The ‘Amazon giant’ currently has five marketplaces in Europe: the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and France. Although the platform itself offers a unified set of rules that make it easier for sellers to find their way (and once they get to know one marketplace, they can transfer their knowledge to a couple of other marketplaces if they wish to do so), still, each market has its peculiarities and specifics. To find out, let’s start with France.
France: The 3rd Biggest Marketplace in Europe
The third biggest ecommerce market and the sixth worldwide, the French marketplace can be generally characterised by high Internet penetration, growing mobile services and a modern delivery structure. “French ecommerce grows at a rate of 15% annually, which is a faster rate than neighbouring Germany, where many Central European sellers already go. The French market, with 36 million online shoppers, is overall less saturated and therefore provides interesting opportunities for expansion,” European ecommerce expert and CEO of EXPANDO Adam Kurzok points out. Opportunities such as a large and diverse consumer base, high purchasing power, low distribution costs, reliable payment methods as well as location are all factors that should keep this market on your radar. French is widely spoken on five continents and is the sixth most widely spoken language in the world. “It gives online sellers an advantage to penetrate other French-speaking locations – for example 360 million consumers in Francophone Africa,” WebInterpret tells us.
French shopping behaviour online: Trends and figures
- The B2C ecommerce market size is 32.98 billion EUR.
- There are 55 million internet users among the French.
- 87% of 25- to 34-year-olds have shopped online and focus more on cross-border purchases.
- 91% of French households confirm they have received a package that was ordered online.
- 18.4 is the average number of packages ordered per person annually.
- The rate of returns is very low (10%), compared to the UK (25%) and Germany (40%).
- In terms of payment behavior, 85% prefer card payment, 55% e-wallet, 41% pre-payment or subscription methods, 61% use cheques – and 85% of the French believe that cash will one day cease to exist.
“Out of 66 million inhabitants, more than half shop online regularly.”
“French buyers want respect, information, politeness and prompt delivery of service,” Webinterpret’s Guidebook on the top EU marketplaces summarizes accurately. “82% of online buyers request home delivery. The French are very demanding in terms of delivery, expecting it be of the utmost convenience.”
According to EXPANDO’s experience in helping retailers expand to various EU countries via their EXPANDO app, French customers respond better to national services. “If you have a localized online store in French and wish to sell to France, it only makes sense to partner up with La Poste. It will differentiate you from your competitors, who send products via a company like DHL, and bring you closer to the target audience,” Jirasek of JAPO Transport says. “It is common for French postmen to possess keys to postboxes in their region, so they can deliver packages regardless of whether or not you are at home,” Jirasek reveals, stating that in France, people still like and value their postmen.
“La Poste – Colissimo covers 75% of the parcel market. By using their services, you immediately increase your chances of success, as you are now seen as an insider who knows the market, as opposed to an outsider from the East.” Curious how to handle logistics to France and other countries? Read more on dee-tail.com.
Key retail actors and marketplaces in France
The most visited online store is Amazon.fr with more than 15 million unique visitors per month, followed by widely popular Cdiscount, OUI.snfc (formerly known as Voyages-snfc.com), electronics and tech-focused fnac, vente-privee (soon to be VeePee), Groupon, ebay.fr, Booking.com, Carrefour and E.Lecrerc.
What to sell on Amazon.fr?
There have been 196 million monthly visits to Amazon.fr via desktop and mobile in the last six months. Almost 80% of visits to the Amazon France marketplace come from France itself, with 6.79% from Belgium and around 1% from Switzerland, the UK and Canada (source: SimilarWeb). It is estimated to be home to more than 135,000 third-party sellers.
The average consumer places 28 orders annually on Amazon and spends 2,000 EUR there. The top segments are fashion (65%), health and beauty (52%), books and entertainment (52%), technical goods (46%) and electronics (37%) (Source: EXPANDO).
The fact that the French dress well and are interested in fashion is common knowledge, making fashion a very popular product category. “In terms of products and services bought online, travel & tourism, services, cultural products, clothing & accessories, and technical products lead the way. The French consumer likes to shop for both chic brands as well as bargains,” Webinterpret informs, confirming the popularity of sites such as Groupon or eBay.
Ready to expand your ecommerce business to Amazon France? Find an Amazon listing tool here.
France is the third biggest marketplace in the EU and sixth worldwide. It is also a very stable market in terms of internet penetration, reliable payment methods and logistics system. France is less saturated than Germany and provides an interesting opportunity for expansion. Whether you want to expand to France via Amazon marketplace or your own localized online store, make sure you consider the best logistic partners as well as a highly functional customer service strategy to succeed in a new market.