Online Shopping in Germany – Otto, Lidl and More
eCommerce Intelligence

Online Shopping in Germany – Otto, Lidl and More

February 13, 2018 | Updated July 5, 2022

Looking at the top 20 Shopping sites in Germany reveals the breakdown of traffic by vertical. Seven of the top 20 sites come from the General Merchandise category, but they account for over 70% of its traffic. Three Consumer Electronics retailers are responsible for 4.7% of the group’s traffic. Just two P2P retailers, including ebay-kleinanzeigen.de, are  responsible for 12.8% of the traffic to the top 20 sites.

Within the General Merchandise category, the two most popular sites were globally recognized brands. Out in front was amazon.de – which brings about 38% of the group’s traffic with ebay.de following with 23%. The next two General Merchandise retailers both originated in Germany – with otto.de receiving an average of 43M monthly visits, and lidl.de at 18M responsible for 3.9% and 1.6% or traffic to the top 20 Shopping sites respectively.

The rest of this post will showcase these two giants of German retail without drawing a direct comparison between them. Otto began life as a mail order business before moving online in 1995. While Otto exists online only in Germany, elsewhere the Otto Group operates the Crate & Barrel brand of stores with over 170 stores around the world.

Lidl is a global discount supermarket chain with over 10,000 bricks and mortar stores in around 30 different countries. In high streets all over Europe Lidl competes with other grocery specialists. Online, lidl.de offers a wider product range with a large inventory of kitchen and other household products as evidenced by the variety of non branded keywords driving traffic to the site including: silvercrest (Lidl’s own brand for electronic items and kitchenware), bettwäsche (bed linen), samsung galaxy s8 and aktenvernichter (paper shredder).

Otto & Lidl

Both otto.de and lidl.de showed relatively stable traffic throughout 2017, averaging 43M and 18M monthly visits respectively. February was the worst month of the year, when otto.de traffic dropped to 39M, and lidl.de to 16M. Peak traffic occurred for both sites during the November-December holiday season – when otto.de received 25% more traffic than an average month earlier in the year, with lidl.de improving by 12%.

The variance in traffic sources indicates different marketing strategies for each site. Both brands see the bulk the highest share of their traffic coming directly, though lidl.de’s direct traffic share is higher than that of otto.de. One of the key drivers of this is the sites investment in paid traffic, much of which goes to protecting the Lidl brand. Significantly lidl.de’s proportion of direct traffic increased by 15% in 2017 suggesting that lidl.de’s smaller audience may be more loyal to the brand.

Incresased Referral Traffic to otto.de

From January 2017 to January 2018 the proportion of referral traffic coming to otto.de grew by 32%. Identifying and nurturing the right partnerships has allowed otto.de to improve its performance. Increased traffic from top internet shopping portals like s24.com and moebel.de has allowed the brand to remain competitive in the German shopping space.

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