E-commerce in France stagnates. Signs of the times?

Nov 12, 2013
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A new report from PwC shows that outlook for French e-commerce might not be as good as previously thought, reports Le Figaro. According to the report French e-commerce has stagnated with purchases reaching a plateau. The comparison is made against other countries such as China, GB and Germany, that report higher purchasing frequency with 76%, 40% and 36% of consumers making an online purchase at least once a week, respectively, which sharply contrasts with France’s 17%.

Being the study based on 15 countries its interesting that we find this trend in France and not in other countries. E-commerce is one of the areas where France had been growing steadily over the last few years, and while it’s unclear why is France leveling on e-commerce the news comes as a surprise for startups and investors alike.

The study further points out that the French are now seasoned web-shoppers but their frequency of purchase remains limited when compared to other countries, the problem relies also in the acquisition of new online shopping users. In 2013 only 5% of e-commerce users had made their first purchase in less than a year ago, while in 2012 this population represented 21%. And what do the French most value in online shopping? Free shipping (80%), free returns (53%), and being able to return the product in the store (49%).