Setting up an Online Store in Germany

By Caitlyn Buchanan, 12.12.2019

eCommerce or electronic commerce refers to buying and selling goods and services online. Starting an eCommerce business is becoming increasingly popular whether a business sells 100% online or is a brick and mortar store that also has online shopping facilities. With the rapid advancement of technology, businesses have had to evolve to meet the trends. Setting up an online store is the most popular way to sell a variety of goods and services, it is extremely cost-effective because an existing website can be updated with eCommerce capabilities.

Companies in various industries are adopting eCommerce options from grocery stores offering online ordering to medical clinics facilitating doctor’s appointments over video messaging.

Benefits of Starting an eCommerce business

Starting up an eCommerce business can be highly profitable and efficient when compared to the traditional sale of goods and services. There is no longer a need to secure a storefront location for customers to physically visit and many online startups can be run from a home office or small warehouse with few employees. In many situations ordering can be automated to ensure quick processing with reduced administrative tasks. Setting up an online store is an effective way to explore new markets and reach customers all over the world.

Setting up an online store in Germany 

An eCommerce business is extremely flexible and can be structured to run effectively from many countries depending on the target market. At Euro Company Formations we have found that setting up an online store in Germany is a highly attractive option with our clients. As an EU member, companies registered in Germany have access to the European single market which guarantees the free movement of goods, capital, services, and labour to the 28 member states. This has been extended to include the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Switzerland through a bilateral treaty. Likely, the UK will no longer be a part of the EU or the EEA After Brexit so tariffs and customs checks may be required when shipping goods between Germany and the UK.

The German Advantage 

When selling goods internationally having a German connection or a “Made in Germany” product label gives a perception of quality, trust and efficiency to potential customers. Market research has shown that Germany’s reputation for building and procuring products is one of the strongest in the world when compared to other counties.

While building a reputation with international consumers is important, it could be a missed opportunity to overlook the German market. 

  • With a population of more than 80 million people, Germany is one of the largest markets in Europe. 
  • The World Bank estimates that 89% (nearly 9 out of 10) German people are Internet users
  • An impressive 87% of the population participate in online shopping
  • The most common online purchases are clothing, shoes, books and electronics.

Although many Germans are fluent in English, the majority of people living in Germany use their mother tongue when searching for online products and services. It is advisable to set up a version of your website and online store in the German language to build trust with the local market. 

Setting up an online store

The company will need to secure a URL and website hosting before it can set up an online store. The most commonly used set up is a Word Press website with WooCommerce for listing products and processing orders. You will also need to choose a payment processing platform; we recommend using both PayPal and Stripe as they are compatible with the Payments Services Directive (PSD2) in the EU. 

Euro Company Formations can assist with all aspects of registering a company in Germany. We can also refer you to our in-house web developer to establish a website with eCommerce capabilities. Part of our service includes a free domain for one year! Please contact us today for more information. Please Contact Us today or visit our Germany Company Formation page for more information.

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