dotmailer is a platform with global ambitions, so when a chance to dive into new markets arises, we’re always at the fore to take the plunge. Client Services Director, Skip Fidura has the lowdown on our latest international engagement, IR xChange, Paris.
Above: Place du Tertre at Sunset – the famous market square of Montmartre where local painters display their work for tourists to view and buy.
The rise of London as a key European technology hub has been mirrored by a desire for the British to see our software and hardware power the services of the world.
With this in mind, the global publisher Internet Retailing, in conjunction with UKTI (UK Trades and Investments) and FEVAD (Fédération e-commerce et vente à distance), are debuting a new initiative – IR xChange, later this week (16-17 July)
What is it?
The event is billed as the first part of a pan-European initiative, aimed at breaking down the borders of European eCommerce, promoting great British products that can potentially power French brands. dotmailer is delighted to be part of the first delegation to meet with key European retailers that operate across continental borders.
Ian Jindal, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Internet Retailing, says of the project:
‘While commerce is inherently local, the skills and interest that bind multichannel professionals together are global. This event is to facilitate and stimulate conversation between the retail elite in the UK and France. We’re incredibly grateful to the UKTI and the British Embassy for hosting this important gathering.’
But why France?
The importance of French eCommerce cannot be understated. By the end of 2014, there will be over 144,000 active French eCommerce sites, serving over 34 million French online consumers, over a million more than last year. French business intelligence firm Bisnode, identified that nearly half of surveyed smartphone users said email was their preferred channel for receiving marketing communications from brands, and that it prompts over half of French internet users to make a purchase, either online, in a store or by mail order.
Coupled with this, is the story that French buying power has a massive trans-border presence. In 2013, almost 15% of French online shoppers bought cross-border – 50% of those bought from European web merchants, 41% from German websites and 25% purchased cross-border from non-EU websites.
Currently, the French seem to prefer the materiality of physical stores – physical retail still accounts for over 90% of retail trade, and over 75% of shoppers surveyed in 2012 said they’d rather buy from bricks-and-mortar stores. However, times and attitudes change and the French e-commerce market is forecast to be worth 90€ billion by 2020 (Xerfi-Percepta / WARC).
A maturing market
France presents a massive opportunity for service brands. Magento, one of the world’s most prolific eCommerce platforms has a massive 30% share in the market, which continues to grow exponentially. As a key Magento partner, dotmailer is in a unique position to empower French online retailers to grow through smarter, and more human digital marketing.
British technology suppliers would be wise to try and grab a slice of the tarte tatin while they can. Expect updates and insights over the coming weeks, as we share all we’ve learned from our Gallic cousins. I will be tweeting from our travels, so follow me on Twitter and join in the conversation via #IRParis14.