How does e-commerce work in Austria? We’ll explain it to you here.

Christian Kautzsch  |  11.07.2024  |  Time to read 5 Min

This is how to prepare for export to Austria

If you want to capture the international market, preparation is the key. Without an internationalization strategy, it will be difficult. With the strategy, you can find out how to increase the average number of visitors from 12,500 to 370,000 with a country-specific website and an adapted offer.

In this blog we provide you with important information about the market potential in Austria. You’ll also find out how to adapt your website and shipping service perfectly to the wishes of your Austrian customers.


Austria is an ideal entry market

Because of the language and its close geographical location to Switzerland, Austria is very well suited as an entry market for cross-border e-commerce.

However, this is not the only advantage. According to estimates, 57% of Austrians shopped online in 2018.

According to PayPal’s Cross-Border Consumer Research Study, 71% of online shoppers made purchases both at home and abroad. 10% shopped exclusively in foreign online shops and 18% exclusively in domestic ones. This means that 58% of orders were placed abroad.

Conclusion: In Austria, the willingness to shop in foreign web shops is greater than in other European countries.

Cater to your Austrian clientele

If you want to be successful in the Austrian market, you have to know and satisfy the wishes and preferences of Austrian customers. We’ll show you what these are here:

What do Austrians buy from foreign online retailers?

Cross Border Orders AustriaSource: Country Report Austria

Austrian customers mainly buy fashion items, books, electrical goods and cosmetics in foreign online shops. 27% of Austrian customers stated that their last online purchase was for fashion items.  What is remarkable about online retail with Austria is that the demand for books is far above the global average.

However, this demand decreases over a longer period of time. Furthermore, the demand for gardening and home furnishing articles is above average.

Home and garden above average. Austrians cited the low price and the large selection as the main reasons for shopping abroad.

Is your product suitable for the Austrian market? Find out with the Google Market Finder.

Design your online shop with Austrian customers in mind

First of all, these are Austrians’ preferred devices:

Device Preferences-Cross-Border Orders-Austria

As you can see, most Austrian customers make their purchases on the Internet via a PC or laptop. However, around 30% of Austrians shop via their smartphone – and the trend is rising. That’s why it’s important that you optimize your website for mobile use or possibly even create an app.

Most frequently used payment options when buying abroad

The payment options are very important for your customers. They have a significant influence on whether customers will use your online shop or not.

Generally, the more payment options, the better. But this is not always so easy to implement in practice. Therefore, first limit yourself to the most frequently used and desired payment methods. Here’s an overview:

Payment method-Foreign orders-Austria


Also interesting: 88% of retailers rate the non-payment risk of Austrian customers as low or very low.

Shipping and logistics to Austria

As you have seen in the table, most products ordered abroad are light and small.

This has a direct influence on the size of the delivery. For example, 80% of orders in Austria are lighter than 2 kg and are therefore ideally suited for the low-cost letter channel and our small goods product. Send small goods up to 2 kg abroad.

Customs clearance

Only 5% of customers had to pay customs duties on their last purchase – this means that foreign customers are not used to paying customs on their international orders and do not expect additional charges when they receive their order. 76% say they want accurate information about the amount of delivery costs before buying.

We are talking about a DDP solution (Duty Delivery Paid - all import duties are paid by the shipper).
For shipments to the EU to private customers up to a shopping basket of €150.00 , you can use the IOSS shipping solution, which is a VAT registration to offer your customers in the EU a DDP solution so that the recipient no longer has to pay any costs (import duties) upon receipt of the shipment. Great thing.

This requires a good customs clearance solution! You can find all the information you need on how to ship abroad correctly in our blog. There we explain how you can optimise customs clearance and thus increase customer satisfaction.

Austrians are demanding when it comes to shipping speed

delivery time

If you can offer your customers multiple options when it comes to shipping, all the better. 96% of customers say that consignments from a neighbouring country should arrive within 7 days. 52 % of customers even expect delivery to take only 2 to 3 days.

Austrians thus occupy the top spot and they clearly have higher expectations of delivery times from abroad.

However, when customers have the choice between a fast, expensive delivery and a slow, inexpensive one, they usually opt for the slow variant without complaining about the longer delivery time.

Delivery options

Most Austrian customers would like to have the delivery sent to their home. Or they want the parcel to be left with a neighbour. This option is rather unusual in other countries.


28% of Austrians would like to confirm receipt by signature, while 21% would prefer that no signature is required.


Sustainable shipping

Also interesting for exports to Austria: 47 % of customers would like to have the option of choosing sustainable delivery. 43 % would also pay EUR 0.1 more for this. 65% would also like to have sustainable packaging, and 54% would be willing to pay EUR 0.1 for it. Would you also like to package your products in an environmentally friendly way and thus make your e-commerce greener? Then we have the right blog for you.

Something else is important for the cross-border e-commerce Austria market: Austrian customers absolutely want to receive a notification on the day of delivery.

A simple returns process is important for Austrians

On average, 7% of orders are returned in Austria. This means that the returns rate in Austria is slightly higher than in Switzerland.

Moreover, compared to other European countries, Austrians have particularly high expectations of returns services.

For 64% of Austrians, a simple and reliable returns process is a very important 

component of online shopping. For 65%, free returns are a necessary service.

In Austria, 84% of returns are made free of charge. So pay special attention to the returns process in this country.

Find out in our blog how you can optimize the returns process in order to keep your Austrian customers satisfied.


To return goods, Austrian customers prefer returning them at the post office (50%) and at a courier’s parcel shop (21%).

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