Online shopping overviewE-commerce first appeared in France in the 1980s, but truly made its mark in the late 1990s with the rise of internet access in homes. Thirty years later, owning the most powerful e-commerce brand on the market, Jeff Bezos had become the leader of online product delivery. With busy schedules and a need for more convenience, many households have turned to online shopping as an addition to traditional shopping, contributing to over 112 billion U.S. dollars in revenue in 2020.
M-commerce, cross-border commerce, delivery and payment methodsWith a rise in mobile phone usage and a share of 40 percent of purchases carried out on mobile devices in 2019, it is clear that the frequency of using a phone to shop is becoming higher, especially in the food sector. A tendency to combine multiple platforms made the omni-channel shopping experience more popular. In fact, the platform preference might be connected to the type of products bought on each channel. In 2019, travel and software were usually bought online, whereas food or hygiene products where bought in person, a factor which has since changed due to COVID-19. In terms of expenditure, French digital buyers spend 58 euros per online purchase on average, most of them shopping at online marketplaces.
In terms of payment methods, while payment through social media was still used rarely in 2018, a year later, around 60 percent of respondents throughout various age groups preferred credit card payments for their online purchases. After paying for a product by various methods, the parcel would be on its way and reach a multitude of French destinations. Most French consumers like to have their parcels delivered straight to their home (and ideally in less than five days), as opposed to pick-up stations. Apart from domestic deliveries, French sellers can also go international. Many close buyers such as Belgium would shop on French platforms and in 2018, half of the French themselves had bought products from non-french sellers, reinforcing the international quality of e-commerce.