Fevad published its 2024 annual report on the state of mind of French e-retailers

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For the 13th year in a row, Fevad, the French federation of e-commerce and distance selling, published findings from its annual survey on the state of mind of French e-retailers in 2024. Notably, this year, the survey broadened its scope to include approximately a hundred leaders from across Europe.

The results indicate that a smaller proportion of French e-commerce executives (33%) express greater optimism about the market’s future compared to their European counterparts (42%). However, they exhibit more confidence in their own financial performance. The report also indicates that the economic context is weighing on the mood of French e-retailers. While the proportion of those reporting decreased optimism compared to the previous year remains a minority at 34%, this figure has risen by 5 points from last year. In contrast, European e-retailers appear more confident, with 42% expressing greater optimism for 2024 compared to 2023.

A top concern for French e-retailers is the inflation’s impact on their business with 84% of respondent fearing a shift of consumers towards sites and brands selling cheaper products. Top concerns also include falling household consumption and rising transport costs.

Regarding artificial intelligence (AI), 97% of respondents view it as a highly promising innovation and plan to integrate it in their activity within the next 3 years. As of 2024, 71% of companies have used one or more AI-based solutions, with marketing (81%) and customer relations (74%) identified by interviewees as the areas with the greatest potential in terms of e-commerce.

The report also underlines how, amidst a challenging market environment, the investment focus of French e-retailers is shifting. 47% of managers state their intention to boost investments in marketing and advertising in 2024, marking a 12-point increase from 2023.

Regarding cross-border selling, while more than two thirds of French sites (65%) are present internationally, they remain concentrated in Europe. Belgium remains their preferred destination (87%), ahead of Spain (70%) and Italy (58%) which, this year, takes Germany’s place in the top 3 destinations for e-retailers French. International expansion continues to be a significant growth driver for many of French e-retailers, with nearly 70% expecting an increase in turnover abroad over the next two years. Simultaneously, a growing number of leaders anticipate a notable rise in the influence of foreign players in France in 2024: 60% compared to 37% in 2023.

Lastly, respondent underlined that the top priority for the new EU mandate will be the pursuit of harmonisation in regulatory, tax, and environmental matters, followed by enforcing European rules for players established outside the European Union, and cybersecurity.

You can find the full press release (in French) here.

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