Shopify conducted a survey of 24,000 consumers and 9,000 VSE/SMEs in 12 countries including France between September and October 2022. The goal: to better understand purchasing behavior as Black Friday approaches. On the French side, consumers are increasingly moving towards more thoughtful, environmentally friendly and connected commerce. Deciphering French buying trends with Emilie Benoit-Vernay, Head of southern Europe expansion.
Emilie Benoit-Vernay, Head of southern European expansion
With more than 15 years of international experience, Emilie has solid expertise in the fields of marketing and sales. He has worked at Shopify since 2018. Focused on inclusion and diversity, he is also a member of the Benevolence Council of the Diversidays association. In 2020, she was also nominated for the Woman Influencer of the Year award following the establishment of small business digitization support schemes at Shopify. Emilie has a Masters in Management from SKEMA Business School.
In this context of inflation, will the French spend as much as last year for Black Friday?
This year, what we see in Shopify is a certain duality, mainly generational: in the context of inflation, 37% of the French say they are careful with their wallet, but 74% of Generation Z say they want to buy as much number of years If we look at all age categories combined, more than half of French people (57%) intend to spend as much as last year for this Black Friday. For those planning to buy on Black Friday, 14% will spend up to 76 euros, 24% between 77 and 151 euros and 21% between 152 and 379 euros.
What types of products will the French favor for Black Friday? Why?
If French consumers want to indulge themselves, however, the study emphasizes an important point: attention is paid to the environmental impact of their purchases. In fact, three quarters (75%) of French consumers say they want to buy better quality products on Black Friday that will last over time.
Among these purchases, the products that French consumers will favor are fashion (34% of purchase intentions), electronic products such as televisions and computers (28%), followed by food (26%) and beauty (20%). This highlight also allows the French to save money and prepare for the holidays: 37% of French consumers intend to spend on gifts for their loved ones.
Beyond Christmas, shoppers are also planning to take advantage of Black Friday for individual treats, albeit at uncertain times. In fact, 68% of consumers in France seek to spend on small purchases that bring them pleasure at this time, a figure that rises to more than 70% for all age groups between 18 and 44 years old.
What are the notable differences between the buying behavior of the French and the Americans or other European countries?
65% of the French say they buy in a sustainable way and plan to continue their efforts or become more sustainable in 2023. France is positioned in the first position in terms of respect for the environment through international this study followed by Italy (64%), Germany (60%) and Spain (60%). At the bottom of the ranking, we see that the United States (52%), the United Kingdom (52%) and New Zealand (51%) have 13 points less.
Shopify is proud to support French merchants with strong environmental commitments such as Hopaal, which designs and manufactures clothing made from recycled materials, Angarde, which allows its customers to return their used pair of shoes free of charge to be turned into recycled rubber or Désirée Fleurs , dedicated to selling its customers seasonal flowers from local producers.
How does Gen Z stand out in terms of online shopping behavior?
Young people are the most enthusiastic about online shopping but also about social commerce. 44% of French Gen Z consumers (18-24 years old) and 37% of millennials (25-34 years old) are willing to buy through YouTube and 34% of Gen Z consumers are willing to buy on TikTok. YouTube is the most popular social network for purchases across all age groups (28%).
Are the French ready to buy on social networks? Which platforms are they most likely to buy from?
French consumers need to be encouraged to buy on social networks. Although merchants are enthusiastic about the opportunity that social commerce represents for young people, French consumers are more skeptical about this compared to consumers in other countries. For example, only 23% of them are willing to buy on Instagram, compared to 30% of consumers worldwide.
YouTube is the most popular social network for purchases, all age groups combined, with 28% of consumers in France willing to buy through this intermediary.
At Shopify, we promote consumer-connected (C2C) commerce. Today’s consumers crave a deeper connection, and brands that adapt to meet this need have a future. By partnering with major social commerce players such as YouTube, Pinterest or TikTok, we help bring merchants and content creators closer to their audiences by creating authentic and lasting links.
What do you think are the emerging trends in terms of social shopping?
A third of businesses surveyed (32%) say they are investing in social media to prepare for the future and ensure their resilience and nearly half (48%) say it’s more important than ever to reach consumers organically, word of mouth or social media. Of all the countries surveyed, French companies are the most convinced of this view.
The results of this study underscore the enormous opportunity that social commerce represents for the future. When we know that this market can represent 1.2 billion dollars in 2025, it is important that merchants grasp it and rethink their commercial relationship, to connect with the consumer wherever he is, by putting authenticity and trust at the heart of every interaction.
What advice would you give to e-merchants for the upcoming Black Friday?
In 2022, Black Friday shouldn’t just rhyme with “promotions galore.” We have merchants like Wopilo who use Black Friday carefully, in line with the changing mentality of the French. So my advice for merchants would be simple: make Black Friday your ally and not your enemy, by offering offers that match the new expectations of French retention and by connecting you to your consumers where they are, by varying formats. while remaining true to your brand DNA.