E-commerce in France

In 2019 b2c E-commerce in France was worth 103.4 billion euros and was 4.31% of the french GDP. One year later E-commerce had an increase of 11.4% resulting in 115.2 billion euros in 2020. It’s forecasted that E-commerce will reach 4.63% of the country’s GDP.

On Friday 26 March 2021 the Netherlands Business Council France organised a webinar commissioned by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands: E-commerce in France. 

Meet the experts: 
Inge Janssen, Head of Public Affairs at Booking.com
Barbara Vogel, Head of Legal and Cédric Beeris, Country Manager France at de Bijenkorf
Alban Curral, partner at CARLARA Carbonnier Lamaze Rasle & Associés

Do you have questions about E-commerce? Write your question to az@nfcc.fr
Our experts will answer your question and we will publish all questions and answers here online.

Presentations & Recordings
View the presentation of Carlara
View the presentation of de Bijenkorf.fr
View the presentation of Booking.com

Watch the webinar:

Environment & Packaging 

Environmental laws and the packaging law in France are a substantial factor for compliance not only for French companies, but also for cross-border e-commerce. In accordance with the EU packaging waste directive, any business that sells packaged goods to French end-consumers needs to register their packaging with a French recycling scheme.

Unfortunately, EU countries have not yet managed to create a unified recycling scheme for the whole European market. Therefore, a packaging license must be obtained in France as well as in other EU member states separately. 


German Chamber of Commerce in France (AHK)

Environmental regulations are a significant aspect of Franco-Dutch trade and play an important role in business decisions. Would you like to know your obligations? Or do you have any questions? Experts at the German Chamber of Commerce can explain you more in detail

Anouk Zoet
via az@nfcc.fr for more information

Tax  ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

From 1 July 2021 new rules concerning tax in Europe

Two examples of the new European rules are the lower threshold for distance selling and a new and simplified tax declaration so that you do not have to declare and pay VAT separately in every country. Would you like to know more and join a webinar?

For more information, please read the article about Tax rules on E-commerce in Europe (in Dutch) on the website of KVK.nl


Webinars (in Dutch):

31 maart 2021
De Belastingdienst organiseert de webinar Goede start met de Belastingdienst. Als u een bedrijf start, moet u direct veel zaken regelen. Ook rondom belastingen. Tijdens dit gratis online live event krijgt u antwoord op uw vragen over belastingen. 

20 april 2021
De Belastingdienst organiseert de webinar btw e-commerce voor webshop ondernemers. Tijdens deze digitale bijeenkomst wordt de nieuwe regeling, wijzigingen en gevolgen voor webshops besproken.


Q: @Alban Curral: Right to withdraw within 14 days, also for reservations of holiday rental and when does these 14days start? After the 1st payment?
A: The right of withdrawal provided by the French Consumer Code does not apply to holiday rental. The consumer has a period of fourteen calendar days to exercise his/her right of withdrawal, without having to give any reason or incur any penalties. The period shall run from the date of receipt of the product.

Q: @Cedric, webshop met Magento, Mirakl of eigen ontwikkeling ?
A: We have a custom-built solution

Q: @Barbara, what online payment options are popular in France?
A: “Carte Bancaire” (bank cards: the most common being Visa and Mastercard). Amex is now bigger and bigger since they reduced their fees on January 2020. Paypal is a plus.

Q: @Barbara when selling through our website there are very high costs for payments at sellers side. (o.a. credit card) how are you cooping with this?
A: We work with an intermediary payments platform

Q: @Cedric: how do you approach building the brand awareness in the french market 
A: As we are only an ecommerce platform in France, our customers are online buyers and we focus on digital marketing channels to reach them.

Q: @Barbara: how do you deal with shipping costs (and the differences per regions?)
A: We ship from our warehouse in the Netherlands and work with local and international partners with who we agreed nation-wide shipping fees.

Q: @Barbara What amount was allocated to this new project to launch French online business? and with how many people involved intern / extern?
A: We’ve developed this project mainly inhouse with an Ecommerce team of about 140 people, directly or indirectly, involved. We had external legal and tax advise. 

Q: @Barbara/Cedric: We want to sell a product B2C in France which is very large and heavy weighted (40 kg) so we struggle with finding the right transporter. In France, they want to send products >30 kg on pallets but we do not prefer that. I am not sure if Bijenkorf sells big products as well but if you do, do you have tips?
A: We have no experience with heavy-weight items.
Alban: La Poste ships parcels <30kg. I know that TNT use pallets from 70kg. Below that, you should be good to go (https://www.tnt.com/express/fr_fr/site/envoi-colis/envoi-gros-colis.html)

Q: @Barbara. Do you work with French SEO / SEM agency?
A: We have French SEO specialists inhouse in our office in Amsterdam.

Q: @Cedric: do you also have a specific focus on selling French Brands via the Bijenkort website? or only one from NL? For example: Made in France branded?
A: We want to make our offer as relevant as possible for the French consumers and will be adding more relevant French brands in the future.

Q: @Inge is the site locally adapted as well?
A: A number of local regulatory requirements are reflected on our frontend

Q: @Inge Do you use internal or external reviews systems or both?
A: We only use our internal review system: every booker is invited to leave a review after checkout. This way we can verify that we only have reviews from people that have actually stayed at the accommodation.

Q: @ Inge do you translate all your reviews?
A: Yes. Next to a large team of language specialists who can translate and localise content, we have developed our own inhouse translation tool based on machine learning that translates content such as reviews in up to 42 languages.