France is a well-renowned travel destination; it's history and culture make it the center of art and gourmet dining as well. And, with a population of 66.9 million, it is also the hub of shopping.
In addition to traditional retail, France is also full of opportunities for eCommerce.
Per eshopworld, there are 37.97 million eCommerce users in France. By 2022, this number will increase to 42.4 million.
Internet usage is widespread, as 90% of the population between the age of 16-44 are daily users. Older demographics in France are even more likely to shop online compared to other countries.
In 2018, France was one of the top destination countries for shipments from Hong Kong on the Easyship platform. Although it's a high volume destination, we've also noticed that return rates were quite low, with only 0.89% of shipments to France marked as undeliverable.
To us, this implies that shipping to France is very feasible for SMBs. Here's what else you should know about the French eCommerce landscape.
eCommerce in France
France is the 6th largest eCommerce market in the world. It is also well connected to other major eCommerce markets, making it easier for shipping and order fulfillment.
Currently, French eCommerce revenue is around $44.7 billion, with forecasts suggesting this number will reach $68.38 billion by 2022. Since the market is well established and trends of online shopping are set, it is an opportunity that up and coming brands should consider entering.
Market penetration is not easy, but if done right, it's possible to carve your own path in your respective niche. French consumers are willing to give a fair chance to new and exciting online brands.
What to sell in France
eCommerce in France follows trends reflected in traditional retail. Categories that do well for online sales include fashion, beauty, and accessories.
Other popular categories that do well online include:
- Home electronics
- Personal care
- Toys, hobby, DIY
Popular marketplaces in France
All major online platforms sell and ship to France; however, the following are platforms that are trailblazers and have a decent market share for selling online.
- 3 Suisses
- Price Minister
Per Statista, Amazon France is the most popular eCommerce marketplace in France, followed by eBay France.
What is the best time to sell in France?
Like many western countries, holidays such as Christmas and New Year are peak shopping periods.
However, it's worth noting that sales are state-regulated and run twice per year - once after Christmas (beginning of January to mid-February) and during the summer (end of June to the beginning of August).
There are huge online sales during these occasions, with more and more consumers turning to mobile commerce to take part in these sales.
Shipping to France
Since France is a developed eCommerce market that's easily accessible, SMBs have access to a variety of couriers that can help them reach customers there.
Major couriers include:
Depending on where you're shipping from, finding the cheapest shipping to France will vary by courier. We recommend using Easyship's rate calculator to get estimates before you enter the French market.
Taxation and duties
Like the rest of the world, France applies tax and duties to certain imports. Before shipping to France, you should be aware of the possible tax and duty your customers may need to pay in order to import your product.
For starters, the tax threshold is low at 22 euros, which makes it likely that your shipment will have a VAT / GST tax of 20% applied. Some categories may qualify for import taxes; it's best to check out our Countries page for additional information.
Items you cannot send to France
There are many items you cannot send to France under any circumstance, while others might require you to get a special permit.
In addition to drugs, ammunition, and dangerous chemicals, France prohibits the following for import:
- Animal Skins
- Alcoholic beverages
- Some US beef hormones
- Computer software
- Gambling devices
Note these restrictions can change at different times, and it may be possible to ship the following if you get proper permission beforehand.
- Agricultural products
Get a detailed and complete list of both the prohibited and restricted items here.
The France eCommerce market is developed, with good infrastructure and a tech savvy population, making it a good market for eCommerce businesses who are looking for cross-border expansion. Though it will be competitive, it's very possible to find your niche in France.
A cross-border eCommerce business requires a good shipping solution, and we at Easyship provide you just that. Sign up for free to find the cheapest, fastest, or best value for money courier and start shipping to France in minutes!
Last updated June 20, 2019.