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Consumer Affairs

Internet shopping gains ground in Germany

More than half of all Germans use the Internet for shopping, a new survey of consumer habits has found. Perhaps surprisingly, the number of online shoppers is rising fastest among elderly Germans.

In the course of this year, about 42.3 million Germans resorted to the Internet for buying goods and services, the German Statistics Office, Destatis, said Wednesday.

Destatis based its findings on a recent survey of the use of information and communications technologies in private German households, carried out between July and September this year.

According to the data, an extra 8.8 million people had used the Internet for shopping, compared to the figures from a previous survey made in 2007. This constituted a rise of about 8 percent over the past five years, Destatis added.

Unsurprisingly, the group with the highest number of online shoppers is people aged between 25 and 44 years, 89 percent of whom have used the Internet for shopping this year.

Among Germans aged between 16 and 24 years, three out of four go shopping online, which is roughly the same amount as those in the 45-to-64-year age category.

However, what surprised the statisticians was the fact that the rise of Internet shopping among elderly Germans was the steepest. The increase came in at 12 percent over the past five years for those 45 years and older, while online shopping among younger Germans grew by an average of 7.5 percent.

The survey also found out that one out of ten German online shoppers uses latest smartphone technology for this purpose, and that about 14 percent have been shopping on websites outside of Germany.

uhe/msh (dpa, AFP)