Introduction to France
France is a republic in Western Europe. It has a population of 64.9 million people and its capital is Paris. The official language is French and widely spoken foreign language. France has a GDP of €2,232.1 billion, which represents a GDP per capita of €34,516 in 2017.
- 64.9 million people
- GDP of €2,232.1 billion
- 10.1% unemployed
- Inflation of 0.2%
Ecommerce in France
In 2017, the French B2C ecommerce turnover grew by 11% to €80 billion. France had an online population of 45.4 million people who were aged 15 and older. Of the total online population, 36.7 million bought something online in 2015. The average spending per eShopper was €1,754 in this year.
|B2C Ecommerce Turnover||€80 billion|
|B2C Ecommerce growth||11%|
|Online population||45.4 million|
|Number of eShoppers||36.7 million|
|Most popular payment method||Carte Bancaire|
Tips for ecommerce in France
The French language is key. A website in a foreign language or badly translated into French has little chance of succeeding.
French shoppers attach great importance to the good quality of service. If their standards and requirements are not met, French consumers have no problem switching to your competitors.
Another important point is payment; even though digital wallets have gained increasing significance over the past few years, debit/credit cards are still by far the most frequently used means of online payment.
French consumers like to be informed early on about the time of delivery and any additional shipping costs when purchasing online.
When ordering online, it is important for French consumers to be able to trace their order through your website or by email.
A lot of French consumers find it important to choose their own date of delivery.
French consumers attach great value to free shipping; this is more important than a quick delivery, for example.
A prior analysis needs to be performed to assess all the CIT, VAT, declarative and invoicing impacts.
From a VAT standpoint, the rules to be applied will differ depending on the nature of the e-commerce activities: B2B, B2C, Supply of goods, Supply of services.
Specific regime will apply (new 2015 B2C regime for e-services, EU distant rules for goods, etc.).
If the threshold is not exceeded, but the applicable VAT rate of the country of arrival is lower than the VAT rate of the country where the transport begins, the supplier could nevertheless opt to account for VAT of the country of arrival. Please note that this is only possible when certain conditions have been fulfilled.
Before trading in France, we recommend visiting the Q&A Online Taxes and VAT in France page.
The French Ecommerce Association, FEVAD
FEVAD is a professional French branch association for all actors in e-commerce or other forms of distant selling. FEVAD interferes when authorities put their members' interests at stake. Next to that FEVAD provides e-commerce knowledge, seminars, and conventions.