The ecommerce sales for buying products on the internet is well embedded in French consumerism and France is the third largest ecommerce market in Western Europe. Driven by a long history of traditional mail order the supporting logistics market is well developed with strong competition to the local postal incumbent (La Poste). In terms of delivery cost France lags behind other European countries like Germany and the Benelux and, in part, this efficiency disadvantage has been ‘circumvented’ by delivery to Pick-Up Point avoiding the cost of the last half-mile. Cross-border commerce is still only a fraction of total and in many cases the returns management and reverse logistics is considered to be a main prohibitive factor.

Reverse Logistics Return ratios for online sales range from 7% for general goods to 15 % for electronics and over 40% for fashion. For over 70% of online shoppers an easy returns solution is a key decision factor in their buying decision. Returns, or rather the ease of same, therefore; drive sales.

What distant sellers need to realize primarily in the electronics and battery area is that it is obligatory to register the quantity of items that are put to market. The so called European WEEE regulation obliges manufacturers and retailers to be registered and report also the items that are taken back from the market. In many cases there are also options to prevent items ending up to be classified as waste and create a second life with specialized refurbishing companies. Britcom is a key player in domestics appliances and smaller electronics, but there are also good options via Ebay. [1]


Of the top delivery methods in France, home delivery is the most popular and chosen by 83% of consumers. However, other methods are also popular: in second place is the cheaper option of delivery to a pick-up point; whereas click and collect comes in third, which can allow consumers to obtain the product quickly and even try it before finalising the purchase.[2]

Import Duties

The standard VAT rate for importing items into France is 20%, with certain products attracting VAT at a reduced rate of 10%, and some at a super reduced rate of 5.5% or 2.1%. VAT is calculated on the value of the goods, plus the international shipping costs and insurance, plus any import duty due.[3]



66.9 million


$2,465 billion

OECD Risk Score: