Germany flag Germany: Buying and Selling

Advertising and marketing in Germany

Marketing opportunities

Consumer Profile
According to Eurostat, in 2021, the median age of the population was 45.9, the third oldest population in the world. The population is aging, since the median age was 44.3 years in 2010. Germany's population rose by 50,000 (+0.06%) between 2021 and 2022. While 13.8% of the population is under 15 years old, 64.2% is between 15 and 64 years old and 22% is over 65 years old (Eurostat, 2021). On average in 2020, households are made up of 2 people while 39.7% of households are people living alone, mostly women (Eurostat). The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) also reports that the number of one-person households is expected to rise in the near future. The population is 49.5% men and 50.5% women (Data Reportal, 2022). It is estimated that 13.7% of German population is foreign and 77.6% of the population lives in urban areas, and the cities of Berlin Hamburg, Munich and Cologne are the most populated (CIA). Germany has one of the highest levels of education: 86% of people aged 25 to 64 have completed upper secondary education, higher than the OECD average of 79%. Moreover, the proportion of upper secondary students enrolled in vocational programmes (48.1%) is higher than the OECD average (42.5%). Among the active population, some 21.5% are working as professionals, 20.9% are technicians, 13.2% are service and sales workers, 13.2% are clerical support workers, 11.6% are craft workers, 7.1% have elementary occupations, 5.9% are plant and machine operators, 4% are managers, and 1.2% are agricultural workers (Eurostat, 2021).
Purchasing Power
According to the Word Bank, GDP per capita PPP was estimated at USD 54,844.5 in 2020. The average household disposable income per capita is USD 38,971 a year, more than the OECD average of USD 30,490 a year (OECD, 2020). Germans have an average per capita purchasing power of EUR 24,807 in 2022 according to GfK’s latest purchasing power study. Private consumption expenditure was EUR 2,507 in 2020, according to Destatis. In 2021, it was still 5% below pre-crisis level (Destatis). The Gini index is 0.31, and fits into European averages (World Bank). Wage inequalities between men and women have been decreasing since 2014. According to Destatis, women in Germany earned 18% less than men in 2021. The earnings difference between men and women, the unadjusted gender pay gap, remained unchanged compared to the previous year. Women earned an average EUR 19.12 per hour in gross terms, that is EUR 4.08 less than men (EUR 23.20). In addition, the risk of poverty rate is higher for women, over 65s and non-Germans. In total, 24% of the population is at risk of poverty or social exclusion (Destatis).
Consumer Behaviour
Germany is a mass consumer society. Before making a purchase, beyond the price, German consumers like to learn as much as possible about other similar products, features, provenance etc. According to some studies, German consumers are among the most demanding in the world. Some consumers are willing to pay more for a better quality product. After dropping during the Covid-19 pandemic, consumer confidence increased in 2021, thanks to falling Covid-19 infection incidence rates and relaxed restrictive measures (HDE). It deteriorated again in 2022 in the context of the war in Ukraine. Online shopping has become the norm in Germany and the country is Europe's largest online market. The Covid-19 pandemic further accentuated the digitalisation trend. Consumers are relatively open to the products of international companies. However, local, national and European products may sometimes be preferred. Germans are relatively loyal to brands if it is a quality product. About 60% of the population is willing to buy the same brand several times in this case. Social networks are a useful way to learn about products, but also in the discovery process. Comments left by other users can determine a purchase decision. However, due to concerns about data collection by companies, Germans can be passive users of social networks.

Environmental awareness is common among German consumers. This is reflected in consumption, with the development of organic products, vegan, using little energy etc. In addition, local product consumption attracts some consumers who are willing to pay more for it. The second-hand market is very widespread in Germany, especially in the big cities, for economic, ecological and social reasons. This translates with the purchase in fripperies, second-hand stores but also with online exchanges. The collaborative economy is widely developed, both with VTC platforms, apartment rentals and carpooling.
Consumers Associations
VZBV , Federation of German Consumer Associations
TEST , Product Testing Foundation
Verbraucher , Consumer Initiative
Main Advertising Agencies
OMD media agency
Mind Share media agency
Bader Media agency (in german)
Gesamtverband Kommunikationsagenturen GWA e.V

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Latest Update: July 2024