The COVID-19 pandemic had a strong impact on all digital consumer behaviour in Germany in 2020 but most significantly in retailing and foodservice. The uptick during 2020 was highest in foodservice, where restrictions forced the most rapid changes in the way consumers placed orders.
Consumers had limited access to foodservice across two subsequent lockdown periods in 2020 that restricted or shut down all dine-in activities at restaurants. This forced consumers to either order meals for takeaway or delivery or to cook their own meals at home.
Cross-border travel restrictions had a deep and severe impact on lodging bookings and sales in 2020 and all but halted tourism activities and business travel. While overnight stays were technically allowed for most of the year, demand fell due to a lack of inbound arrivals and declining demand from domestic tourists.
All consumer industries will look to digital modernisation as a means to remain relevant throughout their post-pandemic recovery. In 2020, consumers in various forms of lockdown became used to digital options and will continue to look to these even once the pandemic is over.
Another fast-growing source of digital commerce sales in Germany comes from online streaming services, whose total revenues saw double-digit current value growth in 2020. German consumers increasingly look to digital-based streaming services, choosing to pay for monthly subscriptions, often in place of paid cable television.
During the review period, Germany benefited from a flurry of digital start-ups competing in mobility. There was particularly strong development in last-mile services, which complement long-distance transportation options such as trains, buses and trams by transporting consumers to their final destination.
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