France: The Evolution of E-Commerce

Image: Strategie Digitale – KPI Advance

Image: Strategie Digitale – KPI Advance

Even though the French are known for their traditional and skeptical attitude, researches show that the new ICT technologies in France are occupying a bigger space in the market by the minute. According to the Fevad (e-commerce and long distance sales federation),  France is ranked 6th country in the world in terms of billions of euros spent online, and 3rd in Europe, with 45 billion euros. In 2012, there was an increase of 17% in the number of active sales online websites in France, going from an amount of 100 400 to 117 500. The evolution of e-commerce is widely positive, especially in the Tourism sector, as 59% of the sales made through the internet.

On April 11th, L’Echo Touristique, a French newspaper specialized within Tourism, published an article regarding the evolution of digital strategy in the sector. In a research by Next Content, it shows that out of the 202 deciders asked, both from the public and private sector, 61% of them have registered online sales inferior or equal to 9 M€, and 10% of them 200 M€. The wide gap is clearly due to the difference of function within the Tourism sector, it takes into account everything from the Tour Operators to transporters and hosts.

The article also grabs our attention on the question of M-commerce, the greater use of mobile phones and tablets. Within the two following years, there are 4 obstacles and concerns that will affect the deciders:

–          The adaptation to new technologies.

–          The brutal increase of mobile use.

–          The power of Google.

–          The emergence of competitive new economic models.

By 2015, the deciders predict that the M-commerce will count 20% of the total sales related to Tourism. The arrival of AirBnB, Blablacar, GoEuro and other innovative travel solutions could be seen as threats to current deciders, even though it has been noticed that these doesn’t affect the same segment on today’s market. These are to be seen as a supplement rather than a competitor, in order to catch the opportunity and maximize the outcome of these fresh ideas.

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