In Europe 75% of the adult population are regular Internet users. Some countries, among them France, are however lagging behind in terms of the number and type of devices used.
A recent report by Forrester Research, entitled The State of Consumers And Technology: Benchmark 2012, Europe, looks at the different levels of technology adoption among European consumers in five EU core countries: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, and examines the resulting behaviour of these consumers. While consumers in these countries certainly seem to be more ‘connected’ than ever, there are still disparities between countries in terms of “Internet adoption, technology usage, and sophistication”, notes Forrester. France appears to be lagging behind in relation to the other European countries in the study, particularly in comparison with the United Kingdom, which is the leading country in terms of equipment ownership, online shopping and consumption of online media.
‘Online adults in France are behind the curve in their adoption of consumer technology and devices.’…
Each of the countries examined has now integrated information and communication technology into the everyday lives of its consumers, and many Europeans now own several different types of connected devices. More than half of European online adults own two or more connected devices – the figure rising to 60% in Spain – and 22% have three or more. However, connected adults in France are behind the curve in their adoption of consumer technology and purchase of equipment. Half of French consumers own fewer than two connected devices, a percentage which is below the European average for consumer take-up of ICT, and the proportion owning specifically a portable computer, a smartphone and a tablet are respectively 56%, 42% and 7%, all three figures coming in below the European average of 59%, 45% and 9% respectively.
… but nevertheless make above-average use of e-commerce
However, despite France’s below-European-average ownership of connected devices, French Internet users are enthusiastic about using the web as a shopping channel, their 68% rate of online shopping working out above the European mean. In the first three months of 2013, seven out of ten French people went the e-commerce route, with an average shopping basket value of €221. The most popular e-commerce sites in France are Amazon, with 29% of the market (Amazon registers even higher in the United Kingdom and Germany at 59% and 56% respectively), Leclerc (16%) and Fnac (15%). However, while French people are now thoroughly comfortable with Internet usage on a daily basis, they lag slightly behind when it comes to using social networks. While 55% of French online adults have a Facebook account, a figure close to the European average of 58%, only 7% have so far signed up for a Twitter account, some way off the 18% of connected British and Spanish adults who have already joined the micro-blogging social network.