How to market your business in Germany

Get your expansion plans off to a great start, with our quick guide for marketers

Read the source article by Getting to Global here.

If you’re planning to export to Germany, you’ll need a marketing strategy to help you succeed. From the role of ecommerce and social media, to the importance of mobile and localization, let’s explore a few key areas you’ll need to cover before diving in.

1 Ecommerce

German ecommerce accounts for a quarter of all European ecommerce turnover and ranks 5th in the world in terms of online sales. Mobile commerce is also on the rise, with mobile penetration at more than 60% and 10% of all online sales now taking place on smartphones, tablets or other devices. Many major brands are increasing mobile ad spend in Germany and exploring new ways to use the medium. [1]

2 Social media

Just like in the U.S., social media in Germany can be a great way to connect with potential customers, and many brands are upping their investment as a result. At $8.59 billion, digital accounted for 36.7% of total media ad spend in Germany in 2019 – with video formats and social media being the areas experiencing the fastest growth.1

Over 40 million people in Germany now have a social media account, with Facebook ahead of other popular platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. On the whole, German consumers are also becoming increasingly inclined to not only interact with social media ads, but also buy something as a result.

As a rule of thumb, the most successful social media strategies come from having a deep understanding of your audience, and using personalized messages to help drive conversions.

3 Cross-border ecommerce

After the UK and US, Germany is the world’s third most active ecommerce importer and exporter. German consumers buy goods from abroad, with goods from the UK, US and China among the most popular.

4 Localization

German consumers appreciate clear and concise information when shopping online, and having a favorable returns policy and strong customer support is vital. English is not as widely spoken in Germany as you might think, so be sure to localize your marketing material and customer support channels. [1]

5 Language

You’ll need to ensure your offering is localized to your audiences. German is spoken by 95% of the population, and it’s also widely used in neighboring Austria and Switzerland – plus smaller countries like Luxembourg and Liechtenstein. Bear in mind that the country has become increasingly diverse in recent years, and non-native languages now include Turkish which is spoken by almost 2% of the population.

6 Shoppers

Women are more likely than men to make mobile purchases across most categories, especially in the clothing and book sectors. Electronics are the only exception, where this trend is reversed. Older consumers are still warming up to mobile channels; 18 to 44 year-olds are the biggest mobile shoppers. [1]

In the fashion sector, German shoppers are most likely to buy from foreign websites, particularly those in the UK and U.S.

Overall, the outlook for U.S. exporters to Germany is strong, with almost half (46%) of German consumers already having bought from a foreign website. [1]

7 Major retail holidays

There are plenty of special days and shopper events in the German social calendar that exporters can use to run offers and stimulate demand. After the usual new year celebrations, there’s Valentine’s Day on February 14, followed by Easter in March/April – with Father’s Day (May 10) and Mother’s Day (May 13) not far behind. The Berlin Beer Festival in early August is also a landmark event for many Germans. Into Fall, Halloween on October 31 is always popular, along with Black Friday (November 23) and Cyber Monday (November 26). And, of course, the regular Christmas season is a bumper time for many retailers. (source)