France and Germany Ecommerce Forecasts 2021

Digital Gains Are Consolidated as Physical Retail Rebounds

Executive Summary

Ecommerce was thriving in France and Germany before the coronavirus pandemic—and then received a further boost from the crisis. Brick-and-mortar retail, by contrast, suffered huge disruptions. In 2021, some rebalancing will occur.

How did the pandemic change our forecasts for total retail sales in France and Germany?

Pre-pandemic, we predicted that total retail sales in France would rise 1.4% in 2020; instead, they shrank by 4.6%. In Germany, retail suffered much less. We originally expected retail sales there to grow 1.1% in 2020 but now estimate the gain at 1.3%. This year, total retail sales are expected to rebound in France, with 3.8% growth. In Germany, the rise will be more modest, at 0.5%.

How much will consumers in France and Germany spend on retail ecommerce in 2021?

Both countries will pass milestones in 2021, as sales reach $81.03 billion (€71.06 billion) in France and $101.20 billion (€88.75 billion) in Germany. Annual growth rates will decline to single digits this year, as some retail trade returns to physical stores.

How fast will mcommerce retail sales grow in France and Germany in 2021?

Retail mcommerce sales continue to rise faster than ecommerce sales overall. We anticipate 13.8% year-over-year (YoY) growth in mobile sales in France in 2021, lifting sales to $31.28 billion (€27.43 billion). In Germany, a 9.1% YoY increase will boost mcommerce sales to $42.51 billion (€37.28 billion).

How big a role will social commerce play in these key European markets this year?

Buying via social platforms isn’t yet widespread in France and Germany. That said, we expect nearly 23% of internet users in France to be social buyers this year. Internet users in Germany are less engaged; fewer than one in five will buy via social networks in 2021.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report highlights our latest forecasts for retail, retail ecommerce, mcommerce sales, and digital buyers in France and Germany. It also looks at the pandemic’s impacts on retail ecommerce in 2020 and 2021.

KEY STAT: Across Western Europe, retail ecommerce jumped 29.4% in 2020. This year, France and Germany will both post single-digit gains, with digital sales reaching $81.03 billion (€71.06 billion) and $101.20 billion (€88.75 billion), respectively.

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Total Retail, Ecommerce, and Mcommerce Sales: A Mixed Picture for the EU’s Two Biggest Markets
  3. Total Retail Sales in France and Germany by Product Category
  1. Ecommerce and Mcommerce Buyers, Including Social Buyers
  2. Cross-Border Ecommerce
  3. Key Takeaways
  1. Read Next
  2. Sources
  3. Media Gallery

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Karin von Abrams


Bill Fisher
Senior Analyst
Peter Newman
Senior Forecasting Analyst
Oscar Orozco
Director, Forecasting
Shelleen Shum
Senior Director, Forecasting
Peter Vahle
Forecasting Analyst

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