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French 2015 online retail sales seen up 10%

[PARIS] Online retail sales in France could rise by around 10 per cent this year to 62.4 billion euros (US$70.3 billion) thanks to a growing number of offers on the Internet and the arrival of new shoppers, the French E-Commerce Federation (Fevad) said on Tuesday.

This would extend the 11 per cent year-on-year rise in 2014, when the French spent 57 billion euros buying online in spite of a weak economic climate and sluggish consumption, Fevad said.

The 2014 performance included strong Christmas sales of 11.4 billion euros, a 13 per cent year-on-year increase.

For the fourth consecutive year, the average basket value declined, and this trend should continue in 2015 notably because of low inflation and reduced shipping costs, Fevad said.

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The amount spent on average by French online shoppers fell 4 per cent last year to 81 euros. This was offset by a 15 per cent rise in transactions, with purchase frequency on the rise.

There were on average 20 online transactions per year in 2014 per buyer compared with 18 in 2013, while 20,000 new web sites were created, a year-on-year rise of 14 per cent to 157,300.

France is ranked as the sixth biggest e-commerce market worldwide. In Europe, only Germany and the United Kingdom are bigger.

In 2014, e-commerce represented an estimated 9 per cent of retail sales, excluding food, in France.