France B2C E-commerce Report by Ecommerce Foundation

Today the Ecommerce Foundation released a new B2C E-commerce Report on the state of E-commerce in France.

The report, commissioned by Ecommerce Europe in cooperation with Ingenico, Asendia, Webhelp, PostNL and GfK, covers the latest figures, trends and developments for the Frence online retail market.

French E-commerce Market Facts at a Glance

In 2015, 47 million French (87% of the population aged 15 and over) used the Internet, while over 36 million French citizens (66%) shopped online. On average, French consumers spent an amount of €1,780 per e-shopper last year resulting in a total B2C e-commerce revenue of €64.9 billion. Compared to the preceding year, this represents a steady growth of 14.3%. For 2016, the growth is expected to decline, as a growth rate of 10.0% is forecasted.

Carte Bancaire most popular payment method in French E-commerce

In France, Carte Bancaire (CB) cards dominate the payments landscape. More than 94% of the French population above 15 years of age has a Carte Bancaire card and over 63 million cards have been issued. The vast majority (~95%) are co-branded cards and bear the Carte Bancaire and MasterCard or Visa brand mark. These cards can be processed on the local Carte Bancaire network, as well as on the international networks of Visa and MasterCard. 

Local Carte Bancaire Processing: better approval rates, less chargebacks

Merchants processing over the local CB network benefit from slightly better approval rates and are able to allow the 1% CB only branded cards to be used for payment. Contrary to MasterCard and Visa regulation – and important to recognise for merchants - is that the Carte Bancaire system does not allow for shopper chargebacks related to commercial disputes (e.g. products not received, not as described). Similar to MasterCard and Visa, fraudulent CB transactions can be reversed.

PayLib and PayPal: The Digital Wallets in France

Carte Bancaire and credit card payments (MasterCard and Visa) jointly take a market share around 60%, followed by the eWallets (PayLib, PayPal, representing around 16%. PayLib was launched back in 2013 by a couple of major French banks.

PayLib works similar and allows French shoppers to easily pay for their online and mobile purchases by using email address, password and a code generated by a mobile app. Since 2013, more French banks came aboard and support PayLib to its banking clients. PayLib - with approximately 40 million users - is assumed to have three to four times as many users than PayPal and is cheaper in terms of merchant transaction charges.

Some French shoppers prefer to split payment and pay in installments. To increase convenience and conversion rates merchants should consider to offer these type of payment plans. FacilyPay is one of the French payment solutions that allows any person with a Visa or a MasterCard to pay for their online purchases in 3 or 4 installments.

Get Your (Free) Report

The free light version of the report includes facts and figures of interesting topics, such as B2C e-commerce turnover, the number of online shoppers and cross-border and mobile e-commerce. In addition, this version contains expert interviews and tips and tricks for online merchants.

The full version, which can be ordered for € 95, also contains a clear overview of the most popular product and service groups in terms of online sales.

About the Ecommerce Foundation

The Ecommerce Foundation is an independent non-profit organization, initiated by worldwide national e-commerce associations and online and omnichannel selling companies from industries such as retail, travel & finance.

By combining collective goals and efforts, the Ecommerce Foundation is able to realize reports on e-commerce facts and figures, e-commerce benchmarks, research, studies and publications that can not be realized on a national or individual basis.

For more information please visit the Ecommerce Foundation website.

Article partly sourced from press statement by Ecommerce Foundation, May 19th, 2016

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