For e-commerce (goods), 2021 proved to be another outstanding year. While online sales of services such as travel and tourism did not fully recover after collapsing in 2020, e-commerce (goods) had already gained an additional one-third in 2020 – including items that Euromonitor International excludes from its data, such as subscriptions to movies and music, as well as the second hand market.
Industry sources estimated that food and drink e-commerce, (almost exclusively driven by click-and-collect services, known colloquially as “drive”) would generally have experienced more reasonable growth in 2021 after an uplift of over 50% in 2020. Nonetheless food and drink e-commerce remained the most dynamic channel in actual value terms gaining billions of euros in 2021.
The context is so favourable for e-commerce that the majority of the top 100 players in France recorded double-digit value growth in 2021. In actual value terms, the highest growth was seen by marketplace specialists such as Amazon and Cnova that gained over EUR3 billion and almost EUR1 billion sales respectively over 2020-2021.
Despite a possible switch back from online to offline sales in 2022 – as the former benefited from the atypical context of 2020-2021 including three lockdowns which led to the closure of non-essential outlets for an overall period of 10 months – the outlook for e-commerce (goods) looks extremely promising. Some sources also fear possible competition from e-commerce sales of services: dedicated budgets for services such as online sales of travel and tourism, are likely to strongly recover over 2022-2024, which could mechanically limit the budget aimed at online sales of non-grocery goods, such as products aimed at convenience and wellbeing at home.
The most significant progression in actual terms is likely to be achieved by marketplaces/third party players, and thus home delivery over the forecast period. The battle of the giants will continue between Amazon, Cnova and AliBaba (AliBaba’s logistics capacities and thus delivery times are improving impressively in France) as well as other pure players.
Logistical difficulties will always persist as illustrated by the huge traffic jams that are seen before each festive period. Nonetheless, the French market for e-commerce will benefit from the emergence or improvement of new trends and technologies.
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Sales of consumer goods to the general public via the Internet. Please note that this includes sales through mobile phones and tablets (i.e. m-commerce). E-commerce includes sales generated through pure e-commerce websites and through sites operated by store-based retailers. Sales data is attributed to the country where the consumer is based, rather than where the retailer is based. The definition of e-commerce is agnostic as to where actual payment takes place; if an order is initiated online, it is considered to be an e-commerce transaction, even if the order is ultimately paid for in-store (or elsewhere). As a result, all ‘click-and-collect’ and ‘collect-at-store’ transactions are counted as e-commerce sales. E-commerce excludes sales of: (a) Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) and business-to-business (B2B) sales, although please note that sales between businesses and consumers (i.e. B2C sales) on sites such as eBay are included; (b) Sales of motor vehicles, motorcycles and vehicle parts; (c) Tickets for events (sports, music concerts, etc.) and travel; (d) Sales of travel and holiday packages; (e) Revenue generated by online gambling sites; (f) Returned products/unpaid invoices; and (h) Internet sales from direct selling companies, as these are tracked in Direct Selling market size/shares. Example e-commerce brands include Amazon.com, Zappos.com, Apple.com, iTunes, Rakuten, Tesco.com, Dell.com, Coles Online, etc. 3rd Party Merchant sales through online marketplaces, such as Amazon.com, eBay.com and Walmart.com, are included and split out in shares. 3rd party merchants are the summation of sales that come from businesses that are present on an online marketplace (e.g. Amazon, Alibaba). Marketplaces are websites that allow multiple merchants to sell on the marketplace website, with the marketplace operator processing the transactions, but many marketplaces provide offer other services as to help with shipping, handling, payment, and product storage. The marketplace is not the merchant of record legally, but for the sake of shares, sales from 3rd part merchants are attributed to the marketplace brand operator.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our E-Commerce (Goods) research and analysis database.
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