ecommerce

E-commerce growth: sales increase, so does the number of sites

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Online sales in France rose by 21% in the second quarter to 10.8 billion euros compared with the same period in 2011, driven by the opening of new e-commerce sites in a context of deteriorating consumption, according to the quarterly report of the sector federation published Thursday. Over the first six months of the year, internet sales rose from 22% to 21.8 billion euros.

 

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Ranking of the most visited sites in the second half of 2012 (FEVAD/Mediametrie)

"The contribution to growth is due to the arrival of new sites. There are 20,000 more sites than a year ago, which is an absolute record. It is estimated that a new merchant site opens every 20 minutes," Marc Lolivier, general delegate of the Federation of e-commerce and distance selling (Fevad), told the press.

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In this increasingly competitive sector, with 109,800 merchant sites listed by Fevad, the average basket is down slightly (-4%) to 89 euros, but the number of orders increased in Q2. "With the crisis, people go on the Internet to find the best prices," explains Mr. Lolivier, who remains optimistic for the whole year and maintains the forecasts of a 20% growth of the sector to 45.2 billion euros in 2012 (and 72 billion in 2015).

The number of cyber-buyers increased by 4% over the quarter, with a sharp rise in the number of Internet users aged 50 to 64, according to the Médiamétrie Institute, which estimates that 78% of Internet users now buy online.

By sector, if fashion/clothing (+11%) and e-tourism (+9%) recorded the best growth over the semester, Fevad notes a breakthrough in food purchases. "We go from 12 to 16% of Internet users who buy food," says Lolivier, adding that the "drive" sites of supermarkets are included in the panel. Cdiscount (no. 3) and Carrefour (no. 8) are among the Top15 most consulted shopping sites of Médiamétrie/NetRatings.

The top three places in the Top 15 are occupied this quarter by Amazon (11.6 million unique visitors per month), eBay (9.4 million) and Cdiscount (8.6 million). The president of Fevad, François Momboisse, also praised the rapid growth of Amazon, "a high-performance site that is increasingly a leader".

Fevad also notes a very strong increase in mobile sales, which now represent 5% of merchant site revenues compared to 2% a year ago. We generated 26% of our sales via mobile in August," confirmed Xavier Court, co-founder of Vente-privée.com. "Two-thirds of our sales were generated via smartphones and one-third via tablets.

Gauthier Picquart, President of RueduCommerce, who expects the rest of the year to be "more complicated" than the first half, highlighted the strong growth of "marketplaces", spaces reserved for independent sellers on large commercial sites.

(Source: © AFP Paris, 6 Sept 2012)

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