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  • NETMEDIA International

French e-commerce will generate 129 billion euros in 2021

Online sales (products and services) will exceed 129 billion euros in 2021, of which 66.7 billion for product sales, up 15.1% over the year. Over the past year, e-commerce is estimated to account for 14.1% of retail trade (product sales), i.e. 0.7 points more than in 2020.

On Thursday 3 February, Fevad presented its 2021 report on online sales. E-commerce (products and services) exceeded 129 billion euros in 2021, up 15.1%, compared with 8.5% in 2020. The sector is thus returning to double-digit growth. Sales of products on the internet have continued to progress with +7% vs 2020, i.e. +42% vs 2019. For its part, the transport, tourism and leisure sector has recovered with +44% vs 2020. But it still remains behind 2019: -16%. This year of consolidation marks the continuation of solid and sustainable growth in the e-commerce sector, which is widely favoured by a majority of French people. The sector will thus total €129.1 billion in 2021, of which €66.7 billion for product sales.

We observe a huge difference between products and services and a variation in growth quarter by quarter," points out François Momboisse, President of Fevad. The importance of buying second-hand is confirmed: it ceased to be practised by a part of the population, it is now massive. The daily audiences of sites like Leboncoin or Vinted confirm this."

Over the last 12 months, internet sales sites (products and services combined) have 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 2019 level (+1.8%). During 2021, the average basket was 60 euros (61 euros in 2020).

Over the past year, e-commerce is estimated at 14.1% of retail trade (sale of products), 0.7 percentage points higher than in 2020. In 2021, the online sales of retail chains exceed the high level of activity of 2020, with growth of 4%, and those of pure players.

The number of active merchant sites grew by 11% year-on-year, a rate equivalent to that of 2020.

Leading sites consolidate 2020 growth

After an exceptional year in 2020 with record growth, the iCE100 panel is stabilising. Sales of consumer products on the iCE 100 panel (measuring growth on a constant sample of a hundred of the leading sites) increased by 1.1% in 2021. While Q1 2021 saw an increase of +33.4% compared to Q1 2020, the quarter before the start of the first containment, annual growth then slowed compared to the rest of 2020, when the panel had reached its highest levels. This is particularly the case in the last two months of 2021, when the panel recorded a decline of -15% compared to the previous year, a period during which sales had grown by +46% year-on-year. The clothing-fashion and furniture-decoration categories continued to grow in 2021 with +6% and +18% respectively. Sales of consumer goods also increased by 6% compared to 2020. The technical products and beauty categories, which had grown most strongly in 2020, are down with -6% and -3%. Travel and tourism sites grew by 42% over the year as a whole. The sector's recovery, which began in April, was strengthened in the third quarter, especially from August onwards with the introduction of the health pass. However, this recovery did not allow them to return to their pre-Covid level. The sites end the year down by 25% compared to 2019.

Finally, sales to professionals in the iCE 100 panel, with annual growth of +16.3%, continued their pre-crisis growth rate.

Mobile sales are on the rise again

Sales made on behalf of third parties (on marketplaces) continue to grow. Over the year 2021, marketplaces grew by +5%. Their weight in the business volume of the sites that host them (iCE100 product sales panel) is 33% vs 31% in 2020.

iCM mobile sales, which combine product sales and travel sales, which were held back in 2020 by the decline in sales of transport, travel, ticketing, etc., have returned to double-digit growth with +23%, thanks in particular to the recovery in travel/tourism sales. After +37% in October and +21% in November, they nevertheless grew by only 3% in December due to the slowdown in travel sales with the resumption of the epidemic.

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