Vive Le French Market: An E‑commerce Market Analysis

French e‑commerce has seen substantial growth in the last few years. It’s always a market that shouldn’t be ignored, but somehow it often gets lost when talking about the biggest markets in Europe.

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French culture

Get ready for a shocker: the French like being spoken to in their own language! Hopefully, you haven’t fallen out of your chair with that one. All kidding aside, as good as your French may be, it’s still advisable to have a native speaker involved in the process of creating your French page.

Generally speaking, it can be advantageous to hire some native speakers. If you really want to succeed in the French market, they can bring some great insights into building and spreading a “French work culture”.

What about the kiss hello? You probably already know that the French kiss each other on the cheeks to say hello. This ritual may seem simple, but it's nevertheless codified: 2, 3 or 4 kisses- the number of kisses differs depending on the region. In business, it's customary to kiss women and shake hands with men. However, it's generally best to shake hands when you first meet an external provider/contractor.

Growth in French e‑commerce

According to Statista, Sales turnover in France e‑commerce grew from €92.6 billion in 2018 to €103.4 billion in 2019. Clearly, this is a significant boost and predictions from February 2020 show this number reaching €115 billion by the end of 2020.

sales turnover graph for ecommerce sites in France from 2010-2020

For some context, let’s see where e‑commerce stands in France compared to other European countries. In the chart below, you can see that France (10%) is well above the European average (8.8%):

chart- ecommerce percentage of total retail by country

Yes, the UK and Germany have a healthy lead, but it would be foolish to ignore France in third place.

If you haven’t been convinced yet, you should download our free market analysis for the French market. If you have been convinced, then you can still get some great insights there as well:

Market Analysis: France  Learn what makes the French e-commerce market unique Download whitepaper


Alon Eisenberg

Alon Eisenberg has been the Content Manager UK at Trusted Shops since 2017. He graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor's degree in Communications in 2004.

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