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  • Lisa Henry

In the 3rd quarter, e-commerce sales continue to struggle against a backdrop of economic uncertainty

Fevad takes stock of e-commerce in the third quarter of 2023. While Internet sales still seem to be affected by a difficult consumer environment, growth continues to be driven by services.

In the third quarter of 2023, e-commerce sales, including products and services, reached €38.3 billion, up 9.8% compared to the third quarter of 2022. In all, e-commerce sites recorded more than 573 million transactions, representing annual growth of 5.2%. Business volume, driven by inflation, is now growing twice as fast as transaction volume. The average shopping basket is now 67 euros, compared with 64 euros a year ago, an increase of 4.4% comparable to that of inflation.

Growth continues to be driven by services, which are maintaining a dynamic trajectory of +18%. Product sales were down slightly by 1.5%. Faced with rising prices and a loss of purchasing power, many consumers are switching to food and low prices. According to Fevad, e-commerce is no exception to the rule. The number of active e-commerce sites continues to rise (+9% compared to Q3 2022), making the market ever more competitive.

Despite an upturn in July, the results by sector remain less than encouraging

Growth on leading sites, as measured by the iCE 1001 index, was 2.4% compared with Q3 2022. Business in the third quarter was boosted by July, which benefited from two extra weeks of sales compared with July 2022 due to the postponement of the 2023 summer sales and the Government's decision to extend the sales period.

While the food sector continues to drive sales in the 3rd quarter, with growth of 11.9% (source: Nielsen IQ), Fevad notes that the upturn seen in July does not reflect a change in trend. In fact, excluding FMCG products, activity is improving but is being held back, particularly by the Clothing/Fashion (-5% vs. Q3 2022) and Technical Products (-6% vs. Q3 2022) sectors. The Furniture/Decoration and Beauty categories continue to show greater resilience to consumer trade-offs, with 0% and +12% respectively compared with Q3 2022.

BtoB sales on the iCE 100 panel slowed during Q3 with a slight decline of 1.6%, to be compared with a high benchmark in September 2022. E-tourism (+6%) continues to grow against a high benchmark in Q3 2022.

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