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

22% of French consumers will have finished their Christmas shopping by the end of November
Published on: Dec 18, 2021
Updated: Aug 18, 2022

In collaboration with YouGov France, parcelLab surveyed more than 2,000 French consumers to identify their buying intentions in the run-up to the festive season.

Here we are, the time of year that smells of 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 the year 2021 (vs. 2020) worldwide. So, if there was any doubt, this is a real highlight for all the players in the sector.

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

26% of French people will shop in-store 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 into shops to do their Christmas shopping? The question is divisive as 25% of French people say they will spend as much online as last year, while 20% will spend a little or a lot less. Finally, 26% will make their purchases in shop (notably 31% of those aged 55 and over) 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. The health situation has not helped, but from a general point of view, e-tailers could have done better, especially in the post-purchase phase. As our figures show, 30% of French people said that uncertainty about deliveries (will my parcel 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 finished shopping just 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 are not 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 shop or a relay point if necessary to collect their package ordered online, despite a preference for home delivery. However, paying extra to speed up delivery is out of the question, as only 6% of French people are prepared to do so.

To ensure that the parcel 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 shop 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 options will help to differentiate from the competition.

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