France's recent coronavirus lockdown has boosted online shopping as consumers turned to the internet to buy food and other products.
According to the Fédération du e-commerce et de la vente à distance (FEVAD), retail ecommerce sales in France were down in March 2020 but recovered rapidly in April.
Ecommerce sales excluding grocery jumped between 11% and 21% in April, a total 40 digital retailers told business website emarketer.com. Retailers of tech and entertainment products reported sales gains of 26% to 27%, compared to the beginning of March.
Nearly a quarter of people aged between 16 and 64 told an online survey in April that they intended to visit physical stores less frequently following the pandemic, and 27% planned to spend less time in-store.
Some 15% of respondents said they would adopt click and collect, and 17% would shop more online for home delivery.
€4.5bn internet shopping market
The rise in internet shopping for food also rose in France - and has been since before the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2018, 38% of households ordered everyday products online for delivery, generating a turnover of €4.5billion.
By the first quarter of 2020, 60% of consumers opted for online shopping. The Kanter Institute revealed that internet spending was 8.4% higher compared to the first six months of 2019. Over the same period, footfall in physical stores has fallen 6%.
In general, the Kanter Institute noted, the French are shopping less often but buying more.
French supermarket giants E.Leclerc and Intermarché have enjoyed the greatest success online - the latter saw online sales jump 80% between May 18 and June 14, compared to the same period last year. Click and collect sales at the former, meanwhile, has risen 35%.
Shop local online
While major stores are enjoying success, shoppers are increasingly looking local when they venture on the virtual high street. Local online markets, such as Locavor in Romorantin-Lanthenay, Loir-et-Cher, are seeing rising interest. Locally produced artisan food, drink and groceries, are ordered online and collected outside the town hall.
A similar farmer-led online click and collect shopping service - Drive Farmers - is enjoying success in the Côte-d'Or department.
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