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22% of French consumers will have finished their Christmas shopping by the end of November


Published on: Dec 18, 2021


In collaboration with YouGov France, parcelLab surveyed more than 2,000 French consumers to identify their buying intentions as the holiday season approaches.

Here we are, the time of year that smells like bargains and low prices. An exciting, stressful and crucial time for retailers. According to Deloitte’s estimates, online sales are expected to grow between 11 and 15% in 2021 (vs 2020) worldwide. It is therefore, if we still had any doubts, a real highlight for all the players in the sector.

So what lessons should retailers draw from this data on consumer behavior? How can brands prepare for one of the most important moments of the year?

26% of French people will shop in stores this year

As we know, Covid has dramatically accelerated the growth of online sales over the past 18 months. Will the return to normalcy encourage consumers to go to stores to do their Christmas shopping? The question is divisive as 25% of French people say they will consume as much online as last year, while 20% will consume a little or a lot less. Finally, 26% will make their purchases in store (notably 31% of the 55+ age group) to save themselves the stress of delivery.

30% of French people found the uncertainty around deliveries frustrating, last year

Let’s face it, online shopping experiences in 2020 were not always flawless. Certainly the health context didn’t help, but from a general perspective, e-tailers could have done better, especially on the post-purchase phase. This is evidenced by our figures, as 30% of French people said that uncertainty about deliveries (will my package arrive on time?) was the biggest cause of frustration at the end of last year (ahead of budget management 28%).

And although possible delivery delays this year do not seem to be a concern for the French (only 11% are worried), 22% say they will be done shopping right after Cyber Monday. So there are those who plan ahead and those who are confident, as 40% also said they will start shopping in December.

94% of French people do not want to pay extra for faster shipping if orders are likely to be delayed

The French aren’t worried either. But what will they do if it turns out that delivery times (especially for toys) are a real problem? Well, 35% of them say that they will go to a store or a relay point to pick up their order, even if they prefer home delivery. However, there is no question of paying extra to speed up delivery, only 6% of French people are willing to do so.

To ensure that the package arrives on time under the Christmas tree, 43% of customers will have no qualms about turning to a retailer that offers better delivery options and 40% will opt for an “order online and pick up in store” option.


The majority of French people will start their Christmas shopping in December and will consume both online and in store to avoid being confronted with delivery delays. Delays and lack of communication during delivery clearly tarnished customer experiences last year. Retailers are warned that the express delivery option may not be the answer this year, but diversifying the options will help differentiate from the competition.

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