2016 French e-commerce: a year in review!

On the heels of a record 2015, e-commerce in France has posted another record year in 2016. The yearly report on the state of French e-commerce, conducted by the FEVAD, has once again outlined the key figures and trends that played out in 2016, as well as some high expectations for the year to come.

As expected French e-commerce once again grew in overall value, reaching €72 billion in 2016, a figure 14.6% higher than that of 2015. The number of transactions also exceeded that of last year, pointing to a larger trend of a higher transaction frequency amongst e-shoppers in France. Several aspects, such as unlimited shipping subscriptions, free shipping, and consumer friendly return policies, have contributed to a 21% increase in the frequency of transactions in 2016 reaching an average of 28 transactions per year.

The Christmas spending spirit

Christmas seemed to have consumers in the usual shopping friendly mood, as the sale of goods during the period of November and December saw a 15% increase, bringing total sales during this period to €14 billion. What shouldn’t come as a surprise but is nonetheless eye-opening, was that Christmas was shown to represent 20% of all online sales. Statistics also measure up to customer surveys as 73% of customers said they purchased gifts over the internet during the period, a figure 7% higher than that of 2015.

An ever more mobile world of e-commerce

E-commerce continues to become increasingly mobile, as the report shows mobile represented more than a fourth of sales for merchants sitting on the iCM panel, and as much as 28% in the third trimester of the year. The iCM index, an index dedicated to measuring sales over the mobile internet, showed a 30% increase in one year. This growing trend is expected to rise in the years to come and is sure to make a lasting impact on the future of e-commerce.

What to expect in 2017?

Established trends are set to grow and contribute to another record-breaking year in 2017, with the total value of the French e-commerce market expected to reach €80 billion, largely due to an increase in purchase frequency and m-commerce transactions. Despite a largely pessimistic view of the French economy, e-shoppers are still intent on making purchases, with 67% saying that it won’t affect their decision to make a purchase in 2017.

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