There are some things that we probably take for granted about French consumers without even really thinking about it.
For example, isn’t it the case that shopping for expensive perfumes and fashionable clothes on the Champs Elysées is what every Parisian loves doing most? Well, while there is no denying that shopping in the country’s famous stores, streets and markets is fabulous there are also a few surprises lurking when we look into the spending habits and consumer behaviour of the French.
Does online shopping have that je ne sais quoi?
It is no surprise to see the likes of Amazon and eBay on the list of the most popular shopping sites in France, with Amazon getting over 15 million unique customers each month. Other popular websites for shopping include La Redoute (fashion) and Cdiscount (mainly electronic goods).
France is rated in the top 6 in terms of the world’s biggest ecommerce markets with only the UK and Germany ahead of it in Europe. Around 7% of the total amount of shopping done here is carried out online, amounting to some €65 billion, which is around 400 billion francs for those who never got over the currency change.
In terms of how many people here use the internet for shopping, figures from 2013 suggest that around half of the country experimented with online purchases. 2015 then saw online sales growth of 17%, with 64% of users buying over the internet. Clothing is traditionally the most popular segment of the online shopping market, with travel and tourism in second place.
French YouTube stars à gogo
Just like the rest of the world, the French love YouTube. But c’mon who doesn’t depend on YouTube in the year 2017?
Indeed, this is the 3rd most popular site in France and not too far behind Facebook either. One gamer known as Squeezie and another comedian Cyprien are cited as being among the most followed French YouTubers, with over 8 million and 10 subscribers, respectively.
Check out some of Cyprien’s videos – even if you can’t speak the language you’ll get a gist of why the French love him!
In terms of music, French DJ David Guetta has one of the most watched channels. Humourist Rémi Gaillard has another of the most popular YouTube channels. Interestingly, Dailymotion is a French-based video site that is becoming increasingly popular and is now ranked in the country’s top 30 most popular sites.
Of course, with so many people watching YouTube, it is no surprise to see that this offers a very popular way of reaching out to customers. International brands and national advertisers see video as being a way of getting their message through to customers.
It is worth bearing in mind that 70% of YouTube content in the country is viewed by young men.
Is television now too blasé?
So, with millions of French people now happily watching YouTube videos and shopping online, does that mean that television is now a thing of the past for viewers here? The answer is a resounding “non” and a Gallic shrug of the shoulders.
To start with, the most popular TV channels here are TF1, France 2 and M6 and they still attract massive audiences.
Broadly speaking, TV viewing figures have remained consistently high in recent years, with video on demand services such as streaming increasing greatly in popularity at the same time. The rise in the number of people paying for their TV here has been sharper than in the UK, Germany and Spain.
Clearly, this is a nation of television lovers and it sits in third place in terms of the countries with the highest levels of TV viewing in Western Europe. The average time spent by each person watching television is close to 4 hours per day.
What type of advertising is regarded as being par excellence?
With the increase in YouTube usage and online shopping that we have seen, it is unsurprising to see the digital advertising has grown enormously in recent years. Much of this is aimed at social media sites.
In particularly, spending on highly targeted programmatic advertising shot up to an impressive €639 million in 2016.
In addition, traditional forms of advertising remain strong here. Billboards on the street and in railway stations, TV advertising during peak viewing times and newspaper advertising continue to be powerful ways of reaching out to certain sectors of the French public.
Overall, we can clearly see that new and exciting forms of advertising currently co-exist with the more traditional methods that have been around for a long time. Making a success of an advertising campaign in this country starts with some research into the type of consumer you want to attract and what is likely to appeal to them.
What advertising accents are currently en Vogue
As with English voice overs, there are a number of different accents in French that can be used to convey different messages and feelings. Apart from the different accents from the various regions of France, there is also the likes of Quebec French and Belgian French to take into account.
To a native, each of these different accents will give a different impression of the speaker, just as different accents have the same effect in English. Metropolitan French – as spoken by the cool cats in Paris – is considered the standard accent but others can be highly effective at certain times too.
You might want to check out the current trends for the type of ad that you want to make or the type of product or service you want to promote. If you can see that other people are having great success with a certain type of voice over then perhaps it’s time to use the same approach.