Radiography of eCommerce in France: the French say “J’adore” to shopping online – Marketing 4 Ecommerce – Your online marketing magazine for e-commerce

As today it is time to talk about eCommerce in France, I’m going to make a titanic effort. I finish my relaxing cup of café con leche at Plaza del Obradoiro, I get on my private plane, I ask Pierre (my personal assistant) to call Maxim’s to reserve a table and prepare a cassis with vin blanc de la Bourgogne to get into the situation. It’s cool to write on a Himalayan kid leather seat at 10,000 meters. I have to do it more often.

Ale hop! I’m already in Paris. While I drink a 10-euro coffee on the Champs Elysées I get down to business, escargot they are not going to eat alone and in Maxim’s they are very picky about those things.

That the French love to shop is nothing newSo it should come as no surprise to anyone that they also love to shop online. eCommerce in France accounted for sales of more than 90,000 million euros a figure that is expected to exceed 100 billion in 2019. In addition, France has a long tradition of catalog shopping, with powerhouses such as La Redoute or Vente Privee, so the transition to eCommerce has been relatively easy.


In 2018, online sales grew by 13.4% compared to the previous year (figures from the organization that brings together more than 600 eCommerce companies in France) so the neighboring country follows the general trend of double-digit growth in the online channel, although less strongly than in Spain.

Radiography of eCommerce in France

almost 90% of people with internet access made eCommerce purchases in France in 2018. This represents a juicy market for 38.8 million people and more than 1,500 million transactions made last year. eCommerce sales accounted for 9.1% of total retail sales in France in 2018.

The behavior of French consumers has some differences with that of Spanish consumers: although they make most of their purchases from a computer (like here), the mobile phone gains weight as an online shopping channel more slowly. 22% of eCommerce sales in France were made via mobile in 2018.

In France there is no The French shop online like there’s no tomorrowIn fact, 94.4% of Internet users between 18 and 25 years old bought online in 2018.

One second, Macron calls me. No, Manu (colleagues call him Manu), we can’t party today. Do you make some escargots? Nope? Paella? Not to mention, I don’t eat a paella in Paris. Okay, see you at the Bilderberg Club next week. Yes, I’ll bring you a couple of kilos of bomba rice. Tout a l’heure.

Where he was going? Oh yeah. The French spent on eCommerce €2,420 on average per buyer, with an average ticket of 61 euros. The trend is similar to that of Spanish eCommerce: the average ticket goes down, but the number of transactions per buyer goes up, reaching an average of 39 online purchases in 2018. In Spain, the average ticket is a bit higher (€64) but the slightly lower purchase frequency (36 purchases per year).

Summarizing: The eCommerce market in France, in terms of volume, purchase frequency and buyer profile, does not present major changes compared to the Spanish market, except for the strange case of Spanish centennials, something that is not common in most of the countries around us. .

What and where the French buy online

I came to Maxim’s and I’m pissed off. They always save Lady Di’s favorite table for me and today it is occupied by some sheikhs from Dubai. On top of that, the Château Margaux that they served me tastes like pee, so I had to flog the sommelier in full view of all the attendees, as is tradition, and one of them threatened to report me. Definitely, good customs are being lost.

Where there are differences in eCommerce in France compared to Spain is in the most purchased products and in the places where they are purchased. Let’s go by parts:

Most purchased products online in France

As for the most purchased products, the top 10 of 2018 is as follows:

  1. Clothing (58% of shoppers made at least one purchase in 2018)
  2. Cultural products (50%)
  3. Travel and tourism (40%)
  4. Games and toys (39%)
  5. Footwear (39%)
  6. Electronics and home appliance products (38%)
  7. Beauty and health (34%)
  8. Decoration (32%)
  9. Home textiles (28%)
  10. Sports (24%)

Right on the edge of the top 10, at number 11 and rising meteorically, are the products of food and large consumption.

It is striking that the second place is for cultural products, that is, purchases of music, books, cinema and tickets for shows and exhibitions.

Main eCommerce in France

Where do the French shop online? It’s almost redundant to say that #1 goes to (surprise!) Amazon. However, the rest of the online stores in the top 10 are, in their vast majority, French stores:

  1. amazon (nothing to say, everything has already been said)
  2. cdiscount (Casino Group website, owner of several supermarket chains such as Franprix, hypermarkets and restaurants). This is the French Amazon. It is, at the same time, its own store and a marketplace and if you will see that it looks a lot like (come on, it’s calcadita) to Amazon.
  3. Fnac. The most popular chain of electronic, book and music superstores, an institution in France.
  4. Veepee (Vente-Privée): Another of France’s national champions, with a model based on temporary and outlet offers.
  5. Booking. Well known, it is the favorite website for accommodation reservations in France.
  6. Oui.SNCF: SNCF is the French RENFE.
  7. E. Leclerc: Another of the large supermarket chains in France. Like , but in French.
  8. eBay: It is striking that the American giant is in such a low position.
  9. : The French supermarket giant that, however, is overtaken by its competitors.
  10. : The Asian marketplace is coming in strongly, but it is still a long way from the fever for low-cost Chinese products that we have in Spain with , which is not even in the top 10.

When it comes to cross-border purchases, 50% of shoppers made an eCommerce purchase from outside of France in 2018 (here we consider Amazon as “French” as it has warehouses and delivers from France).

B2B in eCommerce in France

To give a couple of notes: B2B eCommerce moved 150,000 million euros in France (data from 2017) with a growth of 50% compared to the previous year. As in other markets, B2B purchases are much more fragmented and grow as customers get used to (or are forced to) place online orders that were previously made via fax or e-mail.

I have come to Pierre Hermé to buy macarons, which are out of the ordinary, but what is money for millionaires like me. I recommend them, they are very good. I’m going to take a walk along the Rive Gauche to see if I can think of any ideas to restore the roof of Notre Dame, although it’s going to cost me to get over the swimming pool, and suddenly I go and wake up sweaty in my bed, thinking How am I going to pay this month’s rent? Anyway, it was a nice dream. Until next time.

Image: Depositphotos

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