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Major retailer survey – these are the results

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To the German article

For the fifth time, we collected feedback from Shopware retailers in our annual survey, which addresses important ecommerce topics – from the industry itself and sales right up to the greatest challenges moderns retailers face. More than 600 participants gave us valuable insights into what they deal with on a daily basis. In this article, you can find out what the survey revealed!

Industry, products and target group

Food industry highly popular as ever

The “Food, beverages & tobacco“ industry is still the most represented amongst respondents – with a slight increase even, from 13.25% to 14.86%. The fashion industry is still a major one at 11.56%, though it was overtaken by online shops in the construction, DIY and garden sector (13.58%) compared to the previous year.

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Most of the respondents work in the food industry.

In addition to the product range-related industries, the target groups are, of course, also relevant. It turned out that the majority of respondents (54.9%) work in the B2B as well as the B2C segment. 33.92% of respondents specialise in B2C and only few (11.18%) in B2B.

Main focus on products manufactured in-house

Quite similar the previous year, around 54% of survey participants sell products that they have manufactured themselves. Also of interest: The majority of all participants (25.46%) provide a very comprehensive range made up of 1,000 to 5,000 items.

How are the online shops positioned?

Do most online shop operators manage several shops? We wanted to know the number of shops including subshops. The result was: Half of the respondents (50.19%) concentrate on one online shop. Around 23% of respondents, however, run two shops. The remaining participants operate three shops or more.

And what about technical support? Approximately 28% have a partner agency that provides the online shops with technical support. Though the majority (72%) handles technical support themselves. This sounds like a lot of work when you consider that almost 50% of the surveyed companies only have 1–4 employees.

Sales, order values and payment

How have sales developed in the online shops? What about orders and popular payment methods?

An increase in sales

A pleasing result: An impressive 64.21% of surveyed online shop operators have recorded an increase in sales performance within the current year.

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The average order value is relatively high as well. Approximately 28% of respondents recorded order values of between 51–100 euros, this was even exceeded by around 21% of respondents with values over 200 euros.

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Conventional payment methods are still in the lead

This year is no exception when it comes to the majority of online retailers counting on conventional payment methods in their online shops. Leaders in this category include advance payment (85.63%), PayPal (77.09%), invoice (56.31%) and credit card (48.74%). Payment using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin is only offered by very few: more specifically, less than 1% of retailers.

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Sales channels

Over-the-counter sales remain crucial

We were also interested to find out which sales channels online retailers use. Most of the respondents (42.86%) also run a local retail shop alongside their online shop for selling their products. Popular sales channels also include Amazon (33.46%) and eBay (29.94%). On the other hand, 29.75% of respondents are pure players who exclusively concentrate on their online shop as a distribution channel.

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Also worth mentioning: Selling via social media channels is becoming increasingly important. This percentage for this is 22.11%. 

In this context, we also asked about sales that materialised through mobile devices. According to our survey, most shop operators generate an average of 21–30% of their revenue through mobile devices.

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Issues and challenges

Which issues and challenges do online shop operators face? Here are the top 5 greatest challenges: 

1. Legal problems (64.29%)
2. Competition from other shops (43.51%)
3. Pressure from marketplaces (38.53%)
4. Sustainability (e.g. packaging waste) (29.00%)
5. Emotional branding (25.97%)

Legal questions trouble online shop operators

Legal issues remain a cause of uncertainty. Compared to the previous year, they have even risen by nearly 10 percentage points. Competitive pressure from other shops is still high this year. Sustainability is an increasingly important claim that was also mentioned strikingly often as a crucial topic for the coming year. The same applies to these topics: Mobile commerce, content marketing, multi and omni channelling, PWA, AI, payment systems and legal security.

Tip: Have a look at the Shopware blog more frequently. We will provide you with legal and marketing tips on a regular basis as well as other hot topics concerning Shopware and ecommerce.

We would like to thank all participants!