French e-commerce: from Unprecedented Growth to the Impact of Covid19

Avatar for Sophie Ezzedine

In a press release published on the beginning of February, the french e-commerce federation (FEVAD – Fédération du e-commerce et de la vente à distance) announced that French e-commerce has reached 100 billion euros for the first time in history, pre-Covid-19 and pre-Krach.

Indeed, online buying has become a habit for French consumers. Online sales amounted to 103.4 billion euro in 2019, which correspond to a rise by 11.6% in comparison to 2018. This amount includes both the sales of products and services. For example, the top three categories that are sold online the most are: clothes, cultural goods and touristic services.

Throughout last year, more than 1.7 billion transactions have been recorded by e-commerce websites, a rise by 15.7%. Despite a decrease in the budget per customer, the market reaches good results. In fact, in ten years the sales of products and services has quadrupled. Because of the unfortunate spreading of Covid-19, French e-commerce keeps growing even more than expected.

The online offering keeps expanding with more than 190,000 commercial websites identified, or a 15% raise in one year. E-commerce keeps developing in retail, it is estimated to have a 9.9% share in 2019. In addition, e-commerce regulations are being more stricter every year regarding product information. That is why many services are providing product content such as the company Cedemo (recently acquired by Icecat).

Furthermore, sales made by market services on marketplaces have maintained their growth in 2019 with a 14% rise. FEVAD expects sales by smartphones to dominate over other shopping devices because visitors of e-commerce websites were already mostly using smartphones this year.

Besides, “online shoppers are in the midst of an ecological transition”, executive officer of the FEVAD Marc Lolivier explains. According to a survey conducted by Médiamétrie, 53% of online shoppers are thinking about the environment when shopping online and 45% of them have bought a product originating from the circular economy.

According to the FEVAD’s forecasts, the e-commerce turnover should reach 115 billion euros in 2020 and more than 2 billion transactions.

Finally, the change of customer’s behavior due to the corona-virus will impact e-commerce positively. This will accelerate in case of shutting down physical stores as already happened in Italy.


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