The second most populated country and largest economy in the EU, France is a leading, developed, and solvable market for online shopping in Europe. Led by American giants, the French market is competitive with foreign companies competing against well-established national stores and pure e-commerce players.
The French internet and e-commerce landscape count tens of millions of users; it is the third-largest online market in Europe, just behind the UK and Germany, but far behind the US in terms of size. With 58 million internet users, the French digital population is affluent and well-versed in the convenience of e-commerce. The French use both computers and mobile devices to access the internet often and shop online for a wide array of goods and services.
With a high level of sophistication, high penetration, and high solvency, the competition is fairly intense in the French e-commerce market. Amazon, which benefits from the advantage of taking the lion’s share of the enormous American market and very early success, also overwhelming dominates the French e-commerce market. And a number of other foreign companies, from America, Lithuania, and China have also taken a large share of the remainder.
However, some French specialized e-commerce platforms and specialized brick-and-mortar retailers have nevertheless been able to grab a share of their domestic digital market. Cdiscount, an e-commerce platform originally specialized in electronics but later diversified, Leroy Merlin a chain of DIY material stores and Fnac, a chain of cultural and electronics stores have been able to position themselves among the leaders of e-commerce in France.
For more information on other world-leading e-commerce actors, check our series of posts on Top E-commerce Sites, and for more information on the country, read our articles on Top Business Resources for France.
List of top French e-commerce platforms with estimated traffic
To give you more perspective of the state of the market competition in the French e-commerce landscape, here are the current top 10 leaders of e-commerce platforms in France in 2020 and their estimated monthly traffic from SimilarWeb, as of August 2020.
Decathlon is a sporting goods chain of retail stores. Selling a wide range of sports equipment, shoes, clothing, and accessories for all types of sports, Decathlon has expanded to multiple countries of Europe, South America, Asia-Pacific, and Africa. It has also developed its own brands of sports goods and clothing, and created an e-commerce platform to sell its products online.
Website: decathlon.fr – Estimated monthly traffic: 16.5 Million visits
Darty is an electrical and electronics retailing company. Operating a chain of more than 200 stores dedicated to electrical appliances, electronics, computers, and media equipment, Darty has started selling its products online in 1999. Since its acquisition in 2015, Darty is now owned by the Groupe Fnac Darty, which also operates Fnac (see #5).
Website: darty.com – Estimated monthly traffic: 19.7 Million visits
ManoMano is a specialized e-commerce brand in the field of DIY and gardening, owned by the company Colibri SAS. It operates a marketplace where businesses can sell a range of products including tools, gardening, and DIY materials, furniture, as well as other products for home decoration, works, and repairs. Launched in 2012, Manomano has now also expanded to Belgium, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Germany.
Website: manomano.fr – Estimated monthly traffic: 22.3 Million visits
7. AliExpress Français
AliExpress is a specialized online retail store and marketplace. AliExpress allows companies and individuals to sell through its platform a broad range of products including clothing and accessories, mobile phones and electronics, jewelry, home decoration, and sports products. Based in China and owned by the Alibaba Group, AliExpress particularly gathers a range of products from China and other Asian countries to be sold internationally, notably in France.
Website: fr.aliexpress.com – Estimated monthly traffic: 25.9 Million visits
6. Vinted FR
Vinted is a specialized online marketplace dedicated to secondhand clothing items and accessories. It allows individuals to sell, buy, and swap products through a single platform available on smartphones and computers, charging buyers a fee for their purchase and sellers to promote their products on the platform. Founded in Lithuania in 2008, Vinted has since expanded to the United States and a number of European countries.
Website: vinted.fr – Estimated monthly traffic: 29 Million visits
Fnac is originally a chain of stores selling cultural and electronic products including audio, books, CDs, computer software and hardware, DVDs, televisions, video games, and now even bicycles and small vehicles. Having expanded to Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Brazil, and Switzerland, Fnac has also developed its activities online through an e-commerce store.
Website: fnac.com – Estimated monthly traffic: 31.5 Million visits
4. Leroy Merlin
Leroy Merlin is a chain of retail stores specialized in home improvement and gardening. It operates self-service or sales-assisted service in large stores selling a number of tools and materials for DIY, home improvement, and gardening, which are also sold through the company’s e-commerce platform. Tracing its origins to 1923, Leroy Merlin has since expanded to various countries of Europe, China, South Africa, and Brazil.
Website: leroymerlin.fr – Estimated monthly traffic: 36.8 Million visits
3. eBay FR
A pioneer of e-commerce, eBay is an American online marketplace that allows people and businesses to sell directly through its online auction platform. Founded in 1995, eBay has expanded to more than 20 countries including France, organizing the sale of products ranging from cars and vehicles to electronics and fashion, home and garden to sports and toys, and even business and industrial products.
Website: ebay.fr – Estimated monthly traffic: 53 Million visits
Cdiscount is an e-commerce website providing a wide range of products including electronics, household appliances, media equipment, hygiene, family and baby care products, furniture, tools, gardening products, as well as groceries, and more. Founded in 1998, Cdiscount is a subsidiary of Groupe Casino, a French multinational retail company.
Website: cdiscount.com – Estimated monthly traffic: 67.3 Million visits
1. Amazon FR
Founded in the US in 1994, Amazon started as an online bookstore that later diversified to products including media, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys, and jewelry. Having expanded to many countries, including France, Amazon has become the uncontested global leader of e-commerce and developed further into brick-and-mortar retail with the acquisition of Whole Foods Market, as well as publishing, electronics, cloud computing, video streaming, and production.
Website: amazon.fr – Estimated monthly traffic: 212 Million visits
Top e-commerce websites in France compared by monthly traffic
The estimated monthly traffic from the top 10 e-commerce platforms previously listed demonstrate the domination of Amazon, which stands at 210 million monthly visits per month. The pack of followers is led by Cdiscount at 67 million with the others trailing in the range of traffic volumes from 15 to 55 million visits per month.
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Other leading e-commerce players in France
Besides these platforms operating through a wide array of products, one brand can also be highlighted for particularly standing out, even though it is not purely in the e-commerce market. Originally a classifieds platform that has evolved to provide some form of online payment, Leboncoin is not an online shop in itself. However, it does participate in the French e-commerce C2C landscape as it allows individuals to sell products through the platform, and with almost 200 million visits per month, it is well worth being remarked here.
We can also finally remark that the French digital population is also particularly fond of tourism and used to purchasing travel tickets and accommodation online. Among other airlines and hospitality sites, we can thus highlight that the global hotel bookings site, booking.com, has a significant proportion of its global traffic coming from France, with about 35 million visits per month from France. And multiple other European and global tourism websites display the same over-representation of visits from France, confirming the country’s appetite for travel.
Here are the top e-commerce platforms in France. Have you ever bought goods or services from them? How was the experience, is the price cheaper and the delivery convenient? Let us know in the comments below!