In excellent shape and with favorable Christmas prospects, despite the very uncertain economic environment. On November 17th, Fevad, Federation of E-Commerce and Distance Selling, presented the results of e-commerce for the third quarter of 2022: sales reached 35.9 billion euros compared to 30.7 billion euros in the same period of 2021 , i.e. one growth rate of 16.8%. When the average basket reached 64 euros, an increase of 7.3%, this reflects the weight of inflation.
But another development also testifies to the dynamics of the market: 11,000 additional e-commerce sites were created in one year. And in the third quarter of 2022, their number continued to grow by 6% compared to the same period last year. More specifically, the growth in this third quarter was based on the dynamics of services (+34%), which was mainly driven by the tourism and travel sector (+39%). Vice versaProduct sales stabilized (-2% compared to 2021 levels), after a sharp drop, a backlash to the records recorded during the health crisis.
Structurally, this product market has grown significantly: it is 30% larger than in 2019. Within this market, sales to professionals continued to grow (+6.9%) during this third quarter, while sales to the general public decreased by 2.4% are. However, with significant fluctuations depending on the product type: Electronic products have almost returned to the level of 2019, albeit with a 15% decrease compared to the previous year.
According to a Gfk study, the market for home furnishing products has undergone a special development, driven by the new enthusiasm of consumers for their furnishings: at the end of September 2022, the French spent 6.5 billion euros on the Internet (over a year). During this period, the decrease in online sales was very pronounced (-14.7%) compared to the overall trend in this market, which only decreased by 0.4%. Nevertheless, the Internet now accounts for a quarter of sales! And if the current level of this channel continues to decline from the highs in 2020, when access to physical distribution channels was restricted, analysts expect a rebound by the end of the year.
Used gifts for Christmas
Overall, e-commerce should hold up well in a rather sober Christmas. According to a GfK Consumer Pulse study, consumers associate e-commerce with low prices and access to promotions, an image based in particular on the organization of major events such as Black Friday, which initially started online. However, purchasing power is now the main concern of consumers. And an online poll conducted by Toluna Harris Interactive in partnership with Fevad last October shows that more than a third of internet users are approaching the holiday season in a less positive mood than they did in 2022.
In practice, more than one in three French (39%) plans to spend less on Christmas shopping than in 2021, a value that falls to 51% among the “menial jobs“. Similarly, almost three-quarters of the French intend to give preference to gifts for loved ones (21%), useful ones (14%) or just for children (10%). Overall, the average budget earmarked for Christmas gifts and preparations is 404 euros, a number that hides major differences: for a quarter of French people (26%), this average budget is less than or equal to 100 euros.
But in this context a priori not business-promoting, e-commerce is consolidating its position as an already established channelinevitable» for Christmas shopping: The practice is well established and three-quarters of online shoppers say they have a definite or likely intention to make their purchases through this channel. Their motivations: prices and promotions (41%), ease of purchase (25%) and choice (24%). On the other hand, there are no specifics for gifts bought online. Games and toys lead the way (46%), followed by beauty products and perfumes (38%), clothing, shoes and fashion accessories (36%) and cultural products (31%).
What is new is that half of Internet users are willing to give one or more second-hand gifts for Christmas. This number, which has increased significantly compared to previous years, testifies to the enthusiasm of the French for the seconds hand. And the internet has a very strong position in this area: the current GfK study “Better consuming” shows that the French rely heavily on e-tailers for their second-hand purchases.