France has provided more signs of becoming an e-commerce force to be reckoned with after recording an 11% increase in web sales year on year, based on a comparison of readings from Q1 2013 and Q1 2014.

The latest set of figures show business growing hugely over the last year, with this possibly coming from increases in both online buyers and sellers within the country.

Widespread growth

According to stats from FEVAD, France’s industry association for e-commerce, the number of transactions conducted over the internet rose by 15% in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same period last year.

A total of €13.4 billion was spent over the internet in France during the first three months of 2014 as more consumers warmed to the idea of online shopping. Although the average basket value fell 4% year on year to €81.5, a 4% rise in buyers over the same period helped overall revenues grow.

To ensure they were well-served, FEVAD said the number of companies selling online in France grew by 17% between Q1 2013 and Q1 2014.

This equates to an additional 21,000 sites, meaning there are now 144,000 active e-retailers in the country.

Positives outweigh negatives

Other readings from FEVAD suggested that while a modest drop in basket values may be a blotch on the country’s web business copybook, this could be an example of changing attitudes towards online shopping.

The group was quick to declare that a slight drop in the average order has been counterbalanced by an increase in the average frequency of purchase, which rose to six per quarter in Q1 2014, showing a rise of 10% year on year.

Sales are currently strong in the business-to-business sector, which recorded a 9% rise in revenue over the year, while consumer sites saw their takings rise by 8% over the same period.