E-commerce in France in 2021 : French people spent 129 billion euros online


Paris, le 3 février 2022


E-commerce in France in 2021:

French people spent 129 billion euros online

  • The e-commerce sector (products and services) will exceed 129 billion euros in 2021, an increase of 15.1% over the year.
  • Online product sales continued to grow, with +7% vs 2020
  • The service sector has grown by 24% vs 2020
  • E-commerce now accounts for 14.1% of retail trade compared to 13.4% last year.
  • The number of e-commerce sites has increased by 11% in one year.
  • 2.1 billion transactions took place online in 2021.

In 2021, online sales grew by 15.1%.

The e-commerce sector (products and services) exceeded 129 billion euros in 2021, an increase of 15.1% compared to 8.5% in 2020. This shall return the sector to double-digit growth. Online product sales continued to grow, with +7% vs 2020, i.e. +42% vs 2019. The Transport, Tourism and Leisure sector has recovered with +44% vs 2020. But it is still lower than 2019: -16%.

This year of consolidation marks continued solid and sustainable growth in the e-commerce sector, which is widely appreciated by the majority of French people.

The sector totaled 129.1 billion euros in 2021, including 66.7 billion euros for product sales.

In the last 12 months, online sales sites (products and services combined) recorded more than 2.1 billion transactions, an increase of 16%. The average amount of a transaction decreased compared to 2020 (-0.8%) but remains above its level from 2019 (+1.8%). In 2021, the average basket was 60 euros (61 euros in 2020).  

Over the last year, e-commerce is estimated at 14.1% of retail trade (product sales), 0.7 percentage points higher than in 2020.

The number of active merchant sites increased by 11% over one year, with this rate being equivalent to that of 2020.

Leading sites consolidate 2020 growth

After an exceptional year in 2020 with record growth, the iEC 100 panel is stabilising. Sales of consumer products in the iEC 100 panel (a measure of growth on a constant sample of 100 leading sites) increased by 1.1% in 2021.

While the first quarter of 2021 saw an increase of +33.4% compared to the first quarter of 2020, the quarter before the start of the first lockdown, annual growth then slowed compared to the rest of 2020, when the panel had reached its highest levels. This is particularly true of the last two months of 2021, when the panel recorded a decrease of -15% compared to the previous year, a period in which sales had increased by +46% over one year. 

The Clothing-Fashion and Furniture-Decoration categories continued to grow in 2021 with +6% and +18% respectively. Sales of Fast Moving Consumer Goods also increased by +6% vs 2020.

Technical products and beauty categories, which had increased most strongly in 2020, have decreased by -6% and -3%.

Travel-Tourism sites increased by 42% over the year as a whole. The recovery of the sector, which started in April, was reinforced in the third quarter, and particularly from August onwards with the introduction of the health pass. However, this did not return them to their pre-Covid level. These sites ended the year down by -25% compared to 2019.

Finally, sales to professionals on the iEC 100 panel, with annual growth of +16.3%, continued with their pre-Covid growth rate.

 Mobile sales are back on the rise (+23%)

Sales made on behalf of third parties (on marketplaces) continue to grow. Over 2021, marketplaces grew by +5%. Their weight in the business volume of the sites that host them (iEC 100 product sales panel) is 33% vs 31% in 2020.

MCI mobile sales, which combine product sales and travel sales, which were slowed down in 2020 by the decline in sales of transport, travel, ticketing, etc., have returned to double-digit growth with +23%, mainly thanks to the recovery in travel/tourism sales. After an increase of +37% in October and +21% in November, they only increased by 3% in December due to the slowdown in travel sales as the epidemic resumed.

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This study was carried out with the support of the leading merchant sites in their sector and 9 secure payment platforms.

The data collected by Fevad from merchant sites correspond to the following definitions: 

Index of Electronic Commerce (iEC 100): Revenues generated by the iEC 100 Panel sites online via PC or mobile. The sites that run a market place do not count the volume of business from the market place, nor the commissions generated. Only orders delivered in France. All delivery locations are retained (including in-store pick-ups). This is the order sales (we consider the date of order validation and not the date of delivery). Cancellations, exchanges and returns deducted, shipping costs included, incl. VAT for sales to individuals, excl. VAT for sales to professionals.

Marketplace Index: Business volume reached by the sites hosted on the iEC 100 panel marketplaces.

Mobile Commerce Index (MCI): Revenues generated on smartphones and digital tablets in the context of mobile sites and applications (excluding application downloads).

Composition of the iEC 100 Panel: More than 100 sites: consumer products (100 sites), e-tourism (15 sites) and sales to professionals (20 sites).

Composition of the PSP Panel: Adyen, Dalenys, Monetico Paiement, Monext, Paypal, PayZen, Verifone, Worldline.

Global Market Estimate: The calculation of the global market estimate is based on data collected from the iEC 100 panel sites, the value of electronic payments (excluding iEC 100 panel members) reported by the providers participating in the PSP panel and an estimate of offline payments (Fevad survey of iEC 100 merchants).

About Fevad:

The Federation of e-commerce and distance sales today federates more than 750 companies. It is the representative body of the e-commerce and distance selling sector. Fevad’s mission is to collect and share information to help improve knowledge of the sector and to act for the sustainable and ethical development of distance selling and e-commerce in France. For more information www.fevad.com / Follow us on twitter: @FevadActu and on LinkedIn.

Press contact : Nathalie Laîné – Communication Manager – +33 (0)1 42 56 38 86 nlaine@fevad.com