Austrians have never before bought as much on the Internet as they did in 2020. However, this is not always a reason to cheer for the domestic economy, as more than half of Austrians order from shops abroad.
The development in the online segment would probably have been extremely positive even without the corona pandemic, but the corona virus has certainly provided another powerful boost. Despite the large selection of domestic online shops, Austrians are drawn to more than every second purchase across the border. Of the around 8.7 billion euros that were spent in Germany when buying online in 2020, around 54 percent will go abroad, thus ensuring a rapid outflow of purchasing power.
It is not to blame for the consumer. Patriotism also plays a role when buying on the Internet, but the focus of interest is the attractiveness of the offer. If someone is interested in a certain product and he sees an attractive bargain on a bargain portal, such as Mein Deal, or can benefit from cashback promotions for a product, then he usually also buys it – regardless of whether the dealer is in Schruns-Tschagguns, in Berlin or in Shanghai.
“Shöpping” or “shop list for domestic trade”
Different platforms such as “Shöpping” or the author Nunu Kaller with her “shop list for domestic trade” try to present the offer of the Austrian operator in a clear manner and thus encourage people to buy in Germany. According to Markus Leitgeb, the press spokesman for the Shöpping platform operated by Österreichische Post AG, the success is definitely impressive. In 2020, several 100 new dealers came to the platform and access has increased almost tenfold. A total of around half a million parcels were sent via the platform last year.
Even if the domestic shops are catching up and the corresponding platforms are reporting successes: Austrians also make by far the most purchases from the online giant Amazon. Sales in 2019 were over 830 million euros. Clearly in second place is the clothing company Zalando with around 350 million euros. After that, the air becomes much thinner. Universal secured third place on the podium with around 112 million euros.
Among the toughest pursuers are the Shop Apotheke with sales of 93.7 million and Otto with 84.4 million euros. Media Markt, H&M, Apple, e-tec.at and Cyberport also made it into the top ten.
The big topic: m-commerce
The trend is increasingly towards m-commerce, or to put it simply: mobile phone shopping. A third of the people in this country already made purchases with their mobile phones in 2020. With a total purchasing volume of 1.2 billion euros, sales here have quintupled since 2014 and doubled in the last year alone.
The Austrians, however, have not really made friends with voice assistants such as Alexa or Siri. Around 38,000 people bought one or more products in this way in 2020. In the previous year there were around 30,000 orders.
The fact that they are not used for shopping is probably due to the lack of trust in data protection.