According to the study presented end of January by FEVAD to the Ministry of the Economy and Industry, online sales have continued to increase in 2016.

E-commerce reached 72 billion euro in 2016

In total, French people spent 72 billion euro on the Internet in 2016, up 14.6% over one year, confirming a fresh burst of growth. The one billion mark of transactions online was reached in 2016 with an increase of 23%. This represents 33 transactions per second.

This outstanding performance of French e-commerce can be explained in particular by a very positive end-of-year sales balance sheet. At Christmas (November and December) online sales (products and services) grew by 15% compared to Christmas 2015. Online sales reached 14 billion euro, driven by the increase in the number of purchasers and frequency of purchase. Christmas represents nearly 20% of sales on the Internet. The survey carried out by the CSA Institute for FEVAD and presented today on the outlook for 2017, confirms this enthusiasm: 73% of e-shoppers, 7 points more than last year, said they bought Christmas presents on the Internet.

Internet shoppers spend on average 2,000 euro a year online

The average annual amount of a transaction dropped to 70 euro in 2016 compared to 75 euro in 2015, down 7%. Over the past two years, the average basket has fallen sharply. The expansion of supply, increased competition but also new approaches to logistics (subscriptions for unlimited delivery, free delivery and returns) have helped accentuate this phenomenon. This drop in the average basket was offset by a record increase in the frequency of purchase in 2016: up 21% compared to 2015. E-shoppers carry out, on average, 28 transactions online over the year for a total amount of 2,000 euro. This amount has almost doubled compared to 2010 when it was 1,084 euros.

The number of active merchant sites increased by 12% over one year. It is now estimated that there are over 200,000 merchant sites in France. In ten years, the number of sites has increased tenfold.

The iCE 40 Index maintains its growth rate over the year

The iCE 40 Index (which makes it possible to measure the growth of leading sites on a like-for-like basis) confirms these good results for the sector.

Retail sites increased 9% (including market places) and maintain 2015 levels of growth. Household consumption, which improved in 2016, has also driven growth in Internet sales.

Online tourism and travel, up 3%, showed strong staying power over 2016.

Internet sales to professional users maintain double-digit growth, up 10% over the year.

M-commerce and market places continue to gain market share

The iPM Index, designed to measure the volume of sales in the market places (sales by merchants hosted on iCE 40 market places), grew by 18% in 2016. A smaller increase than last year, but these sales play an increasingly important part in the activity of the sites. They now account for 28% of the total business volume of sites participating in the iPM (compared to 26% in 2015).

The iCM Index, which measures sales on the mobile Web (Smartphones and tablets, mobile sites and apps excluding application downloads and excluding sales on market places), grew by 30% in one year. This means more than a quarter of the business volume of iCM panel sites is now carried out on mobile terminals, and even 28% in Q4 with Christmas purchases. This trend is expected to continue in 2017, as shown by the results of the m-commerce audience barometer published the same day with Médiamétrie.

The market is expected to reach 80 billion euro in 2017

The e-commerce market is expected to exceed the 80 billion euro mark in 2017, driven by an expanded customer base and increased frequency of purchase.


The results presented in the context of the e-commerce balance sheet are based on studies conducted by FEVAD from data gathered directly from merchant sites and secure payment platforms. The balance sheet is based on the following definitions:

E-commerce Index (iCE): This is calculated on the basis of the turnover achieved directly by companies in the iCE 40 panel on fixed and mobile Internet (excluding market places). Only orders delivered in France, whatever the place of delivery (home, pick-up point, stores). These are the sales ordered, minus cancellations, exchanges and returns, postage included, all taxes included for sales to individuals, excluding VAT for sales to professional users.

Market Place Index (iPM): This is calculated from data collected from the market places participating in the panel. It corresponds to the sales made in market places by user sites.

Mobile Commerce Index (iCM): This is calculated from data collected from the panel sites. It corresponds to sales made directly by the member companies of the panel on Smartphones and digital tablets on mobile sites and apps (excluding app downloads).

Make-up of the iCE 40 Panels: The results of the e-commerce balance sheet were calculated from the iCE 40 panel consisting of 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, HomeAway France, Bruneau, Kiabi, La Halle, La Redoute, Lastminute, LDLC Pro, Legallais, Manutan, Mistergooddeal, Opodo, Pierre & Vacances, Raja, Rue du commerce,  Sarenza, Sephora, Showroomprivé, Spartoo, Staples/JPG, Ugap,,,, Yves Rocher.

*FEVAD Estimate

Make-up of PSP panel: For the purposes of the study FEVAD looked at a panel of secure payment platforms totalling 204,000 sites: Adyen, Be2bill by Dalenys, Ingenico Payment Services, Monetico Paiement, Monext, PayBox, Paypal, PayZen, Worldline.

Estimated total market: The calculation of the overall market estimate is obtained by aggregating data collected from the iCE40 panel sites and the value of electronic payments (excluding iCE 40 panel members) reported by 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.