Representing nearly 60% of trade in France, EU is French market’s main trading partner. Nearly half of French consumers regularly buy from merchants in another country. Cross-border e-commerce is the fastest growing e-commerce segment in France.
A web presence has become a must for any businesses. Moreover, distancing rules imposed by the health crisis strengthen this trend. This strategic orientation also gives access to new opportunities beyond borders.
You want to succeed in the French market thanks to the Web? Here is an efficient way, tested and validated for several years with several businesses.
The subsequent sections provide essential information any business needs to know about France:
1. Figures on Internet use in France
2. The level of digital maturity in France
3. My 3-step method to boost your business flow in France thanks to the Web
First, let’s have a look at Internet usage in France.
1. Figures on Internet usage in France
In January 2021, France had:
• 59.47 million users (+ 2.5% vs 2020) with a penetration rate of 91.0%.
• 49.60 million social network users (+ 13% vs. 2020).
• 67.21 million mobile connections (+ 0.2% vs. 2020).
(Sources 1 and 2)
2. Digital maturity level in France
Business digital maturity, as well as consumer digital maturity, differs from country to country.
– According to European digital maturity 2020 data, the social media usage score is the lowest in Europe.
– Regarding SMEs and online sales, there are differences between scores among countries. France has the same score as Poland, but a lower score than Czech Republic or Croatia.
– According to the French government, “while 67% companies in France have a website, only 39% have a presence on at least one social network and 55% work with employees who regularly use the Internet for work. « (Extract from Source 3)
These data demonstrate the diversity of digital maturity levels from one country to the other. To boost your business development in France thanks to the Web, you need to:
- study your French target digital behavior
- design a fully adapted digital marketing and communication plan.
3. My 3-step method to boost your business development in France thanks to the Web
3a. Knowing your French prospects and customers behaviour on Internet
Interviews or surveys conducted with your targets in France make it possible to collect a great deal of very useful information. The data obtained contributes to:
– Think about a specific digital marketing strategy for each of the segments *
– Develop a digital marketing plan with actions at each stage of the customer journey
– Design web content based on expectations and incorporating elements of vocabulary.
* Do not forget to properly segment your target market according to specific variables depending on whether you are addressing the BtoC market or the BtoB market. The digital marketing strategy will be based on each segment characteristics.
|Business to Consumer market||Business to Business market|
|• Demographic variables: age, sex, income, culture, profession||• Company characteristics: geographic location, size …|
|• Role of the product in your customer||• Purchasing behavior: frequency of purchase, volume purchased, type of purchase, price sensitivity,|
|• Geographic variables: region, urban, rural, …||•Rôle du produit chez votre client|
|• Psychographic variables: lifestyle, personality, social class||• Business heart, safety, well-being at work, simple approach…|
|• Behavioral variables: desired benefits, frequency of purchases, occasion of use, …||• Expectations / product: performance, quality, durability, economic nature, ease of use,|
|• Benefits linked to the seller: delivery, service, reputation, etc.|
3b. Creating the « buyer persona », essential to individualize the marketing approach
The concept of “buyer persona” makes it possible to create a typical profile of an ideal French customer, to clearly identify his habits and needs, his frustrations and problems, his customer journey, as well as the way in which he takes decisions.
This step is essential for an ultra-personalized digital marketing and communication approach. The return on investment will be much better than a general action with a large audience.
3c. Designing a winning digital marketing plan in France
With all collected data, it is easy to imagine a digital marketing strategy aligned with your target, its expectations and its behavior. Are your personas more on LinkedIn or do they never go on social networks? Do they shop easily on Internet, or do they prefer a referral from a loved one? …
Once the best channels have been identified, your digital marketing plan has to be developed including all the actions to be implemented over a year. For each action, it is important to specify the expected result, the budget and the resources allocated as well as the duration to achieve the expected result. Thus, you will be able to control and measure the return on investment of each action, then decide to renew them.
1 https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2021-france –
3 https://www.francenum.gouv.fr/comprendre-le-numerique/le-numerique-en-france) –