[Data] Panorama of the traffic on France’s largest e-commerce sites in 2021

How has the traffic on the major French e-commerce sites evolved over the last two years? What is the behaviour of Internet users in terms of frequency and time spent? While
retailers are engaged in a profound transformation of their activities towards digital, retail media and the exploitation of data, Mind Media deciphers trends through a selection of 20
major players in online retail. A study carried out with data provided by Médiamétrie for Q3 and Q4 2021.

Through Aymeric Marolleau. Published on 20 May 2022 à 18h18 - Update on 23 October 2022 à 12h09

[Data] Panorama of the traffic on France’s largest e-commerce sites in 2021

Covid-19 restrictions, confinements, closure of stores and more generally the restrictions imposed by the health crisis in 2020 and 2021 encouraged the use of e-commerce. In April 2021, for example, Fevad reported online sales up by 28% in France over one year (compared to April 2020) and 163% over two years (compared to April 2019).

The retail sector has particularly benefited from these new modes of consumption. In recent years, players have undertaken a profound digital transformation. The challenges are to increase online audiences and the collection of associated data in order to develop online sales activities, advertising and data revenues (e-retail media), and to improve customer
knowledge in a cross-channel logic. The online audience on e-commerce sites is therefore an important issue. We wanted to highlight the particularities of the sector through the study of 20 retailers in the Q4 2021,
using data provided by Médiamétrie.

The selection of 20 online retail players used in this article was made by mind Media, as was classification into 4 categories: Generalist, Home, Food and Private Sales. This list is intended to be representative of the sector but does not constitute an exhaustive or hierarchical classification, as activities are so different in nature. A top 15 of e-commerce sites is produced by Mediametrie for FEVAD and published each quarter, without any link with this selection.

Unsurprisingly, Amazon is by far the leading e-retailer in terms of traffic, with an average of 36.8 million unique visitors (UV) per month in France in Q4 2021. In the generalist category, Cdiscount follows with an average of 22.9 million unique visitors. In the Home category, Fnac is in first place in our panel with 19.1 million monthly unique visitors in the last quarter,
ahead of Leroy Merlin (12.6 million). In the food category, Carrefour is in first place (15.3 million) and Veepee is ahead of Showroomprivé for private sales (10.8 million against 8.2 million).

Q4 traditionally represents a key period for e-commerce sites, as they take advantage of Black Friday promotional operations and then Christmas holidays.
In Q4 2020, the number of monthly unique visitors was thus, on average, 25% higher than in the third half of 2019 before Covid (with increases of 110% for Casino and 34% for Darty, for example). We do not have figures for the other quarters. The trend returned to a more traditional pace by Q4 2021, as monthly UVs were only 13% higher on average than in Q3 2019. Some players, however, are in a less favourable situation than in 2018: Veepee, for example, had 3.6 million fewer monthly UVs, eBay 2.1 million and La Redoute 177,000.

There are real differences between the last quarters of 2020 and 2021. The majority of retailers have indeed experienced a clear increase in online traffic during the last three
months of 2020, due to the home confinement instituted from 30th October to 14th December. The generalist players like Amazon or Cdiscount benefited from increases of up to 20% of their monthly UV in the last quarter of 2020 compared to 2019, and those of the home universe like Darty, Fnac, But or Conforamav saw up to 50%. Progressions were real
but often less strong (up 8 to 15%) in Q4 2020 on the e-commerce sites of the GMS.

Over the last two years, from the end of 2019 to the end of 2021, the increase in monthly online audiences has been uniform among general retailers, with the exception of eBay, which has been in structural decline. For food sites, Leclerc's growth was notable over this same period (up by 9%), while Casino and Magasins U posted strong increases thanks to a
very favourable base effect - their audiences were very low in 2019. In the home, But and Leroy Merlin are building on the strongest audiences with respectively 40% and 23% growth in monthly unique audiences between the end of 2019 and the end of 2021.

The following year, in Q4 2021, a period without Covid-19 lockdown, online audiences logically slowed or decreased for many retailers. This is particularly true in the home universe (fall by 20% of unique visitors for Darty, down by 22% for La Redoute), even if some have made significant progress over two years (But and Leroy Merlin). However, over the
last three years (2019 to 2021), there has been a real increase in online audiences for the majority of the players on our panel.

