Online marketplaces in France - Statistics & Facts

Online shopping and collaborative consumption

Year after year, the e-commerce market in France records growth. This is supported by the rise in the number of online shopping sites, but also by the large share of marketplaces. According to figures from 2020, the turnover of marketplaces and e-commerce sites amounted to 112 billion euros.
With the rising sense of an impending climate catastrophe, a flourishing second-hand market is catapulting C2C transactions on platforms such as Vinted, whose most popular brand was Petit Bateau among French shoppers and sellers. With fashion remaining the most popular category in terms of product sales, thematic marketplaces that specialize in the sale of fashion products such as Vinted and Ebay.fr are growing in popularity, with 28.94 and 44.18 million visits a month, respectively. But in recent years, the unicorn Back Market has entered the market as the most valued unlisted French company, scoring high in the resale of electronic items.

Marketplace giants eBay, Amazon vs. local sites

In 2020 and especially during the COVID-19 crisis, Amazon was by far the leading French online retailer, and counted more than 210 thousand active Amazon marketplace sellers in France in 2019. Leboncoin.fr was the second most popular website in France, and is a portal for selling new and second hand goods throughout the whole country. With one percent from the total of sellers worldwide being from France, another giant specializing in sales between individuals through auctions, is the Ebay.fr platform. On the other hand, Cdiscount which does not engage with second hand sales, is one of the marketplace pioneers and introduced its online marketplace in 2011 in France. With a 43.6 percent market share of total French e-commerce sales, Cdisount accounted for the most popularity amongst e-shoppers, preceded by Amazon and Leboncoin, showing the strong position of local players in France.

Marketplace usage by companies

With undoubted success, marketplaces are easy to use and often offer businesses a service to outsource their online sales without having the trouble to set up an own website. These platforms not only offer sales services but also digital marketing, invoicing and distribution services. With more than 60 percent of business being satisfied with the marketplace offers, it also facilitates the dropshipping phenomenon. With dropshipping, a large investment is not necessary. Some suppliers such as Amazon Marketplace or Shopify have made it easy for businesses and private individuals to set up their own online shop. Also marketplaces have proven to be more popular amongst consumers. In fact, most companies reported in 2020 that about 75 to 100 percent of their total online sales come from marketplaces

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