E-commerce in France in 2021: French people spent 129 billion euros online


Fevad (Fédération du e-commerce et de la vente à distance), Ecommerce Europe’s French national association, recently published the e-commerce growth figures of the French market for 2021. 

In 2021, online sales grew by 15.1% 

The e-commerce sector (products and services) exceeded 129 billion euros in 2021, an increase of 15.1% compared to 8.5% in 2020. This shall return the sector to double-digit growth. Online product sales continued to grow, with +7% vs 2020, i.e. +42% vs 2019. The Transport, Tourism and Leisure sector has recovered with +44% vs 2020. But it is still lower than 2019: -16%.  

This year of consolidation marks continued solid and sustainable growth in the e-commerce sector, which is widely appreciated by the majority of French people.  

The sector totaled 129.1 billion euros in 2021, including 66.7 billion euros for product sales. 

In the last 12 months, online sales sites (products and services combined) recorded more than 2.1 billion transactions, an increase of 16%. The average amount of a transaction decreased compared to 2020 (-0.8%) but remains above its level from 2019 (+1.8%). In 2021, the average basket was 60 euros (61 euros in 2020).  

Over the last year, e-commerce is estimated at 14.1% of retail trade (product sales), 0.7 percentage points higher than in 2020. The number of active merchant sites increased by 11% over one year, with this rate being equivalent to that of 2020.  

Leading sites consolidate 2020 growth 

After an exceptional year in 2020 with record growth, the iEC 100 panel is stabilising. Sales of consumer products in the iEC 100 panel (a measure of growth on a constant sample of 100 leading sites) increased by 1.1% in 2021.  

While the first quarter of 2021 saw an increase of +33.4% compared to the first quarter of 2020, the quarter before the start of the first lockdown, annual growth then slowed compared to the rest of 2020, when the panel had reached its highest levels. This is particularly true of the last two months of 2021, when the panel recorded a decrease of -15% compared to the previous year, a period in which sales had increased by +46% over one year. 

The Clothing-Fashion and Furniture-Decoration categories continued to grow in 2021 with +6% and +18% respectively. Sales of Fast Moving Consumer Goods also increased by +6% vs 2020. Technical products and beauty categories, which had increased most strongly in 2020, have decreased by -6% and -3%.  

Travel-Tourism sites increased by 42% over the year as a whole. The recovery of the sector, which started in April, was reinforced in the third quarter, and particularly from August onwards with the introduction of the health pass. However, this did not return them to their pre-Covid level. These sites ended the year down by -25% compared to 2019.  

Finally, sales to professionals on the iEC 100 panel, with annual growth of +16.3%, continued with their pre-Covid growth rate.  

Mobile sales are back on the rise (+23%) 

Sales made on behalf of third parties (on marketplaces) continue to grow. Over 2021, marketplaces grew by +5%. Their weight in the business volume of the sites that host them (iEC 100 product sales panel) is 33% vs 31% in 2020.  

MCI mobile sales, which combine product sales and travel sales, which were slowed down in 2020 by the decline in sales of transport, travel, ticketing, etc., have returned to double-digit growth with +23%, mainly thanks to the recovery in travel/tourism sales. After an increase of +37% in October and +21% in November, they only increased by 3% in December due to the slowdown in travel sales as the epidemic resumed. 

 About the report 

The report has been published by the French association FEVAD on 4 February 2022. This study was carried out with the support of the leading merchant sites in their sector and 9 secure payment platforms. More information about the methodology can be found here 

Press contact: Nathalie Laîné – Communication Manager FEVAD – +33 (0)1 42 56 38 86 nlaine@fevad.com