According to the study presented beginning of February by Fevad to the Ministry of the Economy & Finance, online sales continued to soar in 2017.

This study is based both on information gathered from the main retail websites and the aggregated amount of transactions carried out by the main payment providers. Methodology and data processing were validated by KPMG*.

Online sales exceeded 80 billion euro in 2017

In total, the French spent 81.7 billion euro online in 2017. Driven by an expanded customer base with over 37 million online shoppers (Source: Médiamétrie//NetRatings), the increase in purchase frequency, new mobile shopping behaviour, online sales rose 14.3% year-on-year, a growth level maintained for three years. In 2017, 1.2 billion online transactions were carried out, representing growth of 20.5%.  

Despite the decline in household consumption in Q4, the online sales market posted record growth in Q4, particularly thanks to promotional operations in November.

At Christmas, (November and December), online sales were up 17.5% compared to Christmas 2016. Online purchases reached 16.5 billion euro over this period (14 billion euro in 2016).

More than 30 orders on average per year

The average annual amount for a transaction was eroded to 65.5 euro in 2017 (and even 63 euro in Q4) compared to 69 euro in 2016, a 5% drop. Over the last two years, the average basket has fallen sharply. Stable around 90 euro between 2005 and 2011, the average basket has been falling ever since. This decline in the average basket is more than offset by purchase frequency which has increased sharply over the last 3 years: up 19% In 2017 (after a 21% increase in 2016 19% in 2015). On average, internet shoppers carry out 33 transactions online per year (compared to 28 in 2016) for a total amount of nearly 2,200 euro. In 10 years, the average annual basket has gone from 763 euro (2007) to 2,184 euros (2017).

Retail websites continue to be set up: the number of active retail sites increased by 10% over a year.

The e-commerce Index continues to grow

Despite household consumption being slightly down on 2016, the e-commerce Index (which measures the growth of leading sites, on a like-for-like basis) continues to grow.

Retail sites grew by 9% over the year (including market places).

Online travel and tourism sales consolidated their growth in Q4.  The year 2017 confirmed the rebound of the sector, up 13%, in a context of global market recovery since January 2017 (Business volume for bookings up 8.5% in 2017, according to the Travel Industry’s Les Entreprises du Voyage/Gestour/Orchestra trend barometer.

Internet sales to professionals recorded a growth spike in Q4 (up 27%). In 2017, their growth accelerated with an increase of 17.5%.


M-commerce continues to gain market share

The iPM, intended to measure sales volume carried out on the marketplaces (sales made by merchants hosted on iCE marketplaces) grew by 15% in 2017. A smaller increase than last year, but for sales which increasingly influence the activity of the sites. These represent 29% of the total business volume of sites participating in the iPM (compared to 27% in 2016).

The iCM, which measures mobile internet sales, (Smartphones and tablets, mobile sites and apps, excluding app downloads and sales on the marketplaces) increased by 38% in one year. The year 2017 marked a sales re-acceleration on Smartphones and tablets. Nearly one third of the business volume of the iCM Panel is now carried out on mobile devices, that is, 6 points more year-on-year.

In 2018, the e-commerce market should reach 90 billion euro

Overall, this year’s trend is in line with that of last year. Driven by the increase in online shoppers, purchase frequency and the development of the offer, online shopping is expected to continue to grow in the coming months and exceed 90 billion euro in 2018. At this rate, the 100 billion mark should be crossed at the end of 2019.


Data collected from the retail sites correspond to the following definitions:

E-Commerce Index (iCE 100): Turnover achieved directly by companies in the iCE 100 Panel on fixed and mobile internet. Sites that publish a marketplace do not include business volume carried out on the market place, or commissions generated. Only orders delivered in France. All delivery locations are included (including store collection). These are sales that have been ordered (the date of the order is what is taken into account, not the delivery date). Cancellations, exchanges and returns deducted, shipping included, all taxes included for sales to individuals, excluding taxes for sales to professional users.

Market Place Index (iPM): all sales made on the market place by user sellers.

Mobile Commerce Index (iCM): Turnover achieved directly by the company on Smartphones and digital tablets in the context of mobile sites and apps (excluding app downloads)

Make up of the iCE 100 Panel: The results of the e-commerce balance sheet were calculated from the iCE 100 Panel, that is over 100 sites: consumer products (100 sites), e-tourism (15 sites) and sales to professionals. (20 sites).

Make up of the PSP Panel: La Fevad looked at a panel of secure payment platforms: Adyen, Be2bill by Dalenys, Ingenico Payment Services, Monetico Paiement, Monext, Paypal, PayZen, Verifone, Worldline.

Estimated Total Market: The calculation of the overall market estimate is obtained by aggregating data collected from iCE 100 panel sites and the value of electronic payments, (excluding iCE 100 panel members) reported by providers participating in the PSP panel and estimated offline payments (Fevad survey of iCE 100 merchants).

*About KPMG France: KPMG France’s Data & Analytics teams and e-commerce experts supported Fevad in the process of reviewing quantified data given to the market. KPMG’s Data & Analytics experts were more broadly involved in supporting their clients across the entire data value chain around three strategic drivers; growth and customer experience, performance optimisation and risk management. For the record, KPMG France is the leader in auditing and consulting, KPMG France is a member of KPMG International, a network of independent firms operating in 152 countries. Our 8,500 professionals work with major international accounts, midcap companies and family groups, VSEs and in different sectors of industry, business and financial services.

Save the date for the next Paris Retail Week show from 10 to 12 September 2018

For its 4th edition, the biggest European trade event will take its full scope and will gather in Pavilion 1 of Paris expo Porte de Versaillethe e-commerce sector, dedicated to solutions for e-retailers, ranging from digital marketing to logistics, and the Store / Equipmag sector, dedicated to physical commerce and distribution.

Pour sa quatrième édition le plus grand événement retail européen de la rentrée prendra toute son envergure et réunira dans le Pavillion 1 de la Porte de Versailles le secteur E-Commerce, dédié aux solutions e-commerce, du digital marketing à la logistique et du secteur Store / Equipmag, dédié au commerce physique et à la distribution.

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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.