July 16, 2012, 11:17 AM

Mobile commerce is growing in France

Smartphones and tablets are playing a bigger role in online and offline retail.

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Smartphones and tablets are playing a bigger role in online and offline retail, according to France’s national e-commerce and mail order retail federation, Fevad.

Yet users of the two technologies purchase different products and shop in different ways, Fevad says.  

Most smartphone users (18%) download digital applications, 11% buy cultural products such as books on their phones, and 10% purchase travel—mostly train tickets, Fevad says. Additionally, 4% of smartphone shoppers buy books and 3% purchase CDs and DVDs.




74% of smartphone shoppers use their mobile devices to shop at home, and 20% say they make purchases while on public transportation.

Tablet shoppers buy more clothing from their mobile devices than smartphone shoppers (13% of tablets owners buy clothes vs. 6% of smartphone shoppers). They also  buy more cultural products, (20% compared to 11% for smartphone owners). 12% download applications. 10% of tablet owners purchase books and 9% buy CDs and DVDs. 90% of tablet shoppers purchase at home and 7% on public transportation.

The findings are based on Fevad’s latest survey of the purchasing behavior of Internet users, conducted by audience monitoring company Médiamétrie.

The survey examined online and offline purchases of 3,257 Internet users in the first six months of 2012 across 12 product categories, including high-tech, travel, fashion, toys, and beauty.

It finds more web users are researching products online before buying online and offline—90% compared with 86% last year.

“The groundwork is done most through search engines (77%), on product information provided by e-commerce sites (71%), and product opinions and ratings given by Internet users (64%),” Fevad says.

Fevad attributes the increasing online product research to the rise of tablets and smartphones, as mobile devices are portable—allowing for consumers to research just about anywhere.

40% of France’s 3.2 million tablet owners use their tablets to research a purchase, compared to 22% of the 19 million smartphone users, Fevad says.

 “Thanks to their mobile connection, consumers have a permanent and unlimited access to stores—mobile commerce adds total freedom to e-commerce,” says Marc Lolivier, Fevad’s director general.

Amazon tops the 10 leading e-commerce and online travel providers in France, with 43% of Internet users buying via the site at least once in the past six months. It is followed by the French national railway voyagessncf.com (38%), technology and electronics retailer the Fnac (35%), video and music retailer Cdiscount (27%), clothing retailer La Redoute (24%), private shopping club Vente-priveé (21%), women’s fashion retailer 3 Suisses (20%), eBay (16%), web-only marketplace Price Minister (14%) and Air France (13%). 

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