The French spent €57 billion over the Internet in 2014


According to the study published today by Fevad, and presented to Mrs Carole Delga, Secretary of State for Commerce, Crafts, Consumption and the Social Economy, online sales continued to develop in 2014.

This study is based on data gathered from the main retail sites and the aggregate amount of transactions made via the main payment service providers for the benefit of more than 157,000 websites. The methodology’s consistency and data processing have been validated by KPMG.
Carole Delga,Secretary of State for Commerce, Crafts, Consumption and the Social Economy, declares: “I want traditional retailing, which is faced with socio-economic changes and technological developments, to be able to access e-commerce more easily. The “digitalisation” rate is lower and more disparate among independent retailing, but we are also seeing that this development is an opportunity in terms of recognition, and an increase in the retail activity. It is an opportunity to transform stores and to adapt to these changes, particularly, perhaps, in rural areas. The added value for traditional retailers is their physical presence and the relationship they build with their customers in stores”.

The turnover for e-commerce websites is showing an increase of 11%

Internet sales continued to progress greatly in 2014, despite the overall trend of a slowdown in household consumption. In total, the French have spent €57 billion over the Internet, an 11% increase in turnover in one year. The current number of transactions increased by 15%.

These results are slightly higher than expected, thanks to an end of year which was better than forecasted. In fact, Christmas sales this year have reached €11.4 billion, which is 13% more than last year for the same period. E-retailers took advantage of this exceptional buying period, as shown by the excellent satisfaction rate measured by the CSA institute right after the Christmas season.

Therefore, France should maintain its position as the 3rd e-commerce market in Europe, after the United Kingdom and just behind Germany (according to the E-Commerce Europe classification). E-commerce in France represents 9% of the retail trade, excluding food products.

Buying frequency continues to progress

The average order value continues to show a decline. In one year, it has fallen by 4% to reach the sum of €81. It is the fourth consecutive year of decline; since 2011, it has decreased by 10%. However, this drop is compensated by the arrival of new buyers and the increase in buying frequency: there were in average 20 online transactions per year per buyer in 2014, compared to just 18 in 2013.

This buying frequency also takes advantage of the progress in the pace of website creation, which continues to be just as dynamic in 2014: 20,000 additional sites were created in one year, which corresponds to a 14% increase. France now counts 157,300 active retail websites.

The iCE 40 index has risen of 3 points in one year

The iCE 40 index (which enables like-for-like measurement of growth for leading websites) progressed by 3% in one year, a comparable increase to last year (+4%) despite the deterioration in the economic context.

More specifically, it should be noted that the mass consumption retail sites which make up the index recorded a 9% growth (compared to 6% in 2013) partly due to the marketplaces’ good performance. Internet sales for professionals also increased by 9% for the year, with 2014 marking a return to higher growth for these websites.

Online sales for the travel-tourism iCE panel fell by 2% for 2013/2014. This change reflects the drop in the volume of business for reservations, which continued in the 4th quarter (volume of business for travel agencies down by 11% in October, down by 5% in November and 0% in December – Snav Atout France).

M-commerce and marketplaces increasingly attractive

The iPM index, designed to measure the volume of sales on marketplaces (sales made by the iCE40 websites hosting marketplaces), progressed by 53% in one year. These sales represent 21% of the total volume of business of websites participating in the iPM (compared to 15% in 2013). This growth remains related to the strong development of the marketplaces’ offering.

The iCM index, which measures mobile Internet sales (smartphones and tablets, mobile sites and applications, excluding the download of applications and excluding sales on marketplaces) progressed by 60% and represents 16% of the total volume of iPM sites compared, to 10% in 2013.

The market should exceed 60 billion in 2015

According to Fevad’s forecasts, Internet sales should experience growth around 10% in 2015. These estimates are based on the new efforts made by the offering, led by the many retail sites, as well as a new progress in the number of cyber-buyers, the combined effects of which should enable French e-commerce to exceed 60 billion, despite the decrease in the average order value, which is likely to continue in 2015.