Just after being declared the most aggressive drivers in Europe, Germany is also claiming the top spot for being the pickiest customers in the world, which partially explains the frequent struggle that international retailers have been facing when trying to enter into the German market.
An international study conducted by Accenture took in close to 24,000 responses from people in 33 countries to look at trends in consumer behavior. It turns out that out of all the countries surveyed, German consumers have the highest standards when it comes to their shopping experiences.
With German consumers, there appears to be a high value placed on the ease of the shopping experience, including knowledgeable salespeople, quick problem resolutions, and even the process of completing the transaction. If something goes wrong, Germans tend to get easily frustrated and often will not return in the future.
Also, when German consumers enter a store, chances are that they already know quite a bit about the product they want to buy. Accenture found that 83 percent, an above average number, of Germans find out as much as they can online and through friends before making their purchase. “They refer to comments and product comparisons. And what their friends say counts for a lot,” said Sven Drinkuth, managing director for Accenture in Germany.
The standards Germans have should be universal among consumers around the world, but for some companies that is asking for too much. Large retailers that have found success in other parts of the world frequently have a difficult time making their business work in Germany, such as Walmart, and the standards that Germans have grown to have might be the largest contributing factor to that difficulty.