Annual assessment of e-commerce in France: the French spent 57 billion euros on the Internet in 2014

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According to the study published on January 27th by Fevad and presented to Mrs. Carole Delga, Secretary of State for Trade, Handicrafts, Consumer Affairs and Social Economy, online sales continued to grow in 2014 by + 11 %, ranking France in 3rd place in e-commerce in Europe.

Carole Delga, Secretary of State in charge of Trade, Handicrafts, Consumer Affairs and Social and Solidarity Economy, says: "I hope that traditional commerce, which is confronted with socio-economic changes and technological mutations, will have easier access to e-commerce. The rate of "digitalisation" is lower and more disparate within independent commerce, but we also see this development as an opportunity in terms of awareness and increased commercial activity. It is an opportunity to transform the store and adapt to these changes, especially perhaps in rural areas. The added value of traditional retailers lies in their physical location and in the relationship with the customer within the store".

Revenues from e-commerce sites up +11%

Internet sales continued to grow strongly in 2014, in a general context of declining household consumption. In total, the French will have spent 57 billion euros on the internet, a figure up 11% over one year. The number of transactions will have increased by 15%.
These results are slightly better than expected thanks to a better than expected year-end with Christmas sales which this year reached 11.4 billion euros, 13% more than last year over the same period. E-merchants were able to take advantage of this exceptional buying period as shown by the excellent satisfaction rate of 99% measured in the CSA study conducted just after the holidays.
France should therefore maintain its position as the 3rd largest e-commerce market in Europe after the United Kingdom and just behind Germany (according to the E-Commerce Europe ranking).
The e-commerce market in France represents 9% of the retail trade excluding food products.

Purchase frequency continues to increase

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For its part, the average basket is still falling. It has lost -4% in one year to reach 81 euros. This is the fourth consecutive year of decline; since 2011, it has fallen by 10%. This drop is nevertheless offset by the arrival of new buyers and by the increase in the frequency of purchases: 20 online transactions are carried out per year per buyer, compared with 18 a year ago.
This purchasing frequency also benefits from the increase in the rate of site creation, which will remain just as dynamic in 2014: 20,000 additional sites were created in one year, an increase of 14%. France now has 157,300 active merchant sites.

The iCE 40 index rose by 3 points over one year

The iCE 40 index (which measures the growth of the leading sites, on a like-for-like basis) increased by +3% over one year. This increase was comparable to last year's (+4%) despite the deterioration in the economic environment.
More specifically, the consumer product sales sites making up the index recorded growth of 9% (vs. 6% in 2013) driven in part by the good performance of the marketplaces.
Internet sales to professionals also increased by 9% over the year. The year 2014 having marked the return to more significant growth for these sites.
Online sales of the iCE travel-tourism panel are down by 2% over the year 2014/2013. This trend echoes the decline in the volume of bookings that continued in the 4th quarter (travel agency sales -11% in October, -5% in November, 0% in December - Snav Atout France).

m-commerce and marketplaces are attracting more and more people.

The iPM index, designed to measure the volume of sales made on marketplaces (sales made by sites hosted on iCE40 marketplaces), rose by 53% in one year. These sales represent 21% of the total sales volume of sites participating in the iPM (vs. 15% in 2013). This growth is linked to the strong development of the offer on the marketplaces.
The iCM index, which measures mobile internet sales (smartphones and tablets, mobile sites and applications excluding application downloads and excluding sales on marketplaces) rose by 60% and represents 16% of total iPM site sales vs. 10% in 2013.

The market is expected to pass the 60 billion mark in 2015.

According to Fevad's forecasts, internet sales are expected to grow by around 10% in 2015. These estimates are based on a new surge in supply, driven by the number of merchant sites and a further increase in the number of cyber-buyers, whose combined effects should enable French e-commerce to pass the 60 billion mark, despite the decline in the average basket, which should continue in 2015.

Methodology :
The data collected from merchant sites correspond to the following definitions:
Electronic Commerce Index (iCE) iCE 40 panel: turnover generated directly by the companies in the iCE 40 panel on fixed and mobile Internet. The sites that publish a market place do not count the volume of business generated on the market place, nor the commissions generated. Only orders delivered in France. All places of delivery are taken into account (including in-store pick-ups). This is the turnover ordered (we consider the date of order taking and not the delivery date). Cancellations, exchanges and returns deducted, including shipping costs, including VAT for sales to individuals, excluding VAT for sales to professionals.
Tourism turnover Net book value in France (including administrative fees).
Market place index (iPM): all sales made on the market place by user sites.
Mobile commerce index (iCM): turnover generated directly by the company on smartphones and digital tablets for mobile sites and applications (excluding application downloads). The sites that publish a market place do not count the volume of business generated on the market place nor the commissions generated.
Composition of the iCE 40 panel The results of the e-commerce balance sheet were calculated from the iCE 40 panel composed of the following sites:
Accor-Hotels, Actissia, Air France, Auchan, Blanche Porte, Boulanger, Brandalley, Cdiscount, Cdiscount Pro, Club Med, Darty, Edreams, Ebookers, Fnac, Go Voyages, Bruneau, Kiabi, La Redoute, Lastminute, LDLC Pro, Legallais, Manutan, Mistergooddeal, Opodo, Pierre & Vacances, Pixmania, Pixmania Pro, Raja, Rue du Commerce, Rue du Commerce Pro, Sarenza, Showroomprivé, Spartoo, Staples, Ugap, Vente-privee.com, vente-privee-voyage.com, Verbaudet, Viking Direct, Voyages-sncf.com, Yves Rocher.
Composition of the PSP panel For the needs of the study, Fevad questions a panel of secure payment platforms, totalling 157,300 sites: Be2bill-Rentabiliweb, Worldline,Crédit Mutuel-CIC, Monext, PayBox, Paypal, PayZen, Ingenico Payment Services.
Global market estimate The calculation of the overall market estimate is obtained by aggregating the data collected from the iCE40 panel sites and the value of electronic payments (excluding iCE panel members.40) reported by providers participating in the PSP panel.

About Fevad :
The Federation of e-commerce and distance selling, created in 1957, today federates 590 companies and 800 websites. It is the representative organisation of the e-commerce and distance selling sector. Fevad's mission is to collect and disseminate information to improve knowledge of the sector and to act in favour of the sustainable and ethical development of distance selling and e-commerce in France.

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This study is based both on information gathered from the main merchant sites and on the aggregate amount of transactions carried out by the main payment service providers on behalf of more than 157,000 websites. KPMG validated the methodology and data processing.
(Source : FEBAD - January 2015)

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