How to boost French customers’ confidence in your eCommerce website

Boost French customers’ confidence in your eCommerce

Are you confident when you buy on an English website?

Do you sometime buy products on a French website?
Is it easy for you?

Are you looking to expand your eCommerce activity in France?

In 2012 the European Commission published a report about the Digital Single Market and cross-border eCommerce, presenting potential benefits for customers and opportunities in Europe for businesses to reach more consumers to grow.

In 2013 the Commission explained progress made in the implementation of the plan.

Both reports worth a read (source) and to save you time I share below what I found the most interesting: it’s still relevant in 2014.

Some unfounded fears and an untapped market online

The 2012 report is built through a consumer market study in 12 European countries and complemented by other studies, Eurostat and industry data.

Here are the main points I picked up for you:

  • Many obstacles to eCommerce are common to domestic and cross-border eCommerce
  • Information, redress and enforcement are the 3 areas where to act to boost a cross-border eCommerce strategy and to increase consumer trust and confidence
  • Many fears are unfounded both for retailers and consumers
  • The level of confidence of consumers who actually buy online cross-border is high
  • Geographic location and knowledge of the language in which offers are made are important factors underpinning cross-border flows of trade
  • The UK and France are 2 of the 3 most mature eCommerce economies in Europe

What about you?

Do you sell a British product that French people will only find on your English website?
Do you rely solely on a British online shop?
Do you have already a French website?

All over Europe people are selective consumers of information, they search online and they compare. They spend their money carefully and many of them look for quality.

How can you help the French to feel safe and confident when they browse your French website?

Here is the checklist to increase trust in your French eCommerce website

When shopping online — in your own country or cross-border — real problems are related to customer service (especially with electronic goods): delivery, non-conformity and Redress.

You can put in place simple things to:

  • Save time for you and your French prospects
  • Get less return from disappointed French clients
  • Be compliant with the EU consumer legislation

The European Consumer Centre advise people to follow 10 rules when they shop online abroad.
Check these 10 rules because they describe every concern your customer can have when they browse your website.

The more practical information you give online in French the better

Let people know exactly about:

  • Your payment terms and conditions and your delivery conditions
  • Your price per unit, kilo, litre or meter, etc. if relevant
  • Your components, material, raw ingredients and where you source them (Made-in-Britain?)
  • The time needed for payments transfers between the UK and France
  • The postal/courier delays between the UK and France

If your website isn’t ready for payment in euros, link to an official currency site so French people can check how much they pay in their own currency. Some websites display historical rate tables so it is easy to know the rate at a precise date.

Explain in French:

  • How you answer the phone or you reply to an email: in English or in French?
  • Why you would like to stay in touch: invite French people to leave their email
  • How French prospects and customers can tell you what they want or what they like about your product: set up a social media account in French and install a form where they can leave a review or a comment in French

Do you have already a French website? If so leave it simple and nice.
Create a A4 Pdf where you display as much information as you want. It’s easy to update. Double check your copywriting in French and make the Pdf file quick to find, to download and to print.

Keep updated with eCommerce European policies

The EU regularly set out eCommerce targets.
They do a lot to help businesses and consumers with cross-border eCommerce.

To find more information check these websites:

Enterprise Europe Network: find your local contact point

European Union: Newsroom

What should I know about online payments?

Do you sell a unique or high quality product?

Check what you’ve already put in place for your French marketing.

Can you improve your website to reach more French people?
And to be found quicker with search in French?

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



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