Key takeaways from the France 2021 Report

The RetailX  France 2021: Ecommerce Region Report has arrived! Read the full report to find out how the French ecommerce landscape is coping post-Brexit and (almost) post-pandemic. If you fancy a quick-read summary of what the French consumer is after – carry on reading! 

  1. France is still the fashion capital 

From Paris Fashion week and beyond, the French know their stuff when it comes to looking good – and that is reflected in their online shopping habits too. As shown above, clothing is the most popular category among French consumers, with 25% of these purchases falling in the 25-34 age bracket. 

This segment is consistent across all categories, falling just below the 35-44 age group in consumer electronics but maxing out on bags and accessories. DIY, garden and pet products are most popular (32%) with the 45-54 age group, who also top the charts for books, music, movies and games purchases.

2. Delivery: give power to the people 

Our report found that control is very important when it comes to delivery in France. For example, 58% of shoppers said they would prefer to have the option of a return or exchange; while 69% look favourably upon free returns without conditions. This is perhaps because clothing has remained a popular purchase category during lockdown. 

We also saw this control preference reflected in the French consumers’ attitude toward precise delivery time, with 58% of shoppers agreeing that precise delivery date is very useful. A further 49% said they would prefer to pick a specific delivery slot when ordering online. 

So, retailers, hand the power to the people when it comes to delivery if you want to keep your French customers happy! 

3. A preference for paying with plastic

Although France was one of the first markets to adopt chip and pin cards, its uptake in new payment technology has been unhurried, to say the least. Our research found that Visa and Mastercard still take the spotlight in France (and a staggering stranglehold in the realm of card payments, particularly). 

However, we are seeing more consumers, particularly within the younger demographic, take to mobile payments for smaller purchases like food, drink and transport; perhaps due to its convenience. 

For now, it seems traditional payment methods are embedded and the big players in their respective fields still dominate. Carte Bleue/Carte Bancaire, the French debit card network, is well accepted, yet Visa and Mastercard are still more widely offered. 

Indeed, it will be interesting to see if French consumers alter their payment preferences, as new apps and solutions emerge on the retail scene over time. 

All analysis from this blog is featured in the France 2021 Report. Download now for further insight into this sophisticated B2C market. 


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