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German E-Commerce’s Latest Trend: Online Shopping Clubs

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According to market researchers Fittkau & Maas, online shopping clubs have become a rapidly growing online channel despite the fact that their members are acting behind closed doors, as it were. The shopping clubs are the virtual variety of the ever favorite outlet stores.

That’s how they work: Online shopping clubs offer their registered members designer articles, especially fashion articles, within a limited amount of time, say a week or two. During this time the articles are for grabs at extremely low prices.

German are well known for their preference of sale actions, especially in the spring and fall. It’s no small wonder that about 70% of German internet users are already familiar with shopping clubs, and their number is growing. Almost one out of three internet users is already a registered member.

The German market

The race for market shares has already begun. However, Brands4friends has outdistanced its competitors with a familiarity rate of 29% and a usage rate of 9,5%, followed by Paul Direkt (usage 3,4%). BuyVIP, a European shopping club, follows closely in third place with 3,0% usage. The growing popularity of shopping clubs has not gone unnoticed by the leading e-retailers like, and it has founded the respective shopping club under the label With a usage of 2,1%, it is now in position no. 5 in the market.

The customers

Members of shopping clubs are characterized by their consciousness of current trends and their tendency towards spontaneous purchases. Like almost every other German online shopper they are very picky when it comes to quality. In contrast to the rest of the crowd, however, club members listen to advertisements and have (secret?) desire to be able to impress their peers by the purchase of certain brands.

Sounds like paradise for the marketing guys, and therefore they do not hesitate to impress the club members with high quality foto and video content appealing to quality-conscious lovers of designer brands. More info and graphics can be found HERE.

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