Little importance is on the other hand attached to add-on services like a download facility, gift service or attractive layout.
An above-average number of the unemployed, plus senior employees and civil servants are represented among online shoppers for DIY products. This is also reflected in the monthy income of users: the bands between 1 500 and 2 000 euro and 2 500 and 3 000 euro are strongly represented. It is also noticeable that those shopping for DIY store articles tend to be relatively old: the over-forty groups are clearly over-represented.
Although the DIY retail segment may have a stable clientele, two out of ten of those…
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