France is the fourth largest e-shopping destination in the world

France is the fourth largest e-shopping destination in the world

According to the study Global Voices 2022 conducted by ESW among 14,000 consumers from 14 countries, France is the world’s fourth largest market for cross-border online purchases (14% of the global panel), after the United States (53%), which has just overtaken China (39%), Great Britain ( 21%)…

French e-commerce attracts more and more people

While 8% of people surveyed globally had made a direct purchase from French e-commerce sites in 2020, 14% did so in 2021, a 75% increase in one year.

The Chinese buy in France, the French buy in China….

The main cross-border markets for French brands are China (35%), the United Arab Emirates (17%), India (12%), Germany (11%), South Korea (9%) and England (9%).

Among foreign consumers of French brands, women are slightly more represented (15% vs. 13%), and two age groups are in the majority: 25-34 year olds or Millennials (16%) and 35-44 year olds or Gen X ( 14%).

After France (for 67%), French e-consumers mainly buy in China (39%), in the United States (23%), then in Germany and Great Britain (16% each).

New opportunities for French brands worldwide

It is worth noting that on a global level, Japan (51%), China (44%), the United Arab Emirates (21%), South Korea (17%) and Mexico (16%) receive the largest proportion of respondents who have one Make at least 11 purchases per year on foreign websites in 2021.

Japan and Mexico with particularly low cross-border purchase rates for French brands (7% and 6% respectively), they could eventually become the new Eldorados.

Without forgetting South Korea which benefits from a large margin for advancement (only 9% of customers from French sites), but also from more traditional markets, Germany (11%) and UK (9%)which should not be overlooked given the surprisingly low buyer rates on French websites compared to the geographical proximity of these countries.

The study shows which countries French brands could better target, and the list is eclectic.

Additionally, the high percentage of Millennials and frequent e-shoppers who purchase French brands reflects their continued undeniable appeal to discerning shoppers no matter where in the world they are located. », comment Martim Avillez Oliveira, Chief Commercial Officer, EMEA at ESW.

This is a priority audience that French brands need to engage with globally, as our research shows they buy at a 50-60 rate across all product categories % higher than other consumers. »

For brands to capitalize on this new demand, they need to offer their shoppers a fully localized cross-border shopping experience with the appropriate language, payment methods and local currencies, and offer them items they can’t find, not on other websites.

To keep those valuable customers coming back, retailers need to provide a positive shopping experience, display estimated delivery dates, no-surprise shipping, easy local returns, clear refund policies, and display notices. »


The latest ESW Consumer Survey was conducted by SAVANTA with 14,697 consumers from 14 countries (UK, France, Germany, USA, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, UAE, India, Russia, China, South Korea, Japan and Australia) polled online in November 2021. Millennials are defined as consumers aged 18-24, Millennials aged 25-40, X aged 41-56, Baby Boomers aged 57-75 and the “silent” generation aged 76-92.

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