The ubiquity of the Internet has made Germany the largest e-commerce market in Western Europe.

Germans have made the Internet an integral part of school and work. Online penetration is over 50% for every age group 50 and younger. Comfort with the Internet has helped make Germany a nation of active online shoppers, predicted to spend over $108 billion in 2008.

"In assessing the growth of the Internet, and e-commerce in particular, many marketers, as well as many analysts, tend to overlook Germany, often merely lumping it together with the rest of the E-5 countries or Western Europe as a whole," says James Belcher, eMarketer Senior Analyst and author of the new Germany Online report. "That's a mistake. Germany is the third-largest economy in the world, right behind the US and Japan, and what happens there — and when and why it happens — is vitally important to the growth of the Internet's infrastructure and economy."

As in every Western country, e-mail and research still top the list of online activities, but German Internet users also are heavy online shoppers, making the country the largest e-commerce market in Western Europe.

Get the full story at eMarketer