E-commerce & Shopping Trends of France

France is a great place for business—and not only because of its good economy! Its geographical location makes it easy for the country’s merchants to import and export goods from countries like Italy, Germany, Austria, Spain, and the UK through the Eurotunel (also known as Le tunnel sous la Manche).

So, how can a US seller or enterprise take their business there and entice the French with what they have to offer? PackageHopper has the insight and shipping offers you need for the job!

French Online Shopping

Online sales in France benefitted massively from the pandemic, and positive sales growth was recorded in all product categories. E-commerce grew by 18% in 2020 with revenue of over 115 billion euros. Old markets are developing at a high speed and new ones are not lagging too far behind either. This might be the perfect time for you to test the waters.

According to surveys, 77% of the participants-aged 18-39 were making purchases online regularly before the pandemic, but now that number has increased even more. 

Favorite Shopping Categories

In 2020, 69% of the population bought at least one item online. As expected, since the French are known for their exquisite, unique style, Apparel is the largest segment in France and it accounts for 32% of the revenue. Your fashion line could feature in French wardrobes too!

DIY products and Toys come in second with 20%, followed by Media and Electronics with 19%, Food and Appliances with 17%, and Personal Care with 13%.

Since apparel is the #1 segment, the biggest domestic e-commerce retailers in 2020 were 3 Suisses and La Redoute. Merchants outside saw the following sales revenue: (1) Amazon with €2.19 billion, (2) Cdiscount with €2.08 billion, (3) Vente-Privee with €1.89 billion euros, (4) Auchan with €1.32 billion, and (5) Apple with €820 million. 

Rich and Ravishing Economy

France is a very prominent country, ranking 3rd in Europe and 7th in the world by GDP as of 2020 (US$2.93 trillion). It’s mainly free-market oriented, which means that supply and demand dictate the economic system, and the government has little to do with it. That means that if you’re resourceful enough to follow what the French demand and follow the seasonal sales trends, you have a good chance of succeeding there.

Fast and Secure Order Submissions

Paying with a bank card is by far the most popular payment method and an astonishing 80% of the population prefer to pay with their cards, 11% like to use online banking, 4% use consumer credit, 1% prefer bank-to-bank transfer, and 4% utilize services like PayPal, Skrill, etc.

If you’re looking to expand into France, don’t forget to integrate different payment methods to accommodate your French customers’ preferences, including Maestro, Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus, etc!

When it comes to devices used for online purchases for 2021, 84% of online orders were made from a desktop computer or a laptop, 39% from smartphones, 23% from tablets, and 2% with the help of a voice assistant. With so many different shopping experiences, you’ll want to make sure your website is formatted well for different devices.

Tackling Customs & Duties

What about your custom duties and taxes as a shipper? This is a good question and one that you really need to look into, so you don’t unnecessarily complicate your shipment.
With 26+ years of experience in the industry, MyUS has a background and wealth of information ready for you to take advantage of! We have a comprehensive list of restricted and prohibited items for you to check, tips on how to prepare your package for shipping, and more on our FAQ page

Please also keep in mind that duty costs in France are determined Ad Valorem on the CIF value of the products in conformity with the Union's Common Customs Tariff (CCT). While this is the rule for large corporations/importers, it’s still worth mentioning just in case for if you plan on selling in bulk. For goods that are under 1,000 kg or 1,000 euros, a presentation of the receipt of purchase is enough, so make sure you describe the item as accurately as possible and print and place your labels on the package correctly.

Delivery Expectations

Most shoppers in France prefer home delivery (83%), some like shipping to a pick-up location (66%) and others enjoy delivery to a store to personally pick up (26%).

The French like a good mix of speed and reliability for their online shopping and luckily for you, we offer both fast shipping options and an accurate tracking system. 

French shoppers like to be kept updated on the status of their packages, so make sure you provide accurate estimates on delivery times and let them know if there are any delays along the way. With PackageHopper, you’ll have the best rates and shipping options available for delivery in 1-5 business days—impress your French customers with speedy delivery! 

Client Retention & Brand Trust

Honesty is the best policy and politeness is the key. Keep your customers informed of new products and changes to their order fulfillment to build trust in your brand. 
You can keep in contact by communicating via SMS, e-mail, or a private message depending on the options you’re offering or the platform they’re buying from. Since French shoppers value responsiveness and reliability, keep an eye and check in on your inboxes so you can answer quickly and accurately. 


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