Click & Meet or Online & Shipping: What do we prefer right now?

Stationary trade is shrinking and online businesses are flourishing. How is our pandemic shopping behaviour evolving and what are trendy shops today?

 min read

Germany's population is frustrated by persistent lockdowns and inconsistent resolutions. Now a ray of hope has appeared: the possibility of Click&Meet, booking appointments and then shopping in a wide variety of shops. For the first time in months, we have the opportunity to go shopping again.

Online or on site?

BitBurst Research surveyed 450 young Germans about this, mainly aged 16 to 25. Of them, 93% said they had bought clothes in stationary retail in 2019-2020. On average, the trend was that even before the pandemic, a good half of the clothing was purchased online and the other half in retail stores. Similarly, 90% of respondents ordered clothes online in 2020.

The option of booking an appointment to shop in a retail shop is something 49% of the participants would like to take advantage of (if possible), while 28% would not. This shows a clear forecast of more crowded city centres in the near future.

Especially intensive shoppers who buy new clothes at least once a week can hardly wait to get back to the shops (70% want to use appointment booking). At the same time, the online offer has convinced them the most and 46% said they would primarily shop online after the pandemic. This fraction is largely made up of 16- to 35-year-olds. Overall, more than half of 16 to 35 year-olds said they buy clothes at least once a month.

In terms of post-pandemic, the majority of 46% said they would like to do balanced shopping both online and in retail. Another 28% will buy clothes mostly online and 19% mostly in retail.

Favourite shops

Overall, 13% of respondents said they shop for clothes once a week or more. However, the majority of about 37% each purchase new clothes less than once a week but at least once a month, or less than once a month but at least once in 6 months. Only 3% buy new clothes less often than once a year.

The most popular shops among young Germans are the following. It was measured by where they shop regularly (at least once a year).

- H&M, Cos, Weekday, Monki: 54%

- C&A as well as Deichmann, Snipes, Onygo: 38%

- Zara, Bershka, Pull&Bear: 32%

- Primark: 27

- Zalando (Outlet): 26%


Inner cities are shrinking, bricks-and-mortar retail is stagnating and choice is disappointing. The trend that many German cities have been experiencing for years is only intensified by the corona pandemic.

For example, 51% of respondents say the selection of fashion shops in their place of residence is (too) small. Only 16% consider the selection in their city to be (very) diverse, the middle of 33% rate it as sufficient.

Of course, there are clear trends here: 74% of the participants from very small towns (less than 10,000 inhabitants) and 56% of the people from small towns (10,000 to less than 100,000 inhabitants) consider the selection of fashion shops in their hometown to be (too) small. People in the middle range (100,000 to under 750,000 inhabitants) show themselves to be balanced to satisfied. At the other end of the spectrum, the opposite is evident. 70% of people who live in large cities (750,000 to under 1 million inhabitants) feel that their city's offer is (very) diverse.

However, after all we will adapt our behavior to upcoming regulations.