“France: online sales passed the €50 billion mark in 2013.” So what? (#1)

France: online sales passed the €50 billion mark in 2013

Stats, numbers and figures.

Percentage, facts and data all over the place.
What do you do with it?

Is it useful for your business?
Does it help you make marketing decisions?

When you read “The state of e-commerce in France: online sales passed the €50 billion mark in 2013”, what does it mean exactly for you?

Can you imagine people looking online for your product? Can you imagine the yellow van of a French postman delivering your product in a remote part of the French Alps on a bright sunny day?

France has a population of 66 million.

  • Around 16 million are 20 year old or under
  • Nearly 6 million are 75 year old or over
  • And 810 000 babies were born in 2013

Is your product especially designed for babies? For the elderly? Or for teenagers?

In 2013 more than 32 million French people bought goods on the Internet1.

Where did the French do most of their buying online in 2013?

According the FEVAD (French Federation of e-commerce and distance selling), the most used websites in 2013 were comparison websites and e-commerce platforms for the fashion, household, multimedia, high tech, electrical goods, appliances, office supplies and cultural sectors.

All are well-known brands but hardly unique.

In 2013 the French made more than 600 million transactions online with a growing use of smartphones, tablets, mobile sites and apps.

Do you have a French website?

Is it ready for the mobile web?

The French prefer buying at home rather than on the move but with a poor mobile site nobody will recommend you to their friends.

And you want the French to browse your e-commerce website, don’t you?

What was the average French cart in 2013?

Let’s recap:

  • 51,1 billion euros of sales
  • 600 million transactions
  • 138 000 main e-commerce websites in 2013 in France

Do you want to know the value of the average online transaction?

The FEVAD says 84,50 euros with an average of 18 transactions per year (that’s 1521 euros).

The French are getting into the habit of buying items at a small price. Little (or no) delivery costs encourages multiplying the orders so they buy in small chunks.

In comparison the average British cart was 77 pounds2, which is around 90 euros.
But you probably know that the Brits are the biggest Internet spenders in the world: they spent 91 billion online in 2013.

What matters? Your British product

Do you design and manufacture a product that the French can’t find in a shop in France?
Or can’t get online from a French brand?

In France people enjoy shopping in towns.

There are plenty of independent shops that offer what the Internet can’t give: the immediacy, the sensorial experience, the excitement of trying things out. And the dialogue with a salesperson.

How can you beat that when you rely on the Internet to sell your products?

  • Is your product unique? Unique in France, in Europe or in the world?
  • Is your product at the highest standard in its category? One of the best in Europe? The best?
  • Is your product simple and crafted with the most care and the warmest customer service?

Bring the best of the new British brands to the French. Bring them inspiring brands like Essential Care, Lifesavers Systems, Hillfarm Oils, Old Town or Hiut Denim to name a few.

When I moved to the UK from Paris 5 years ago I was struck by the mediocrity and the paucity of many of the shops in city centres. It took me a while to discover emerging brands, owners and founders who have a vision and care for their products.

It’s an exciting time for makers, inventors and innovators.

But cheap and nasty is short-term.

Let me give you an example.

Recently I went to Old Town in Norfolk (UK). They are outfitters and over the years they’ve built a unique and sharp brand. Some people from Stockholm arrived: they were searching the Internet for a style of clothes and they found the Old Town brand.
They could have ordered the clothes online but they liked the brand so much that they wanted to meet the team, touch the clothes and try them on. They decided to travel to the UK because it was exactly what they were looking for.

What happened next? Old Town were planning a photo shoot. The good-looking young client agreed to come over from Sweden and be model for a day. I love this story.

Get ready.

Prepare your website in French, ask for help.

Do you need French stats or data to make a marketing decision?
Get the trend: that’s all you need.

You need care with your French copywriting because it’s the foundation of your online French marketing. Broken French won’t bring you results or fans and you can’t cheat Google anymore with a quick SEO job.

Get found by new people and learn how to keep in touch with them in French.
Tell your story, make offers, ask your French prospects what they would like from you next: a phone line in French? More choice with the colours? Smaller packs? Shorter forms on the website? Free samples?

More than 32 million French people bought goods on the Internet in 2013.

Do you really want to reach all of them?

You want to be found by the French who search online for your product and are ready to pay for it. People who need and love your product and can’t buy it elsewhere.

Be found. It’s hard work. It pays.

1 Source: Mediametrie.2 Source: IMRG Capgemini.



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