The FEVAD (Federation of e-commerce and distance selling) has just, as at every beginning of the year for 20 years now, to present its long-awaited annual report on e-commerce in France.

This Fevad e-commerce report is the result of exhaustive processing and analysis of data collected from partner companies, throughout France. This makes it possible to draw up an inventory of e-commerce in France at the end of each year, but also to provide all players in French e-commerce with a perspective on the evolution of the sector.

Here are the key elements of the FEVAD report:

  1. The milestone of 110 billion euros in internet sales has been exceeded in France for the year 2020
  2. E-commerce has helped physical outlets cope with the crisis
  3. Online sales are growing strongly, and the COVID-19 epidemic is no stranger to this trend
  4. Major brands confirm the progress of their online sales activity
  5. Marketplaces also saw their sales increase

1 – The milestone of 110 billion euros has been exceeded

Thanks to the accelerated digitization of retail trade, internet sales reached the staggering figure of 112 billion euros in 2020!

Here are some key global FEVAD figures to help you understand how the e-commerce sector has evolved over the past 12 months in France:

  • The e-commerce sector (sale of products and services combined) reached 112 billion euros in 2020, which represents a substantial increase of 8.5% year on year.
  • However, we note different situations with regard to sales of goods and sales of services: the increase in sales of products on the internet is estimated at + 32%, while sales related to the service sector have observed a worrying decline – but logical in view of the crisis – by almost 10%. For the tourism sector, the 2020 results are catastrophic, with a drop in online sales approaching 50% compared to 2019!
  • While online commerce represented less than 10% of retail trade in 2019, it now represents almost 14%.
  • The e-commerce sector saw the emergence of approximately 17,400 new e-commerce websites compared to 2019.
  • 1.8 billion transactions were noted, an annual increase of 5.8%.
  • The average basket of French consumers on the internet amounts to just over 60 euros for 2020, which represents a tiny increase compared to the previous year (59 euros in 2019).

2 – E-commerce has helped physical outlets cope with the crisis

The online sales of large brands and physical stores saw their online sales increase in 2020, with a 53% increase over the year, and even Pakistan Phone Number List impressive peaks of + 100% during the two lockdowns, caused by the acceleration home deliveries and click & collect, in particular.


Thus, e-commerce has enabled a lot of physical businesses – closed to the public! – to maintain a decent commercial activity in terms of turnover. The rise in e-commerce results has also benefited marketplaces, which have proven to be opportune outlets for many VSEs / SMEs. Marketplaces grew by + 27% in 2020, i.e. twice as fast as in 2019, and they still represent around 15% of the total volume of FEVAD panel sites.

3 – Online sales are growing strongly, and the COVID-19 epidemic is no stranger to this trend

Over the past 12 months, internet sales sites, all products and services combined, recorded more than 1.84 billion transactions, an increase of 5.8% in a single year. The health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the evolution of the average amount of internet transactions. This was also in decline for several years. As we said before, the average basket amounts to 61 euros in 2020 against 59 euros in 2019.

The two confinement periods, which took place from March 17 to May 11, then from October 30 to December 15, led to peaks of activity hitherto unknown in France concerning the sale of products online. And even between these two periods, e-commerce sales figures have remained at a high level.

The acceleration in sales volumes was particularly visible at the end of 2020, during the last quarter. The closure of stores and that of so-called non-essential departments led to a considerable increase in internet sales from November, and the phenomenon continued until the end of December, despite the reopening of points of sale. physical sales. If we stop for a moment on the Christmas period, and more generally on what is called “Holiday shopping season”, which includes Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, (November-December), we have observed a 23% increase in online sales compared to Christmas 2019, and sales of products and services topped the € 25 billion mark.

4 – Major brands confirm the progress of their online sales activity

Sales of consumer products from the “iCE 100” panel (representative panel used by FEVAD, which measures economic performance on a constant sample of around a hundred leading e-commerce sites in their field) have registered a strong increase. (nearly 30%) in 2020. And it was the beauty / health and consumer products sectors that experienced the strongest growth during a year 2020 marked by the health crisis and the two confinements (+52 % for the first confinement, and + 42% for the second). Then come technical products (+ 34%) and decoration / furniture accessories (+ 24%).

It is interesting to note that during the first confinement, in April, online sales of consumer products increased by almost 90%! Which is actually logical, given that the population could certainly go to the big brands to buy food, but in a very supervised and restrictive way.

Finally, and we have already outlined the subject, e-commerce sites related to the tourism sector have been hit hard by the effects of traffic restrictions imposed by many governments around the world in an attempt to curb the health crisis. . Despite a slight upturn during the beautiful season, the new containment measures decided by the French government in early autumn 2020 have further weakened the tourism sector, whose revenues have plummeted by nearly 50% compared to 2019 .

5 – Marketplaces have also seen their activity increase

Sales made on behalf of third parties on marketplaces have enabled many VSEs / SMEs to limit the decline in their activity. These increased on average by 27% over the whole of 2020, i.e. twice as much as in 2019. The volume of business achieved on marketplaces sites has remained stable (around 15% of business volume of the iCE100 panel regarding product sales).

As for sales on mobile devices, they were slowed down in 2020 by the decline in sales relating to transport, travel, ticketing, etc.

While this type of sale showed growth of 18% in 2019, it only increased by 5% in 2020. This drop is logically explained by the drop in travel and leisure purchases, which normally represents a significant share purchases made on websites via mobile devices.

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