France is one of the biggest ecommerce countries in the world.
According to eMarketer, it is the 7th largest ecommerce market in the world, and the 3rd largest in Europe, behind the UK and Germany.
Last year, ecommerce in France brought in €112.2 billion (around $130.7 billion) as online sales grew by 8.5%.
This increase, however, was not evenly distributed across all products, with the most obvious hit being the sale of services.
Like in the rest of Europe – well, in the rest of the entire world! – French ecommerce hinged its fortunes on the pandemic.
An increase of 8.5% compared to 2019 is a strong performance for a market that already had a solid ecommerce market.
To provide deeper context, compared to the last four years, French ecommerce sales increased on average 13% per year.
The growth of French ecommerce can be attributed to very strong sales of goods, increasing by 32%. In contrast, the sales of services dropped by 10%.
The hardest hit sectors during 2020 were tourism, leisure, and transport, who had a very tough time, with their ecommerce sinking by 41%.
eCommerce made up 13.1% of all retail trade, generating $112.2 billion.
This represents 41.6 million people buying online in France, which is 81.4% of all internet users in the country. Compared to 2019, this is 1.5 million more people.
Another important point here is that 41.4% of online shoppers buy from their phones.
In terms of the average value of each transaction, it came to €61 (around $71), which is an increase of 2.6% compared to 2019. This is interesting because it is the first increase in the average transaction value for 8 years!
So many French retailers dug into their digital capabilities during 2020 in order to provide consumers with the option to buy online.
French consumers who broke their habits and discover the benefits of ecommerce are highly likely to stick to their new shopping behaviors.
In the country, more than half (52%) of businesses that sell goods and services online are continuing to grow, compared to 39% of businesses that do not have a presence online.
It is worth mentioning here the biggest ecommerce retailers in France. They include Cdiscount, Vente-Privee, Auchan, Fnac, Showroomprivé, La Redoute, Carrefour, Zalando, and 3 Suisses.
And finally, when it comes to how the French pay for their online goods, by far they prefer to pay with their bank card. In fact, it is the most popular payment option by a long way, being used by 80% of ecommerce shoppers, followed by online banking (11%), consumer credit (4%), and bank transfer (1%), with the other 4% consisting of other methods.