As part of our client services, Dr2 Shanghai is excited to provide you with summaries of prominent economic reports from around the globe to assist in future financial decisions. The following is our review from the Retalix France 2020 Ecommerce Country Report. This report contains insights into the current and future state of ecommerce in France, one of the EU’s leaders in online B2C transactions.
To begin, new data has shown that the situation with COVID’19 has led to the rapid and widespread adoption of ecommerce as a means of providing products and services. As France already boasts a 90% internet connectivity rate for its citizens, there have been few infrastructure barriers for people to pivot to online shopping. Much of the ecommerce growth then has come via mobile users. The report states that “Figures from Fevad, the French ecommerce association, show that m-commerce is growing four times faster than ecommerce as a whole.” As a result, it has become even easier to conduct business online as retailers and marketplaces are beginning to offer a mobile shopping experience comparable to traditional ecommerce. In order to compete in this space then, an investment into a mobile experience is paramount.
An important development in ecommerce in France that reveals broader trends is that online marketplaces currently play a significant role in where people shop. For example, Amazon alone controls 20% of total online transactions in the nation. Overall, 50.6% of all online shopping is within the most popular online marketplaces. However, individual retailers (the report cites Adidas & Hermes among others) are strengthening their B2C capabilities. These retail brands currently control 7.4% of ecommerce but this figure is expected to rise. It is believed that a key reason why brands may start to rise in popularity is due to privacy concerns.
In France more than most nation, its citizens are very conscious of their data rights and protections, which influences their shopping habits. The report goes on to cite that when “Asked whether they were concerned that websites can collect and use their data, more than three-quarters (76%) said that they were.” This goes to show that if marketplaces want to maintain their dominance, they need to ensure that their users rights are protected. As companies such as Amazon are constantly under fire for abuses to user data, it can be expected that more users will pivot towards individual retailers. Users also showed concerns regarding the protection of their card/bank information. All of these concerns should be addressed when considering conducting ecommerce in France.
Finally, it appears that social media marketing has become a key avenue for brands to market their products online. The Director General of the French ecommerce association Marc Lolivier, claims that, “Brands are very strong on Instagram, so they are using these tools and bringing them to ecommerce. Smaller webshops also love social media because they’re cheaper than using Google marketing tools.” This reveals the importance of social media for market entry and should be an integral part of any new firm’s playbook.
It is exciting to see how countries such as France continue to adapt to the COVID’19 crisis and we will continue to monitor this phenomenon.