Long successive confinements have prevented the French from shopping in physical stores, due to the lockdown, travel restrictions and curfews. During this period until 1Verse In the 2021 quarter, e-commerce experienced strong growth, generating less than €500 million. Although it is less important than it was in 2021, its development continues in 2022…
In 2022, at the end of the first three months, we observe a growth of more than 11.5%, which is equivalent to 32.5 billion euros in transactions. The main change relates to the recovery of service sales which increased by 43% compared to the situation in 1Verse quarter from the previous year, while product sales decreased by 12% compared to 2021.
French travel resume
After coming out of confinement, consumers needed to resume their life path, to have fun, to change the landscape. That is why the transport, leisure and tourism sectors are the most important locations.
According to Webloyalty Panel, many French people have gone on vacation after health restrictions were lifted. Booking a flight or hotel online has become a common practice, as well as choosing one’s hobbies on the Internet. This has resulted in a +108% improvement over the period between February and May, in 2021.
In this category, progress was strongest in March and April, with +153% in service sales as well as ticket sales and hotel room reservations. For operators in the tourism sector, 2022 has not regained its cruising speed of 2019, before the health crisis. This situation is also a consequence of the decline in purchasing power caused by inflation, caused in part by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, which affected not only France, but also the entire world economy.
According to INSEE, it reached just over 5% in May, leading consumers to be much more in control of their purchases, prioritizing basic necessities.
Increase e-commerce website creation
In a context where consumers are accustomed to shopping online from home, e-merchants have decided to ride the trend. During successive booking periods, e-commerce site creation increased dramatically by 11%.
In the first quarter of 2022, approximately 197,000 online sales sites were identified. This acceleration is still lower than in 2019, but the gap is gradually decreasing. The fact remains that physical stores, which set up an e-commerce site while booking, have continued their online activities, even after the health restrictions were lifted.
The new locations, for their part, are the result of habits adopted by consumers when they did not have the possibility to leave their homes. Thus, physical stores with an e-commerce site have the advantage of attracting consumers more, who are more inclined to buy. This has an effectIncreased sales by approximately 14%, which is one of the reasons why marketers prefer multi-channel strategies to improve the performance of their brands.
Increased mobile phone use
The evolution of e-commerce trends, which has intensified in recent years, is in constant progress. During this year 2022, this process will continue to be positive. According to the projection, the number of Internet users making online purchases will continue to increase. Millennials, who are more connected and who prefer to move around, are primarily anxious.
Mobility is one of the major changes seen in 2022. Mobile phone use has spread like wildfire. More than 62% of 25-35 year olds use it frequently to purchase online.
Social networking, a must for 2022
Young people constitute a great melting pot of potential clients, and social networks are their preferred communication tool. TikTok, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube are all starting points for e-commerce sites, which can post their ads there, present their products on their trade pages or in marketplaces.
Food, a booming sector
The months of confinement also prompted internet users to place regular orders for food products. These can be dishes from major restaurant brands, but also ingredients needed to prepare daily meals.
According to Médiamétrie, 60% of consumers, which largely consist of working people between the ages of 25 and 50, have placed an order for food products online, either from a large retailer of more than 41% of people, or player websites purely or niche sites. About 17% go to anti-waste apps for their purchases.
The era of buy now, pay later
The ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ (BNPL) concept has gained momentum during the Covid-19 pandemic, with online shopping on the rise. This payment solution is attracting the interest of consumers who are looking for ways to better manage their budget.
According to the Bank of France, it generates approximately 5 billion euros annually. In France, FEVAD has about 15% of the merchant websites that offer this payment method, while 31% of the French actually used it in 2021. Note that BNPL is similar to the payment facilities set up by certain stores. The difference lies in the interest-free repayment period, which does not exceed 15 days. However, using this practice presents a risk that should not be overlooked, which is the over-indebtedness that can occur among people who have already taken out other loans.
Increase in average basket
During the pandemic, internet users are consuming more. They make a lot of online purchases and spend more, with an average basket of around 62 euros.
Late night shopping
Consumers usually shop in the late afternoon and early evening, 3 to 7 p.m., when they have more time to sit back and focus on electronic personalization posts. Thus they are more inclined to place an order.
Diversification of delivery methods
When people shop online, they have several options for receiving their orders. In 2020, 41% of them chose Collect Points or Click and Collect. This solution is generally used by physical stores that provide a website to their customers.
In addition to generating site traffic, it is also a way to encourage them to go to stores and buy products or services that were not necessarily available online. Drive delivery is also a widely used option since over 70% of people who placed an order chose it.
The environment and ethics are at the heart of the concerns
French consumers have, for several years, taken a measure of environmental issues when buying. This is the case for 53% of them. In this very current context, e-merchants are adapting their sales strategies to be closer to their customers’ expectations. The goal is to reduce the ecological footprint of e-commerce as much as possible.
34e The AEOC Conference, which took place in Bilbao, focused on this key issue. During this meeting of the different players in the sector it became clear that one of the most influential elements is the packaging. Obviously these are essential for deliveries, but most of them are highly polluted.
In order to reduce its impact by approximately 14%, replacing it with eco-friendly and recyclable packaging has become imperative. Online merchants are also becoming aware of the fact that more and more of their customers are looking closely at the labels of the products they buy, but also the conditions under which they were made, from various stages until they end up in the hands.