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New generation of shoppers: 27% of French people now prefer to shop online

Online shopping continues to grow in the wake of the pandemic. In France, over 27% of shoppers now prefer to make their purchases primarily online. This result places France 9th out of 13 countries in an international comparison carried out by Klarna, the leading banking, payment and shopping services provider, in its latest quarterly Shopping Pulse* update involving over 14,000 consumers.

Generation Z leads the way in digital transformation

This generation stands out as particularly fond of the online shopping experience, and favors online shopping for most product categories. However, in-store shopping is still preferred for food products (48% prefer to shop mainly in-store, 24% online).

Although online shopping is steadily increasing, traffic in physical stores was strong in the second quarter of 2022, as 71% of French shoppers made their purchases in physical stores, while 31% did the same online over the course of a week. The trend is reversed among the younger generations, who are more comfortable and confident with digital. Among members of Generation Z, the share of weekly shoppers is 57% in-store and 45% online. 

Shopping experience keeps stores popular

The majority of French people report a better overall customer experience in-store (61%) versus 39% online. This result is driven by baby-boomers (72%), Generation X (59%), Generation Z (54%) and millennials (57%), who still mainly prefer to buy in-store. 
Buyers' choice of purchasing preferences depends very much on whether they are looking to save time and money, or for better social interaction and more responsive customer service, which 85% currently consider to be in-store. However, when it comes to buying online, the main advantages are saving time (74%), money (72%) and a wider choice of products (70%). 

2 out of 3 Gen Zers turn to digital solutions to bridge the gap

Technological innovations are driving new behaviors and preferences, and the trend may well be reversing. Younger generations (24% of Generation Z and 22% of millennials) already believe they get better social interaction online than in-store. Social networks have a lot to do with this: 64% of Generation Z make purchases via social networks every month (versus 29% for older generations) and 24% have attended live shopping events (versus 10% for older generations).

Facebook no longer holds its own against Instagram and TikTok

TikTok and Instagram, the more visual alternatives to Facebook, are by far the most popular social networks for shopping among younger generations, with more than half of Generation Z members making a purchase on at least one of the platforms. Across the whole population, the share having made a purchase on Tik Tok has risen from 27 % to 33 %, and Instagram from 41 % to 47 % compared with the first quarter of 2022. Facebook has dropped in popularity from 58 % to 46 % and is no longer the most popular social network for purchases in France.

"French shopping habits are evolving with their lifestyles, reinforcing their confidence in digital and new omnichannel possibilities" comments Eric Petitfils, Director of Klarna in France. "Today, the French still prefer physical stores for their social interactions, even if new generations of shoppers are reversing the trend by turning to the flexibility and customer experience of online. To keep pace with this fundamental trend, retailers need to start investing in these new channels now, to best meet consumers' needs." 

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