Size of French e-commerce market
France is the third largest e-commerce market in the EU, ranking behind UK and Germany, and 6th in the world, behind US, China, Japan, UK and Germany. In general, the French marketplace has high Internet penetration and it is relatively mature, but still full of opportunities for online sellers. Online sales are also rising quickly in France.
Here are specific numbers of French e-commerce:
Top websites of French e-commerce
Top 1 Amazon
The largest e-commerce site in France is Amazon, with an average of 14.45 million unique visitors per month and 1.6 million per day. Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer. Amazon and its retailers offer customers millions of new, refurbished and used products.
Top 2 CDiscount
Cdiscount that founded in 1998 is the second largest e-commerce shopping website in France. Its business model is similar to a wholesale mall, and it has 16 million sellers. It covers many product categories including daily necessities, food, electronic products, household appliances, baby products, luggage, toys and so on. And it often has great discount that the products are really cheap.
In addition, Cdiscount is the first French local e-commerce platform open to Chinese sellers, with a dedicated Chinese investment team. Currently, there are about 3,000 Chinese sellers entering.
Top 3 Fnac
Fnac is the third largest e-commerce website in France and is also a well-known retailer of cultural products and electrical products in France. Fnac’s business covers 8 countries including Qatar and Spain and has 189 stores worldwide. Its business covers electronic products, cultural audio-visual products, home furnishing and kitchen appliances etc.
Fnac website has a clear classification, excellent purchasing experience and great discounts. And both the product quality and after-sales service are good.
Top 4 Vente-Privee
Vente-privee is France’s largest fashion e-commerce and the father of Vipshop in China as well as membership flash sale e-commerce in various countries. At 7 am on weekdays, 9 am on weekends and 19 PM on weekdays, the second kill start on time. Special sale brands cover all major areas, including luxury goods, fashion, cosmetics, household, ticketing, food, washing chemicals, vouchers and so on, most of the price is half price to 20% off.
Top 5 eBay
EBay is one of the world’s largest online trading platforms and an e-commerce site where everyone can buy and sell. It provides many sales methods for sellers, including Auction method, bid method and auction and bid.
In addition to CDiscount, venteprivee are pure e-commerce businesses, all of others are combined online and offline businesses with physical stores. Most of the success of French e-commerce is vertical management.
Customers of French e-commerce
The majority of French e-commerce consumers are between 26 and 38 years old, followed by those less than 26 years old, and below are between 39 and 59 years old, and least are those over 60 years old. 41% of the population are men and others are women. They are usually tech savvy and confident in online shopping. As customers, they appreciate respect, politeness, clear information and a prompt delivery of service.
Price is a key factor for many French customers, especially since the global economic downturn. According to Euromonitor, 80% of French consumers compare prices before buying non-grocery products. This has helped to fuel the growth of flash sales. France’s vente-privee.com is the world’s biggest flash sale site.
Furthermore, French speaking consumers prefer to interact with sellers in their native language and their favourite online shopping destinations include the UK, China and Germany.
The behavior of online shopping of French also has strong seasonality so that e-commerce sales usually increase significantly during the Christmas period (November to December) as well as before and after valentine’s day (February).
Logistics and delivery of French e-commerce
The preferred delivery method is home delivery, followed by shipping to a pick-up & go location and delivery in store. Pick-up points close to consumer homes are very popular among the French, e.g. at local stores, post offices or in lockers at train stations. The main postal service in France is called La Poste (historical postal operator), Collissimo is used for parcels and Chronopost for express deliveries. La Poste, Collissimo and Chronopost are recognized and trusted brands in France.
And according to UK’s Royal Mail’s research, reassurance about delivery, tracking goods and receiving all the relevant information are very important in France.
Payment methods of French e-commerce
French consumers prefer to use their bank cards for online payments, making it relatively easy for international retailers to settle payments.
About 90 percent of people that over the age of 15 hold Carte Bancaire Cards, with 85 percent of shoppers using them as their first online payment method. In addition, about 8 million French users have PayPal accounts.
Drop shipping in France
Start drop shipping business in France is a good idea. On the one hand, the average online shopper of France spends approximately €1,780 making it a great nation to market to and a great country to start an online store in. And the French prefer paying for purchases via credit card and PayPal making it optimal for online businesses to thrive when marketing in France. On the other hand, drop shipping in France allows you to run a risk-free business without holding inventory and shipping products. And you have more time to focus on marketing and grow your business quickly.