Austria flag Austria: Buying and Selling

E-commerce in Austria


Internet access
Austria has a population of almost 9 million people and an estimated 7.4 million internet users (84% of the population, World Bank). Around 4.8 million internet users shop online. More than 60% of Austrians aged 15 or more own a smartphone. Austria is the 30th richest country in the world in terms of GDP (IMF) and 33rd in terms of GDP per capita. The country is known for its stable economy and good living conditions. Google, Facebook, YouTube and Amazon are the most visited websites in Austria.
E-commerce market
In 2017, B2C e-commerce sales amounted to US$ 9.2 billion, an increase of 14.3% compared to 2016 sales. As for the total e-commerce revenue, in 2017 it amounted to US$ 4.4 billion, a rate that is expected to reach US$ 6.6 billion by 2021. The main online shops in the Austrian market are Amazon, Universal (generalist), Zalando (clothing, German), Otto (clothing and multimedia, German), Eduscho (generalist), E-Tec (multimedia), H&M (clothing) and Conrad (generalist). For second-hand buying and selling, Austrians use mainly two websites: Willhaben and Ebay. The Austrian e-commerce market can be very connected to the German one. For example, Amazon sales in Austria are all shipped from the company’s fulfilment facilities in Germany. Consequently, shipping costs are higher for Austrian e-customers but they benefit from a 14-day period to return the product (also known as “cooling-off period”), which is the rule in Germany, as opposed to 7 days in Austria. Cross-border sales in Austria also come from Italy, Switzerland, China and the Czech Republic. Fashion (textile, clothing, shoes and accessories) is the leading segment, accounting for US$ 1.2 billion market share, just ahead of the Electronics & Media, which accounted for US$ 1.1 billion in 2017.
E-commerce sales and customers
In 2016, the average Austrian e-shopper spent US$ 884 for online sales and this figure is expected to rise to over US$ 1,100 by 2021. Men aged between 35 and 44 years old constituted the largest category of e-commerce users in the Austrian market, followed by men and women aged between 25 and 34. Austrian online buyers tend to buy primarily clothing articles, followed by electronics and media products, toys, hobbies and DIY articles, furniture and home appliances. In terms of services, Austrians mainly use the internet to buy flight tickets and book accommodations. Austria has great logistics and distribution networks and is located at the heart of Europe. Most of the population lives in urban areas, but good infrastructure allow efficient connections to the rural parts of the country. In 2016, the World Bank Logistics Performance Index placed Austria at the 7th spot in the world in terms of transport fluency and easiness to distribute a product. Much like their neighbours in Germany, Austrians tend to be very cautious about online shopping and would still rather go to a real store when the goods they want to purchase are durable. When paying online, most Austrians will do it by invoice, either at the delivery or after. Invoice payment is better for buyers, as the seller bares all the risks. Among Austrian e-customers, 81% have already used invoice as a payment method, 58% have used credit cards and 41% have paid via Paypal at least once.
Social media
Over 60% of Austrians - about 5.8 million people - are social media users. WhatsApp is the leading communication app in Austria. Even though it is popular among all age groups, it is particularly used by those under 18, as 93% of the population in that age group use the app. Facebook is the most popular social media platform, with 3.4 million users. Of those users, half are male and half are female, while most of them are between 25 and 34 years old (29% of all users). Instagram has 1.7 million users in Austria, and is particularly popular among younger generations, as only 10% of the users are over 45 years old. As of August 2018, the most popular social media platforms by market share in the country were Facebook (66.37%), Pinterest (18.45%), YouTube (5.67%), Twitter (4.41%), Instagram (2.58%) and Tumblr (1.46%). Some German social media are also present in Austria, such as Xing (the 'German LinkedIn') and StudiVZ (student network).

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Latest Update: April 2023