Online shopping is becoming more common, resulting in increased sales
According to eMarketer’s May 2012 ecommerce forecast for Western Europe, France should experience steady growth in 2012, rising 12.3% to $33.33 billion in total B2C ecommerce sales, including travel, for the year. That ranks the country third among the EU-5, trailing the UK and Germany.
Growth will remain strong through the forecast period, and online sales are expected to reach $46.88 billion in 2016.
High sales are a result of several factors, chief among them an increased number of internet users purchasing online. eMarketer expects 75.2% of internet users in the country to buy online in 2012, up from 71.2% in 2011.
”There’s no doubt that France has seen slower ecommerce growth than the UK,” said eMarketer senior analyst Karin von Abrams. “For one thing, there is a strong tradition of buyers wanting to examine potential purchases before they commit. But such obstacles are now largely overcome—especially as consumers in France are suffering many of the same financial pressures as those in the UK and other parts of the eurozone. Finding goods and services online for less is very welcome.”
According to the Fédération du E-commerce et de la Vente à Distance (FEVAD) and Médiamétrie, Amazon is the most popular B2C ecommerce website among internet users in the country, recording 12.6 million unique visitors per month in Q1 2012. PriceMinister, which was acquired by Japanese site Rakuten in 2010, tied eBay for the title of second-most-popular site at 9 million visitors.
However, eBay and flash sale site vente-privee.com nudged Amazon into third when ranked by average daily unique visitors during the quarter, suggesting that the sites maintained a more dedicated, if smaller, user base.
The number of dedicated customers visiting sites is important. As users in France become more price sensitive and tighten their budgets, eMarketer expects more consumers to move spending online. As such, the average online buyer in the country is expected to spend $1,258 online in 2012, a figure that is set to increase to $1,542 by 2016.
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