French funds verify the expansion of e-commerce

The analysis is based on anonymized transactions of about 20 million bank cards issued by Banque Populaire and Caisses d’Épargne. This edition of the BPCE Digital & Payments Barometer therefore provides a statistical basis that represents the evolution of French payment methods and purchasing behavior.

New record of total consumption by 20%

According to the BPCE Digital & Payments Barometer, 2021 is another record year for e-commerce. This is a very clear trend that extends across all sectors of activity.

For those under the age of 35, a third of spending is done online.

The share of spending realized via the Internet is 85-95% in travel and airline tickets; 75% in educational services and 98% for outings.

Sectors that before the crisis had exclusively physical sales activity began to move to e-commerce. otherwise one in three clothing purchases is now made online ; 20% of spending in restaurants, compared to only 3% two years ago. Identical figure for sports equipment. In the luxury and watch watches sector, online sales rose from 10% in 2019 to 16% today. Regardless of the sector, online sales have become necessary.

The average basket in e-commerce is also half as large as in stores, 57 euros versus 38 euros.

Data from this barometer illustrate the growing digitalization, which is also reflected in all payments. Cash continues to decline, both due to the distance sales boom and the adoption of contactless ones, whose amounts have practically tripled in two years. 2022 will be an opportunity to confirm these trends.


Read also: French e-commerce is not weak and reached 32.5 billion euros in the first quarter of 2022.

Contrasting influence depending on the activity sector and the big winner, the online entertainment sector.

There are two areas of disparity. First, the health crisis has created “winners” and “losers”. At that time, for certain sectors, the crisis was just an accident, a one-time shock, positive or negative, followed by a quick return to normal. In contrast, for others, the crisis has marked a trend of acceleration or deep decline, the effects of which continue to this day. Therefore, four groups can be distinguished:

“losers of points”

The clothing, hairdressing, sports equipment and even catering sectors have faced complete or partial closures during the health crisis. The French returned to these sectors very quickly as soon as the restrictions were lifted because they are still very attached to these jobs. The trend is generally still favorable.

“One-time winners”

On the other hand, some sectors were currently fueled by the health crisis before returning to previous levels. The most striking example is that of large food retailers. French food expenditures rose by 28% between 2019 and 2020 and returned to + 4% in 2021 compared to 2019.

The sectors are still in decline

This is the case for mobility and tourism-related activities, such as airlines, public transport or railway companies and, more importantly, travel agencies. These data testify to profound changes in the French movement habits.

Growth sectors

For other sectors, the health crisis has been a real growth accelerator. The online entertainment sector has exploded, including streaming platforms, video games, betting and gambling. The figures confirm this with an increase in spending on streaming sites of 37% between 2019 and 2021. Surprisingly, the pet trade and veterinary care sector grew by 67% in two years. Do-it-yourself decoration (+ 22%) and garden centers (+ 31%) also recorded strong growth. Trends suggesting the redirection of French consumers to the domestic sphere.

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