Online commerce: more than 180,000 transactions every hour in France

In France, online commerce grew by 11.9% in the first quarter of 2019. In total, nearly 25 billion euros were spent on the internet in the first three months of the year. A growth that should continue in the years to come.

Buy a second-hand item of clothing on , then your train ticket on , book a holiday home on , and finally prepare your shopping on the drive thru. Online commerce or e-commerce has really taken root in the habits of the French. It has never been in better shape, if we are to believe the latest data from the Fevad (Federation of e-commerce and distance selling): in the first quarter of 2019, e-commerce maintained its growth at +11 9% compared to the first quarter of 2018. Its turnover is now 25 billion euros. This represents 407 million transactions via e-commerce sites, i.e. more than 180,000 transactions every hour.

The market is growing for several reasons: the number of new online buyers has increased by 4% in one year, or 1,358,000 additional consumers. In the fourth quarter of 2018, France had 38.8 million online consumers, according to the Médiamétrie barometer.

The market is also growing as online shoppers shop more frequently: they each made an average of 12.7 online purchases this quarter, compared to 10.7 purchases in the first quarter of 2018, an average of two additional purchases in a year. However, the average basket per purchase fell by 6%; it is now 61 euros. “For us, this is not a bad indicator,” wishes to reassure Marc Lolivier, the general delegate of Fevad. “On the contrary, it reflects a trivialization of e-commerce which is now increasingly entering our daily lives whereas previously these purchases were made mainly for large investments such as travel”.

Consequence: the turnover of the leading product sales sites (apart from marketplaces such as Amazon, Cdiscount or Fnac), is up 6.5% over one year. Sales are up even more if we focus on sites selling products to other companies (B to B), whose growth is +13.9% this quarter. Only online tourism seems to be growing more slowly at the start of the year with only +5%, “but this is explained by the already strong anchoring of online sales in this sector”, underlines Jamila Yahia Messaoud, director of the department. consumer insights from Médiamétrie. And success calls for new players: in this first quarter of 2019 alone, Fevad recorded an increase in the number of active merchant sites of +15.6% over one year.

The rise of smartphones

According to the top 15 of the most visited e-commerce sites and applications in France in the first quarter of 2019, the Médiamétrie study notes an unchanged ranking for the first three places: Amazon is in the lead with 29,701,000 average unique visitors per month (and 4,966,000 per day), Cdiscount is far behind with 20,157,000 monthly visitors and finally Fnac.com completes the ranking with 14,470,000 Internet users per month.

However, in the rest of the ranking, several mobile applications are more and more successful in the game of e-commerce. , already present last year, occupies the tenth place, Airbnb returns to the 14th place and finally the latest popular application Vinted makes a remarkable entry in the 12th place, and seems well placed to impose itself in the long term in the e-commerce landscape. Moreover, when we look at the breakdown by screen of the other sites, we see that 65.9% of visitors to , formerly Vente-privée, go there via their smartphone. Same observation for the marketplace mainly consulted on mobile (66%).

This confirms the general trend of a very significant increase in sales on smartphones, of +22% in the first quarter of 2019. Mobile thus accounts for more than 35% of the turnover of e-commerce sites (i.e. +4 points over a year). Fevad estimates that “at this rate, mobile orders could exceed desktop purchases by 2021”. “Once again, this observation seems extremely promising in terms of e-commerce, insists Marc Lolivier, because it means that online purchases are faster and faster, it greatly facilitates the transition to purchase. It is a generational phenomenon, namely that it is the younger generations who buy the most via their smartphones, which translates into an increase in confidence in online purchases”. Jamila Yahia Messaoud would like to add: “on the other hand, we cannot sum up purchases via mobiles by everyday purchases. More and more people buy their train or plane tickets directly on their smartphone.

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