Smartphone penetration in France reaches 60%; nearly 10M doing M-Commerce in-store.

Smartphone penetration in France reaches 60%; nearly 10M doing M-Commerce in-store.

Smartphone penetration in France has reached 60%, with 28.4 Million smartphones being used in France in September, Comscore reports – that’s 700,000 more smartphones since Q1 of this year. As smartphone adoption rapidly grows in France (4G rolling out; both iPhone & Android penetration growing), it is interesting to look at how French consumers are using smartphones, particularly when it comes to M-Commerce.


As seen in the report above, nearly 10 Million French consumers took a picture of a product inside a retail store, with 8.5Million (or ~80%) texting or calling a friend/family member about the product. Surprisingly, only 5.8 Million of those 9.3 Million photo-takers actually sent that picture to family/friends, and only 3.4 Million people scanned a bar code with their phone, using products like Shopmium or Prixing to do so.

As smartphone adoption takes off, I think we’re going to see M-Commerce adoption bypass that of other countries – the French have a daily shopping routine (groceries, etc.) that surpasses the habits of most Americans – it’s hard to adopt M-Commerce strategies in the US when your average client comes in once ever 3 weeks to stock up on cereal and bulk items like the apocalypse is coming. As David Lebovitz put it for me recently, “you can’t stock up on food in Paris; there’s just no cupboard space.”

Tapping into cultural norms are key for startups looking to seek out their ideal markets, or users who feel their pain point the most for a given problem. When it comes to shopping, no one knows that pain more than a Parisian who works 9 to 5 and does grocery shopping each evening, waiting in line for 45 minutes because their supermarket only has one open checkout stand during the week – you’ll do anything not to have to come back a second time in a day to this nightmare, even send photos of products to confirm you’ve got the right product.