BERLIN: Almost all Germans who go online shop there as well, with more than three quarters doing so several times a month a new survey has revealed.

Digital association Bitkom polled 1,135 internet users over the age of 14 and found that 98% had shopped online, up from a figure of 94% in a similar survey last year. The oldest age group has also completely embraced online shopping, with the proportion of over-65s having done so rising from 88% to 97%.

It was also evident that online Germans are undertaking this activity more often: 77% of respondents said they shopped online several times a month, up from 65% a year ago.

"Online shopping has become as normal as going into a store," said Bitkom vice-president Achim Berg. "The increasing incidence of online shopping shows that users are satisfied with the shopping experience."

In practice, the boundaries between online and offline shopping channels are blurring as the survey found that 50% of respondents engaged in showrooming, looking in-store before buying online, while 61% did the opposite .

And 39% said they used their smartphones in-store to compare prices while 52% had told a sales representative in-store about a better offer available online.

"So-called cross-channel commerce is in full swing," said Achim Berg, who urged retailers to develop innovative solutions to meet consumers at all possible touchpoints.

Click-and-collect (46%) and same-day delivery options (58%) are attracting interest, as are in-store digital offerings (58%) such as mobile apps that navigate stores and show information about products and special offers.

Berg also noted the potential for online grocery shopping: the proportion of internet users buying food online has tripled in the past three years, to 28%, and might have been even greater but for the country's dense store network.

"But the great satisfaction of users suggests that the online grocery trade will develop well over the coming years," he added.

Data sourced from Bitkom; additional content by Warc staff