The 2014 summer sales are closed and it’s time to take stock of these sales. There were more french consumers than the previous year but they reduced their spending in stores and on Internet. Nevertheless, e-commerce profits from theses sales thanks to an increase in online business dealings. It managed to have a growth of its turnover. So, what are the figures and causes explaining these results ?

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Less huge amount spent by french consumers during the 2014 summer sales …
According to 78 % of shopkeepers, it’s due to many reasons. On the one hand, the decrease in purchasing power, bad weather, sales or every day low price are some of the reasons explaining these results. On the other hand, consumers are no longer happy when they buy in outlets due to the economic crisis. Firstly, french consumers don’t buy products which aren’t necessary because of this economic crisis. They are on a tight budget in purchasing above all products like clothes. Other products are bought by them before the start of the new school year. Secondly, impulse buying could come at any time if consumers have a high budget. For example, privated sales in warehouses were coming just before the beginning of summer sales. 63 % of parisian shops used them. Year-to-date, 70 % of these shops are satisfied with it.
… but e-commerce manages to benefit from them
Indeed, its market share is rising from year to year during sales to the detriment of stores. 64 % of them are aware of it. It’s up 10 % on last year.
What are the explanations ? At first, online sales supply consumers with faster and diversificated services. They meet the client’s requirements. For example, it’s possible to deliver products to the customer’s home. It can be a point of sale or a store too. Then, consumers avoid going into stores because of crowds, and they benefit from easier returns. Décathlon and Zara use this cross-channel strategy in order to get a developing customer’s loyalty. Products of new technologies are more and more sold online when sales come. Finally, consumers have attractive price reduction or preferential rates during the first days of sales. It ranges from -70 % to – 80 %. Yet, french consumers buy in moderation.
According to Certissim et Gfk, the number of e-procurement rises by 18 % during these summer sales on last year. The sales figure increases in 6 % while the average budget from online consumers decreases in 30 euros (-10 %), from 291 euros to 261 euros. According to F.E.V.A.D., online summer sales have a growth of 11% amongst the top three weeks on last year.
French companies called « Spartoo » and « Sarenza » are specializing in online shoe trade.Their turnover rose respectively by 15 % and by 17 % in summer sales. As for « Brandvalley », its turnover increased in 10 % thanks to its online sales of clothes. 25 % of them were on mobile and 20 % on tablet. 30 % of its sales figure come from mobiles. The cross-channel strategy is used by this group too.
… despite different results depending on consumers, regions and days
In 2014 summer sales, 40 % of consumers payed a little more attention to good bargains. 33% of them had a higher budget than on last years. Regarding their behaviour of purchasing, 25 % buy reasonability and 35 % are against online shopping.
The Nord-Pas-de-Calais area is the french region where the growth of business dealings was the strongest during these summer sales on last year. The Basse-Normandie and the Picardie regions arrive second and third. These three areas deal with more than 20 % of increase in e-procurement.
The Corse area is the region where the average budget from online consumers was the highest. 302 euros spent on average by each online consumer during summer sales. The Nord-Pas-de-Calais is the region where this average budget was the lowest. 224 euros spent on average by each online consumer.
Half the e-commerce turnover got during these summer sales 2014 come from the Ile-de-France, the Rhône-Alpes and the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur regions.
As for the best online sales, seven days reached a peak. E-procurement was twice more important on the first day of these sales (+ 132 %) than another classic day in the year. This result is true if we take the huge of products bought online as well as their value. The second and the third Wednesday of the summer sales are other days reaching a peak (+90 and +75 %). E-customers were looking forward to these second and third mark-down in order to profit from preferantial tariffs. In fact, Wednesdays and Sundays are the best days chosen by e-consumers to buy on Internet.
Owing to the present crisis, households must have to remain within budget. Even if the turnover of small website decreased in 48 % during these summer sales, e-commerce benefit from french summer sales 2014. In general, its turnover rise at the cost of shops. It should be go on next years unless a future economic growth.
Etudiant en Master 2 Droit de l’économie numérique à l’université de Strasbourg (67)

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