France is considered one of the most renowned names in the global market for clothes and accessories, and Paris is often referred to as the ‘fashion capital of the world’.
So it is no surprise that when it comes to online shopping, ‘fashion’ is one of the most popular ecommerce categories in the country, providing online retailers with a fantastic opportunity to sell to a highly engaged audience.
Although France offers shoppers an enormous variety of fashion ecommerce sites and branded web stores, e-marketplaces represent very powerful and lucrative sales channels in this category, which retailers cannot afford to ignore.
Global online platforms, such as Amazon and eBay are important players in the fashion segment, yet they only account for a small proportion of the shoppers looking for clothes and accessories online.
With the tastes of French shoppers being very particular and country-specific, local e-marketplaces have proved to be the most successful sales channels in the country.
The key e-marketplaces retailers operating in this segment need to consider, when expanding into France, are: La Redoute, Brand Alley, Galeries Lafayette and Zalando.
La Redoute is a catalogue company with a long history in France, and is the most popular fashion website in the country. La Redoute has a presence in 26 countries, has more than 9.2 million unique visitors per month and offers over 1,000 well-known brands.
With the launch of its online marketplace in 2010, laredoute.fr, international retailers and brands can now easily distribute their fashion product offerings to La Redoute’s 11 million active buyers.
The marketplace already represents 15% of the company’s global turnover and shows a steady year-on-year growth, having enjoyed a 30% increase in the number of new partners in 2014 alone.
Having started as a private sales and flash sales company for clothes and accessories,BrandAlley evolved into a permanent online marketplace in 2011.
Today, BrandAlley is one of the strongest sales channels in the fashion category in France, offering more than 60,000 products, from nearly 2,000 brands.
Brand Alley functions as a standard e-marketplace, but it can also provide brands and retailers with a logistics solution.
An iconic department store and a leading player in the French ecommerce landscape, Galeries Lafayette launched their online marketplace in September 2013, as a way to expand their catalogue and offer a complete shopping experience to their customers.
The marketplace allows selected brands and professional sellers to market their products directly on Galerieslafayette.com, getting access to the site’s millions of visitors.
In 2014, the marketplace activity represented as much as 10% of all online revenues of the company, and more than 60,000 new products from independent sellers were added in just six months after the launch of the marketplace.
Having started as a traditional shoes e-tailer in Germany, today Zalando is one of the most popular destinations for online shopping when it comes to clothes, accessories, sports items and luxury goods.
Following the launch of its online marketplaces in Germany and the Netherlands, in 2013, Zalando also introduced its online shopping platform in France, zalando.fr. The marketplace allows third party sellers to benefit from Zalando’s prominent high quality service and market their product offerings to the website’s 14.7 million active customers.
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