Smartphones Driving Online Shopping in France

Smartphones Driving Online Shopping in France

Mobile use is contributing to eCommerce in France

Marketers in France are starting to realise just how many internet sales are affected by the use of mobile phones in the country.

It has been known for some time that devices such as smartphones and tablets generate huge web traffic, but recent research for shopping information firm Bonial shows just how much the use of such devices are leading increases in eCommerce.

The October 2013 survey of 1,000 French people polled by Ifop found that as many as 89% of people who used the internet bought something online over the course of a year.

Figures showing how frequently French internet users shopped online in October 2013:

  • 48% – at least once a month
  • 27% – at least once a year
  • 12% – at least one a week
  • 8% – less than once a year
  • 3% – never
  • 2% – daily

Higher earners or those who had more than one device connected to the internet were also found to shop more frequently on the web.

Adding up the figures we can see that 62% of those polled bought products over the internet at least once a week. But for those with smartphones or tablets, this figure jumped to 70%.

According to experts at eMarketer, around 50 million people in France will own either a smartphone or a tablet, or both in 1914.

They say that consumers will reward retailers with loyalty and high spending if they make their shopping experience easy and relaxed. This will require a comprehensive mobile services, included translations into a number of languages in order to cater for overseas customers.

Where to start shopping

Almost half (46%) of the country’s shoppers went straight to their digital devices when thinking of potential purchases, according to the study.

For certain stores catering in specialist products, this figure is increased. Firms specialising in electronics were the first port of call for 65% of shoppers, while the figure was 51% for sporting goods stores, and 44% for furniture.

The ubiquitous power of Google has even suffered from this increase in mobile eCommerce, with as many as 57% of people saying their first reflex was to use an app to look online as part of their shopping experience.

Shopping styles vary

But one glove does not fit all. Increasingly, shopping styles are showing themselves to be diverse. More than a third of mobile devise users researched products on a weekly basis, while 29% said they compared prices for different products. Some mobile users incorporated the internet into many aspects of their shopping experience, from comparing products, to looking for a store close by, to checking what times the stores open or even reading a catalogues online, all at least once a month.

Despite embracing these new mobile possibilities, respondents did reveal an abiding trust in well-known retailers. Over three-quarters of consumers said that given the choice, they would rather buy from a traditional retailer with physical stores, even if they made a purchase on the store’s website.

However, just knowing that a physical store is available can give shoppers reassurance, which may translate into online sales in the future.

Written by Yusuf Bhana
Yusuf Bhana
Yusuf is Head of Digital at TranslateMedia. He has an interest in how technology can help businesses achieve their marketing objectives. He's been working in digital marketing and web development since 2001 across a wide range of industries and clients.

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