End of  November, FEVAD published its barometer report on 3rd quarter online sales, based on a study of almost 195,500 active retail sites. The report analyses data gathered from the leading sites which constitute the iCE40 index as well as information shared by the main secure payment platforms.

12% growth in the 3rd quarter

Online sales in the 3rd quarter remained dynamic with 12% growth, despite a downturn in consumer spending which, after a rise of 2.7% in the 1st quarter, fell by 2.4% over the 3rd quarter (Source: Industrial goods excluding the automotive sector – Banque de France). In total, online sales for the period reached 16.9 billion euros (compared to 15.1 billion in the 3rd quarter of 2015).

The number of transactions rose by 17%, reaching 227 million in the 3rd quarter. The average amount of a transaction is continuing to decline with a further drop of 4% over one year, falling to 75 euros. Over 10 years, the shopping basket has lost 13%; this fall is a reflection of the evolution of online shopping behaviour as the average value of the online basket is gradually nearing that of the in-store basket. This fall in the value of the basket is being compensated for by the increase in the number of online purchases by the shopper, with 7.9 purchases per shopper over the quarter (versus 7.2 for the 3rd quarter of 2015). The amount spent per shopper in the 3rd quarter continued to rise and reached 590 euros (compared to 562 in the 3rd quarter of 2015).

The increase in the number of active retail websites has grown by 9% in one year. There are now 195,450 e-commerce sites compared to 178,500 in the 3rd quarter of 2015. The 200,000 mark should therefore be exceeded this year.

6% growth for iCE40 sites selling goods

The iCE 40 index which measures the growth of leading websites, on a like-for-like basis, progressed by 6% in the 3rd quarter. The progression over the quarter is therefore less than that observed over the first part of the year (+8% in Q1 and +12% in Q2) due notably to the fall in consumer spending in Q3 which seems to have particularly affected certain sectors such as that of clothing and textiles which recorded a drop in sales of almost 7% over one year (source IFM).

Sales by B2B websites rose by 5%.

Finally, sales within the travel and tourism sector recorded a 3% rise (estimation) in a global market which is continuing to fall in the last quarter.

Marketplaces and mobile sales accelerating growth

Sales on smartphones and tablets remain buoyant. The iCM index, which measures sales on mobile devices (smartphones and digital tablets, mobile sites and applications excluding application downloads and excluding sales on marketplaces), increased by 30% in the 3rd quarter of 2016. The iCM panel’s sites made 25% of their sales on mobile terminals compared to 20% a year ago. The average value of the basket is lower on smartphones and tablets: around 20% lower than the overall average basket of iCM panel stores (goods-tourism).

The iPM index, which measures the volume of marketplace sales (sales made by sites hosted on iCE40 marketplaces), rose by 15% in the 3rd quarter. Marketplace sales accounted for 30% of the volume of sales of iPM sites, 3% more than one year ago. Since 2011, they have accelerated the growth of sales of goods by iCE sites by 13%.

More than 13.5 billion euros should be spent over the Christmas and New Year period

Sales over the Christmas period (November and December) are expected to represent more than 13.5 billion euros, an increase of almost 10% compared to a year ago, driven by the increase in the number of shoppers and the frequency of purchases.

The resurgence of growth in 2015 has been confirmed in 2016. Based on the growth in the first 9 months of 2016 (+14%) and the sales forecasts for Christmas, the FEVAD estimates that the French e-commerce market should exceed 70 billion euros over 2016.



The results presented in the e-commerce report are derived from studies conducted by Fevad and based on data collected directly from retail sites and secure payment platforms. The report uses the following definitions:

E-commerce Index (Indice commerce électronique – iCE): This is based on turnover generated directly by iCE 40 panel companies, on fixed and mobile internet (excluding marketplaces). It only includes orders delivered in France, whatever the delivery location (home, drop-off points, shops, etc.). This is the order turnover, minus cancellations, exchanges and returns, including postage and tax for sales to private individuals, and excluding VAT for sales to businesses.

Marketplace Index (Indice place de marché – iPM): This is based on data gathered from the marketplaces that participate in the panel. It corresponds to sales made on the marketplaces by the user sites.

Mobile Commerce Index (Indice commerce mobile – iCM): This is based on data gathered from the panel’s sites. It corresponds to the turnover achieved directly by panel member companies on smartphones and digital tablets through mobile sites and apps (excluding app downloads).

iCE 40 panel: Data gathered from the following sites:

3 Suisses, Accor-Hotels, Air France, Auchan, Blanche Porte, Booking*, Boulanger, Brandalley,  Cdiscount, Cdiscount Pro, Club Med, Conforama, Darty, Edreams, Fnac, Galeries Lafayette, Go Voyages, Bruneau, HomeAway France, Kiabi, La Halle, La Redoute, Lastminute, LDLC Pro, Legallais, Manutan, Mistergooddeal, Opodo, Pierre & Vacances, Raja, Rue du commerce, Rue du Commerce Pro, Sarenza, Sephora, Showroomprivé, Spartoo, Staples-JPG, Ugap, Vega, vente-privee.com, vente-privée-voyage.com, Voyages-sncf, Yves Rocher.

*Fevad estimate

PSP panel: 9 secure payment platforms for a total of 178,500 sites: Adyen, Be2bill by Dalenys, Ingenico Payment Services, Monetico Paiement, Monext, PayBox, Paypal, PayZen, Worldline.

Estimated global market: The global market is estimated by adding together the data gathered from the iCE 40 panel’s sites and the value of electronic payments (excluding iCE 40 panel members) as communicated by the service providers participating in the PSP panel.

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Marc Lolivier is Director General of Fevad, the French Federation of E-commerce & Distance Selling. Fevad is dedicated to represent and promote e-commerce and to advocate for industry standards for responsible e-commerce activities. It represents 580 companies and 800 websites including all the top leading e-retailers.

Before joining Fevad in 2002, Marc Lolivier held the position of Director for European Legal and Regulatory Affairs, in an international publishing group.

Along with his duties as Director General of Fevad, Marc Lolivier is also participates to the work of Ecommerce Europe as Vice-President of Public Affairs and as a Member of the Executive Committee. Ecommerce Europe is the European umbrella association representing 25,000+ companies selling goods/services online to European consumers.

Marc Lolivier is also Director General of the French Union of Direct and Digital Marketing. He actively participates in governmental and non-governmental entities involved in electronic business policy, where he represents the e-commerce industry.

Since 2009, Marc Lolivier chairs the working group “Protection of personal data” at MEDEF (Movement of the Enterprises of France). He was also rapporteur for the opinion of the French National Consumer Council on the protection of consumer data adopted in 2010. In 2014, Marc was appointed Chairman of the committee “Digital rights” of MEDEF.

Marc Lolivier holds a Master in Private Law and a Master of Advanced Studies in Intellectual Property Law. He is also a graduate of the French Press Institute. He is a frequent speaker and author of various articles on direct marketing, e-commerce and consumer law published in France and abroad. He teaches Law of Electronic Commerce and Digital Economy at the University of Paris I Sorbonne.