The French eCommerce market – ‘Je ne sais quoi’
The French eCommerce market has a particular ‘Je ne sais quoi’ – a certain something that makes it unique. What is it that distinguishes the French market from other European markets, and why would you expand your business to France? And if you were to expand to France, why would you choose PriceMinister?
Selling across multiple marketplaces is becoming easier, and if you’ve saturated your local market, it’s the perfect time to think about opening up your business to a global one with more opportunities.
Let’s take a quick look at the European eCommerce market before we tease out the opportunities on PriceMinister.
It’s no surprise that the European market is thriving – by the end of 2016 it will have generated €509.9 billion in online sales and services. The total online revenue in Europe in 2015 was €455.3 billion – that’s a growth of 12 percent in 2016.
We know that European sales are growing, so let’s zone in on France.
France – a major European player
France is currently ranked number six in global eCommerce listings, and it’s the third biggest market in Europe, coming in behind the UK and Germany. France benefits from a centralized position in the heart of Europe – it also lies between North America and Asia, and the developed infrastructure nationwide makes it an appealing market.
Unlike many other global markets, the French market is not solely dominated by Amazon and eBay. Instead, it is split more evenly between eight different eCommerce platforms that rank amongst the top fifteen global eCommerce sites. These marketplaces include Cdiscount, Fnac and La Redoute, as well as Amazon.fr and eBay.fr.
The UK remains the biggest eCommerce market in Europe, where Amazon and eBay dominate with a 24 percent share of total sales. The French eCommerce industry has grown by 13 percent to €33 billion in the first half of 2016 alone, and it is projected to surpass €50 billion by 2018.
With a more varied market than many European landscapes, the opportunities for sellers in France are plentiful. Being active on Amazon and eBay in the UK provides you with an ambitious share of the market, but to be equally competitive in France you need to be active on more platforms. Let’s take a look at why we are recommending PriceMinister in particular.
Why would you choose PriceMinister?
PriceMinister was founded in 2001 and is a leading French marketplace with 22 million members and 9 million visitors per month. This is the equivalent of one third of all internet users in France.
PriceMinister was acquired by the Japanese eCommerce Group Rakuten in 2010, one of the world’s largest eCommerce groups, with an accumulated turnover of almost $5 billion.
The marketplace has reported a 25 percent growth year on year, making it a key player in French eCommerce. There are 5,000 professional sellers who are active on PriceMinister and over 200 million available products.
The benefits for consumers are obvious too, with major discounts on as many as 130 million products. There are 30,000 products sold every day on PriceMinister, making it a major marketplace for new opportunities. In 2010 PriceMinister was ranked the number one French eCommerce site in terms of traffic volume for the second half of 2010.
One third of PriceMinister members are based in France, making it a massive domestic marketplace for sellers. The user profile has an equal 50/50 gender split, with an age profile ranging between 26-50 years old.
Unlike eBay and Amazon, one of the advantages for sellers on PriceMinister is that they can customize their own online webstore so that it reflects their brand identity.
PriceMinister is the main competitor of eBay in France and like eBay, it provides a wide variety of goods and categories. Popular categories include media, music, electronics, fashion and more.
Other advantages to selling on PriceMinister include a super points loyalty program and super boutique listings. The ‘make a wish’ feature allows sellers to cross sell and upsell by alerting the customer when a product corresponding to certain criteria is available.
Requirements for selling on PriceMinister
PriceMinister has no restrictions on where sellers are located globally, making it the perfect platform if you’re expanding from abroad. Merchants can sell in any category, and there are a range of integrations which make multichannel selling simple, including xSellco, the multi-channel e-commerce help desk.
To sell on PriceMinister, you need to be able to ship to France and manage your returns in Europe, with localized returns being preferential to customers. A French bank account is essential, and it is also required that EU sellers have a VAT number to adhere to local requirements for sales tax.
Another requirement for selling on PriceMinister is providing English-speaking customer service. To help you manage multiple support languages, xSellco has an auto-translation feature which will mean you can cut your support costs and communicate in a number of languages, including French. Interested in selling on PriceMinister? Sign up here.
The future of the French eCommerce market
PriceMinister’s impressive year on year growth of 25 percent suggests that it’s an exciting and alternative platform for ambitious sellers who are hoping to expand their marketplace beyond Amazon and eBay.
If you want the opportunity to sell on a large mobile-friendly marketplace then the French market is the place to be. France had a total of $10 billion in mobile sales in 2015, and mobile sales are expected to increase next year.
One in five eCommerce purchases in France are now conducted through mobile devices across several platforms. With the continued growth in French marketplaces like PriceMinister, the future of the French market will be mobile – and multichannel.