Rakuten's Global eCommerce study on eShoppers

Aug 2, 2012
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ecommerce franceAs discussed previously, eCommerce has grown astronomically here in France in recent years, with sales of online goods now reaching approximately €40+ billion annually.  With so many consumers now shopping online, the French market has, not surprisingly, been inundated with eCommerce sites.  One of the most important ways for these vendors to set themselves apart from the pack is through gaining deep insights about shopper behavior and, ultimately, leveraging these insights to improve consumers’ shopping experiences.  Rakuten, the Japanese eCommerce giant and also owner of the #2 eCommerce site in France, Priceminister, recently conducted a global survey in order to do just this.  The survey  offered some interesting insights, particularly about French consumers who notably differ in terms of when they shop vs other countries.

One of the first major findings of the study was that the British, Americans and Germans tend to shop on Mondays in order to alleviate their ‘back-to-work blues’, while the French tend to shop on Wednesdays when many are home with their kids as a result of the 4-day school week.  Another important difference in French shopper behavior was around mobile shopping.  The study found that British and American consumers tend to shop from 7h-8h as they commute to work, while the French shop in the evening, specifically from 18h-19h, on their way home from work.  The study also highlighted learnings from emerging markets, such as Brazil where they found that due to low domestic broadband penetration,  Brazilians are some of the most likely to shop while at work, usually during their 12h-14h lunch break.

Lastly, one general conclusion from the study was that the price of a good has a real impact on the length of time that consumers spend on a site.  So, as one would expect, the higher the price, the longer a consumer tends to spend browsing prior to purchasing.  However, there are some interesting differences as well by country.  For example, Americans spend an average of 4.4 to 4.7 minutes browsing prior to purchasing electronics or clothing, but a lower amount of time, ~ 3 minutes, for lower prices items such as books.  The British are much quicker browsers in general, spending ~ 40 seconds browsing before purchasing clothes, just under a minute on books, and ~ 2 mins before choosing a TV.  Perhaps this provides some additional explanation as to why the British are the defacto e-commerce champs of Europe.

If you are looking for more specific info about France’s eCommerce market, you can also check out FEVAD’s site (France’s eCommerce association) as they often have great stats about the evolution of the market as well as insights on shopper behavior.  Also, remember to attend the upcoming E-Commerce Paris conference the 18/19/20 of September at Porte des Versailles.  The conference is free to attend and there will be several useful breakouts and roundtables touching on various aspects of eCommerce.  Not surprisingly, mobile and social commerce will be big topics at this year’s conference.  You can register for the conference here.