E-Commerce in France: Outlook & Retail Trends in 2023

Last Updated: October 30, 2023


How's The Development of E-Commerce in France?

France’s retail sector contracted in both volume and value terms in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, it rebounded in 2021 with a growth of 6.3% in retail sales as pandemic restrictions eased. But the expansion was short-lived as heightened inflation and concerns about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine impacted the sector. As a result, household consumption contracted for two consecutive quarters in the first half of 2022, driven by a decline in goods purchases and food consumption.

According to the bank of France, retail volumes has fell by 1.6%, mainly driven by a significant decline in food sales, which fell by 5.7%, while sales of manufactured goods rose slightly by 1.2%. However, given its economic growth forecasted by IMF, a firm growth of 1-1.5% can be expected in the near term.

However, higher prices will help to push up nominal sales in euro terms. Inflation poses a risk for big-ticket items and the service sector, as the decline in real disposable income and higher prices will lead consumers to prioritize spending on essential items such as food and energy. This shift in spending priorities will reflect the sharp economic slowdown.

The French food-processing sector is among the largest in the EU, reflecting France’s substantial agricultural resources. Anti-waste laws aimed at promoting sustainability and creating a circular economy will impact the entire consumer sector, including durable goods, over the forecast period.

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the shift towards online shopping, leading to a preference for convenience stores and instant-delivery services over hypermarkets. This is forcing brick-and-mortar retailers to strengthen their omnichannel strategies. Throughout the next five years retailers are expected to increase investment in efficient warehousing and inventory management, as well as fast home-delivery services, to meet consumer preferences.

France competes with Germany as Europe’s second-largest online market after the UK. Judging from previous trend, the nominal value of online retail sales is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of more than 10% in the near term, with the share of total retail sales accounting for almost 20% in the next five years, up from about 12.5% in 2022. In 2021, online retail accounted for just over half of the total e-commerce market of €129bn reported by the French e-commerce federation, Fevad, which covers all goods and services sold online.

In particular, mobile commerce is expected to continue its rapid expansion as digital payments, click-and-collect services, and online marketplace formats continue to develop, boosting sales for instant grocery players such as Flink and Cajoo. The acquisition of Cajoo by Flink in 2022 will also drive growth in the sector.

Online & Offline Retail in France
Unit: Billion USD
Online & Offline Retail Growth in France
Unit: %
Retail Value Added (% of GDP) in France
Unit: %
E-Commerce Sales a a % of Retail in France
Unit: %

Competition Among E-Commerce Platforms in France

The retail sector in France is dominated by large domestic grocery players. According to the latest data from Kantar, E.Leclerc holds a 22.6% market share, followed by Carrefour with 19.4%, further followed by Intermarché, Système U , Auchan, Casino with slightly lower but still substantial market shares. German “hard discounters” Lidl (8.2%) and Aldi (2.9%) is lower compared to some other countries, with the larger grocery retailers offering “soft discounter” options.

The major grocery retailers operate across various formats. E.Leclerc and Carrefour are the main players in the hypermarket channel, Intermarché, Carrefour, and Système U dominate the supermarket and neighborhood store sector, and Casino is the market leader in the convenience store sector.

In terms of the e-commerce landscape, Amazon is the top online retailer in France, holding approximately 20% of the market, according to UK-based digital analytics firm Kantar. Other prominent e-commerce sites include Cdiscount (owned by Casino), Fnac Darty (electronics and appliances), Booking.com (travel), E.Leclerc, and Carrefour.

France has a more developed online grocery market compared to many other European countries. Retailers have partnered with delivery services like Deliveroo and Uber Eats, and instant-delivery companies like Glovo and Gorillas, to offer home deliveries within an hour to rival online-only sellers. Carrefour has teamed up with Cajoo and Uber Eats to provide 15-minute order deliveries, and Casino has a partnership with Gorillas for ten-minute deliveries.

In the next five years, there will be increased investment in storage and delivery functions as traditional retailers enhance their omnichannel strategies. Most major retailers have also adopted click-and-collect services, including drive-through options, which are expected to remain popular as consumers return to their pre-pandemic activities.

Financial Environment

Source: World Bank, Payment Providers, eMarketer

In France, There are about 40.9% of people use credit cards, and 84.7% of people use debit cards. While there are 55.5% of people purchase on the internet, there is only 49.1% of people with online banking accounts.

% of People With Financial Accounts
Unit: %
% of People with Credit Cards
Unit: %
% of People with Debit Cards
Unit: %
% of People Exchange Through Digital Channels
Unit: %
% of People Buy Through Online Channels
Unit: %
% of People with Internet Banking Accounts
Unit: %
% of People Pay Utility Bill Online
Unit: %
E-Commerce Sales as a % of Total Retail
Unit: %

Weekly Use of E-Commerce

Source: Statista Digital Market Outlook

E-Commerce Driving Factors

Source: GWI.com (Q3, 2021)

For E-Commerce Customers in FranceWhat are the major driving factors to purchasing online?

% of respondents think is their main drivers
Source: Multi-select survey

Consumer Goods E-Commerce in France

Source: GWI.com (Q3, 2021)

There is 48.49 million consumer goods e-commerce users in France, and they spend total of around 86.60 billion USD dollars in 2021. That makes a per capita spending on consumer goods e-commerce of around  1786 USD. Also, in those e-commerce users, about 38.9% of them purchase through their mobile phone.

Market Size of Consumer Goods E-Commerce
Unit: Million USD

Digital Media E-Commerce in France

Source: Digital Market Outlook 2021
Market Size of Digital Media E-Commerce
Unit: Million USD
  • Retail Sales & E-Commerce Penetration: eMarketer, Edge By Ascential, Euromonitor Retail Passport
  • Currency: Based on IMF Data 2022/12
  • Consumer Behavior: Statista Digital Market Outlook
  • Retail Channels: Euromonitor, Local Association, Financial Reports (Of Relevant Retailers)
  • Data Compilation: OOSGA.org
  • Analysis: OOSGA CR Team Analytics
Author: CR Team

Our consumer research practice tracks what customers spend and how they make decisions across major economies in the world.

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