PARIS: Online retail sales in France rose by 11.9per cent to 24.9 billion euros (US$27.7 billion) in the first quarter, said the French E-Commerce Federation (Fevad), reflecting growth in a sector that has seen Amazon put pressure on traditional retailers such as Carrefour.
As the French economy stages a gradual recovery, online sales growth has been boosted by a growing number of online vendors and people using the Internet to shop more often.The Fevad federation said an additional 1.358 million people made online purchases in the quarter, up 4per cent from a year ago, report agencies.
Sales generated via tablets and smartphones rose 22per cent and Fevad predicted orders made on smartphones could outpace those made via computers by 2021.
The average value of the basket fell 6per cent to 61 euros in the first quarter, although there was an increase in the frequency of purchases, added Fevad.
There were, on average, 12.7 online transactions per buyer in the first quarter, up from 10.7 a year ago.
In 2018, E-commerce represented 9.7per cent of overall French retail sales, up from 8.7per cent in 2017.
In February, Fevad said online retail sales in France could exceed 100 billion euros for 2019.A separate statement by Fevad and research firm Nielsen showed that E-commerce made 7.1per cent of the sales of so-called 'fast moving consumer goods' (FMCG) in France, ahead of 6.3per cent in Britain, the United States' 5.6per cent and Germany's 1.4per cent but behind 20per cent for South Korea and 18per cent for China.
One reason for France's advance was that click and collect had become a key part of shoppers' routines, while drive-through services - where consumers order online but collect the shopping by car or on foot or by home delivery - were also increasing in prominence.
Drive-through services were on the rise with the opening of new pedestrian outlets in city centers where people order online and pick up their purchase on foot, with over 5,100 selling points and sales up 7per cent on a year-on-year basis in 2018.