German fashion is just as diverse as its landscape and dialects. Sure, there are Lederhosen in Bavaria and yes, manual workers often wear their blue coveralls (Blaumann) out on the street with pride. German fashion styles, however, range from conservatively demure with subdued or natural colors, to eye-poppingly different with ethnically inspired patterns and colors.

Germany lies at the heart of Europe, historically making it a melting pot for cultures and traditions. A fact that has influenced German fashion sense through the ages, and modern German designers to this day. German fashion e-commerce features some of the biggest designer names like Hugo Boss, Willy Bogner, Jill Sanders, and JOOP, to name but a few.

According to Statista, there were around 13.8 million foreigners living in Germany in 2022 (roughly 15% of the population). All these people naturally brought their home country’s fashion ideas and principles with them, adding to the style mix in German fashion.

German fashion and sustainability

A very important factor for fashion-conscious Germans is sustainability. As a nation, Germans are at the forefront of separating and reducing waste. Consumers and designers focus on recycled or sustainable materials in their fashion choices. As a result, Germans don’t mind spending a little more, and prefer shopping for lasting quality, rather than fast fashion and cheap knockoffs. And they absolutely can afford to do so, as they are among the top earners in Europe. A 2018 study on “Ethical consumer behavior in Germany” has come up with the following recommendations for retailers: (1) concentrate on specific product attributes; (2) adopt an efficient digital communication strategy; and (3) make a greater effort to make green apparel attainable. These principles are now more important than ever.

Berlin Fashion Week

The Berlin Fashion Week, held in the capital twice a year, showcases cutting-edge technology like smart wearables and highlights important issues like sustainable fashion, inclusion, and cultural diversity. The event is a much sought-after platform for new designers and idea factories, as well as a sounding board for new fashion trends. Paris will always be the fashion capital for outrageous styles and must-have designer labels for the ultra-rich and famous. But Berlin is the capital of prêt-à-porter – fashion that is wearable, stylish, fresh, and innovative.

German fashion e-commerce in numbers

The German fashion industry has undergone a period of rapid growth over the past few years. Industry leaders include shops that exist solely online ( as well as stores that started on the high street (Hugo Boss, Adidas) but then branched out to sell their products online. Others, however, started out online but are now also active as retailers in city centers and outlet centers (Zalando).

The German fashion e-commerce market is predicted to reach US$26,028.2 million by 2023 and accounts for 24.1% of the total e-commerce market in Germany. It is expected to increase over the next years. The expected compound annual growth rate for the next four years (CAGR 2023-2027) will be 8.4%, resulting in a projected market volume of US$35,986.1 million by 2027.

Why do Germans like shopping online?

There are many reasons why online shopping is preferred by certain consumers. Some of the most frequently cited advantages include lower prices for brand products, speed, and the fact that there is a wider choice of products. Germany is currently ranked fifth on the list of countries generating the highest revenue from fashion e-commerce.

Financial providers like have jumped on the bandwagon, creating affordable payment options for online consumers. Their offers made previously unaffordable brands and products suddenly quite affordable. The trend towards better, more expensive, and more prestigious fashion has become increasingly clear.

Changing room at home

The German fashion customer is highly discerning and wants to make sure to receive premium-quality products. Virtually all online fashion stores in Germany now allow their fashion e-commerce customers to order numerous items to try on at home. They can return any or all products if they are not to their liking, don’t fit, or display any quality issues at all. Multi-lingual call centers ensure a positive customer experience if they want to exchange or return items.

Free returns as a competitive advantage

Almost every major online shop offers free returns. And that despite the fact that the EU Consumer Protection Directive 2014 says that every customer should pay for returns. That ruling hasn’t stopped online shops from continuing to offer this service free of charge, giving them a competitive advantage over others. As a matter of fact, 50% of respondents say that when they buy online, they pay close attention to whether free returns are available before placing an order with that retailer.

Seamless Europe 2023

On October 18-19 of this year, Berlin hosted Seamless Europe 2023: “The future of retail, e-commerce, payments and fintech across Europe”. The conference was hosted and sponsored by many of the big names in retail, finance, and e-commerce. Speakers from all areas elaborated on the many opportunities yet to be explored in Europe.

E-commerce and e-finance are at the forefront of development, while internationalization is now essential to support and accommodate online customers in their preferred language. Entire online shop solutions with seamless language integration, chatbots, and more are the key, as product portfolios and prices change continuously. Previous tedious and error-prone copy & paste jobs are a thing of the past with clever new out-of-the-box solutions for multilingual online shops.



autor_eurotext_100Author: Eurotext Editorial Team

We explain how internationalization works, provide tips for your translation projects and outline some of the technology and processes used. We also report on current e-commerce developments and cover a range of language-related topics.