French e-commerce is doing well; with 850,000 more shoppers every year, the French market isn’t about to stop growing. France has the 5th biggest e-commerce market worldwide and the 2nd in Europe, with the UK holding the top spot on the continent. Even though household consumption is stagnating, online purchasing isn’t suffering from the recent economic decline. Online consumption has become a frequent activity for French people. More than half of them complete online transactions on a regular basis; this represent a potential market of 35.5 million consumers.
FEVAD reports and predicts French e-commerce for 2017
The French E-Commerce Federation (Fevad) released last week their 2017 forecast about e-commerce growth in the country. It predicts that online sales for retailers in France might rise as much as 11% in 2017, up to €80 billion ($85.85 billion), compared to 2016’s €72 billion result. Such progress comes from a better internet accessibility, as France counts now more than 66 million users (about 87% of the total population). This increase became possible thanks to the development of online vendors (200,000 in 2016, 10 times more than 10 years ago) and people becoming more confident and familiar with online purchasing.
As for the average basket value, it continues to decrease for the 6th year in a row. It was €75 in 2015 and is now worth €70. Far from being a bad news, it shows that online shopping is becoming more commonplace among French households. Instead of few high-euro purchases, the French are purchasing more often with smaller purchases. This happens thanks to the current price competition that takes place between online sellers and lower shipping costs which they tend to offer more often, Fevad indicates.
Each year French e-commerce shoppers spend an average of €2000 online, divided into 28 transactions, which represent a rise of 21% and about twice as much than the amount spent in 2010. And while sales on web-based marketplaces have increased of 18% last year, the mobile sales on the other hand escalated 30%, mirroring the worldwide trend of m-commerce development.
The French e-commerce revolution
France has recently noticed a small decrease in the number of pure-players, induced by the digital evolution of traditional companies that now choose to become omni-channel, by progressively adding online access to their products. Online sellers are starting to understand the growing importance of m-commerce, as 80% of them now possess a mobile version of their e-commerce websites.
FEVAD also noticed the huge development of the new online purchasing approach called “click-and-collect” to generate in-store traffic as well as the social media importance for bringing potential customers to their online retail. Facebook is then the biggest social media related to French online retailers as 79% of them use it in a professional manner. Following comes Twitter with (20%), Google+ (13%) and LinkedIn (10%).
Finally, as with several countries around the world, the current top French e-commerce platform is Amazon. It is followed up by French marketplaces like C-discount, Fnac and Vente-Privée. E-bay is the only other international marketplace in the top 5 ranking.