With the rising sense of an impending climate catastrophe, a flourishing second-hand market is catapulting C2C transactions on platforms such as Vinted, which was the most popular platform 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 10.9 and 10.4 million visits a month, respectively.
Although acting as intermediaries, these marketplaces are remunerated in several ways. Commissions are the most common method; some marketplaces are remunerated through advertising and the services they provide to their customers. This consolidation is undoubtedly valuable for merchants of all kinds, who benefit from exceptional audience crossroads, consumer trust and therefore better visibility to generate incremental sales with a risk-free compensation model.
Thus, at the end of 2019, the average volume of online purchases through marketplaces crossed the 50 percent line, as compared to retailer websites or applications with a lesser 20 percent share. With 64 percent of monthly visitors accessing e-commerce sites through their mobile phones in Q3 2019, Amazon was by far the leading French online retailer, with more than 210 thousand active Amazon marketplace sellers in France in 2019. Cdiscount was launched in 1998, introducing its online marketplace in 2011 in France. Since then, the growth of the French Amazon competitor has left its mark. With a 38 percent market share of total French e-commerce sales, Cdisount accounted for the most popularity amongst e-shoppers, preceded by Amazon. 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. Since its creation in 2000, it has shown strong professional marketplace activity. Nevertheless, other local sites such as Leboncoin are still in the game, with 26 percent of active weekly users reported in 2018.
With undoubted success, small and large marketplaces have found a way into consumers’ hearts. The question remains why marketplaces and the C2C market keep gaining so much popularity and what customers consider important when making an online purchase. While most of them reported the security of the financial transactions, others underlined the importance of the protection of their personal data. However, when French consumers were asked what they thought about online shops such as Amazon or Ebay, most of them felt that they acted as pioneers who revolutionize commercial activities. Even more so, French people aged 15 to 25 quite enjoyed not having to travel to the point of sale, which is what drove them to shop digitally.