A key point in e-commerce is the ability to generate recurring traffic. A comparison between the number of daily and monthly unique visitors gives us an indication of this.
Veepee had 2.2 million daily UVs in Q4 2021, almost as many as Cdiscount (2.3 million), while it has 12 million fewer monthly UVs than the Casino Group site. This is due to positioning around promotional offers offered during short periods.
With 23 daily UVs per 100 monthly UVs, Amazon has the best ratio, ahead of Veepee (20 daily UVs per 100 monthly UVs) and ShowRoomPrivé (17 daily UVs per 100 monthly UVs). Two sites in the home category, But and Conforama, seem to be the least addictive with only 5 daily UVs per 100 monthly UVs.

Already very strong in terms of daily and monthly unique visitors, and the ratio of the two, Amazon had a significant time spent per day per visitor in Q4 2021 with 12:24 minutes on average. Magasins U had 10:40 minutes of daily traffic per visitor, and Casino 6:19 minutes.
Fnac and Boulanger had 3:08 minutes and 3:12 minutes respectively.

A more detailed analysis of the evolution of the time spent by Internet users on e-commerce sites over the last four years provides additional information. Based on the time spent per visitor per day in the fourth quarter, there has been a general increase in daily visits to all online food retail brands over the last two years, from the end of 2019 to the end of 2021. In particular, the average daily time spent on Carrefour's media increased by 54 seconds,
Casino's by 4 minutes 57 seconds and Intermarché's by 1 minute 50 seconds.
Despite a fall in time spent between the end of 2020 and the end of 2021, the majority of food retailers have managed to retain a large part of their most loyal audience: consumption habits around the drive have been developed by the French, beyond periods of Covid-19 lockdown in 2020.
Conversely, after attracting and retaining a large number of visitors in 2020, the household brands (DIY, electronics, decoration) had more difficulty retaining audiences in 2021, if we use the criterion of daily time spent (with Q4 as the reference period). Boulanger, Fnac and La Redoute show an increase in daily time spent, but less sustained.

Note - This study was carried out by mind Media using data measured and transmitted by Médiamétrie, via its Global Internet Audience measurement. The list of 20 online retail players was compiled by mind Media according to the level of activities in e-commerce, e- retail media and data. The choice of indicators was also made by mind Media. This panel is intended to be representative of the retail players using data and online advertising on their media but does not constitute an exhaustive ranking. A top 15 of e-commerce sites is produced by Médiamétrie for FEVAD and published each quarter, without any link with this panel.

Retail: Retail is the activity of retail trade. The sector brings together retailers who sell large quantities of articles and finished products to individual consumers (B2C activity). mind Media selected 20 retailers on this panel on the basis of online audience volume, activities in
e-commerce, retail media and data, and business volumes.

Measurement methodology: The Global Internet Audience measurement is based on a unique panel of more than 25,000 people aged 2 years?? and over, including 6,200 Internet users equipped with two or three screens (computer and/or mobile phone and/or tablet), which enables the 'native' measurement of the global audience of more than 7,000 brands
and 1,000 applications. The measurement benefits from the innovative hybrid methodologies combining panels and big data developed by Médiamétrie. From this global measurement, audience results are derived for each screen: computer, mobile phone and tablet. The measurement takes into account Internet users' surfing regardless of location,
connection mode (3G/4G/Wifi) or protocol (http/https) for all sites and applications.

Brand ("B"): The Brand is the "brand" level. A Brand is an aggregate of domains, sub-domains and/or pages identified by the same logo in a coherent and homogeneous way.

Brand "T": Brands participated in the study by implementing a tag on at least 50% of their perimeter.

Unique visitors per month: Total number of Internet users who visited a group or a brand at least once during the month in question, regardless of where they were connected: home, work, other locations. Internet users who have visited the same group (or brand) several times are counted only once.

Average unique visitors per week: Average number of Internet users who visited a group or brand at least once during a week for the month concerned. Internet users who visited the same site several times during the day are only counted once.

Average unique visitors per day: Average number of internet users who visited a group or brand at least once a day during the month in question. Internet users who visited the same site several times during the day are counted only once.