France E-commerce Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)
France E-commerce Market is segmented by Product Type (Fashion, Electronics and Media, Furniture and Appliance, Food and Personal Care, Toy, Hobby, and DIY).
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Scope of the Report
Key Market Trends
TABLE OF CONTENTS
2018 - 2026
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The French e-commerce market was valued at USD 114.4 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 203.57 billion by 2026, recording a CAGR of 10.04% over the forecast period from 2021 to 2026. The European e-commerce market has been recording robust growth over the last few years, thereby offering exciting opportunities for online retailers, across various sectors. France is one of the major consumer markets in Europe, and it is also an essential market for e-commerce. The French e-commerce market is just below the European average in terms of internet penetration, the percentage of e-commerce consumers, and average expenditure.
Despite the existence of particular unexploited consumer potential, the number of new consumers was moderate in France, between 2014 and 2018. One of the major factors responsible for the moderate growth rate is that internet penetration has been comparatively lower in France (especially in rural areas) than in the other major EU countries. However, the French government’s drive to increase internet access is expected to increase the number of consumers shopping online, over the forecast period.
According to the government’s data, in 2019, the number of e-commerce websites in France grew rapidly: there are now 16% more online shops than in 2018. Currently, there are 191,700 e-commerce websites in France. These figures include physical stores that launch an online store, in addition to their brick-and-mortar business. However, the most popular day for online shopping in France has been Black Friday, which was even more popular than Christmas.
Pixmania, Rue du Commerce, and several other companies have already created their marketplaces, to compete with other websites. Besides, Amazon has branched out in several directions. However, such initiatives require substantial investments, and businesses are forced to use their capital. Venteprivee.com and showroomprive.com still dominate private sales websites in France. They present limited time, ‘flash’ sales of big brand clothing for the whole family and offer reductions between 30% and 70%, compared to in-store prices. They also offer travel and leisure products, household items, and even cars, in the case of Vente-privée.
Furthermore, in 2019, the country’s e-commerce achieved a turnover of EUR 74 billion during the first nine months. And many government agencies claimed that due to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, consumers spent more than EUR 15 -25 billion in the last quarter. In January 2020, Mowi announced its new -look products, under the MOWI brand, which may be featured in new launches in France and the United States in 2020. In 2019, the MOWI brand was launched in Poland, as well as French foodservice. Over 500 stores now feature branded products, according to the company.
Scope of the Report
The French e-commerce market is segmented by product type. By product type, the market studied is further subdivided into fashion, electronics and media, furniture and appliances, food and personal care, toys, hobbies, and DIY, and other product types. The different product types segment includes travel and tourism and sport accessories/equipment.
By Product Type
Electronics and Media
Furniture and Appliance
Food and Personal Care
Toy, Hobby, and DIY
Other Types (Health, Telecom, etc.)
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Key Market Trends
Significant Growth in E-Commerce is Expected Due to the Outbreak of COVID-19
The COVID-19 outbreak and the nationwide lockdown have massively affected the retail industry across the world, especially the brick and mortar model. However, e-commerce is one of the few sectors that have witnessed increased consumer interaction in many segments. And the same trend is also reflected in France. As non-essential shops have closed and nationwide lockdown orders were issued, it has forced many businesses in the country to adapt and respond quickly to the changing consumer priorities. As digital has become the new method in these circumstances, some segments of the French e-commerce sector witnessed significant growth.
For instance, according to the US-based software company, Wedia, during March and April 2020, the internet traffic in France increased by 70% and the use of social networks increased by 61%, resulting in a boost in online conversions across online marketplaces and e-commerce websites, 18% of which have recorded a higher turnover. The country also witnessed 27% more traffic in the online market place, and the sites selling household goods saw 22% more traffic. The digital payment industry has also been witnessing a surge in the country, owing to the e-commerce growth due to COVID-19. Therefore, banks in many European countries have responded by raising the limit for contactless payments without a pin entry.
Although France has eased its lockdown eases, the country is still witnessing an increase in infections, some for the first time in weeks. In April 2020, the President of France suggested that the Schengen area remain closed until September 2020. All these factors are expected to motivate the government to push consumers toward more online activities further, thereby fuelling the investments in the studied market. The France-based startup, Mirakl, has been working with e-commerce websites to help them build a marketplace with third-party sellers. In April 2020, the company developed a market called StopCOVID19.fr to centralize the supply and demand of essential products during COVID-19 crises. The French government has also been backing the project.
The French organic food producer, Organic Alliance, has been investing increasingly to enhance its digital infrastructure and manage its way through the crisis, as the company has been witnessing a surge in demand from online channels. The company’s structure reacts to its commitment to ‘accessibility’ and the development of an omnichannel offering. According to the company, the sector has witnessed the accelerated uptake of new digital solutions due to the COVID-19 crisis and subsequent national lockdowns.
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Fashion is Expected to Hold Major Share
Paris remains an official fashion capital, along with Milan, New York, and London, as well as an increasing number of cities seeking to cement their presence in the industry. Despite a considerable degree of competition from these cities, fashion has been a deep-rooted aspect of France’s culture and its international profile. According to the research findings on the French fashion industry, French people were found to price-sensitive highly. They are frequently attracted by offers, discounts, etc., whether online or in brick-and-mortar stores.
There are a couple of online outlets for brands as well, such as Vente-privée and Bazar Chic, among others. Price remains the prime factor while making a purchase, whether it is a luxury or affordable goods, now that online shopping has been becoming a trend. The third-party online retailers continue to grow and consolidate the market as well. Since the North American inception, Vente-privée has been focused its development on the European market and has been building scale across countries before a potential IPO. After the acquisition of a Belgian company in 2015, it acquired two new groups in Europe during the first semester 2016, Eboutic.ch in Switzerland for an undisclosed value, and Privalia in Spain for EUR million.
Also, the French people feel a bit more secured about purchases. One important thing for them is to be able to exchange/refund quite quickly. For instance, in the case of Asos, one of the leading online fashion and beauty retailers, the return process is straightforward. In addition to that, the French people like to buy clothing items. As a result, the presence of other competitors may not pose an enormous threat, as long as the price and the range of products are adapted. French garment-making remains a fragile sector: apparel contractors are faced with the issue of modernizing and innovating in response to the requirements of their direct clients, while still protecting their margins.
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The level of rivalry in France's e-commerce market is high due to the presence of a large number of market players. The number of local and global brands in the e-commerce market has increased, leading to high competition. Apart from Amazon, eBay, etc., some retail brands, like Auchan Holding, already enjoy a considerable presence in physical retail and are gearing up to enter the e-commerce market, further intensifying the overall rivalry between players. Some of the key players in the French e-commerce market are Amazon, eBay, and Cdiscount.
May 2020 - Amazon annouced to reopen its distribution centers in France after they were shut down more than a month ago due to a dispute with labor unions over the health and safety of workers. A labor union brought a court case complaining Amazon was not providing enough protection for its workers from contracting the coronavirus in its warehouses. The court ordered Amazon to limit itself to selling only "essential" goods in the country.
April 2020 - Cdiscount announced the six months of free subscription without any cancellation fees for the new sellers who want to start selling on Cdiscount. To support the sellers in this situation, Cdiscount has also released to offer the Amount of April subscription to all the sellers who have switched their store to Vacation mode. Cdiscount will be the refunding amount of EUR 39.99 HT as a voucher during the next decade.