PARIS: An increasing number of consumers are buying goods and services using the internet in France, driving up e-commerce revenues by almost a third in the first quarter of this year.

According to Fevad, the industry body, online sales in the country climbed by 30% in the opening three months of 2010 to €7.2bn ($9.3bn; £6.2bn).

Some 77 billion transactions were completed on the web in this period, equivalent to 28% of the total posted over the course of 2009 as a whole.

In all, 25 million netizens have now acquired products via the internet, an improvement of 15% when compared with Q1 2009.

This also equates to more than two-thirds of the entire online population, which Médiamétrie has suggested currently stands at 35 million netizens.

Moreover, the value of the average purchase jumped from €89 to €93 in Q1 2010 year-on-year, with the travel sector recording the fastest revenue growth, up by 20% on an annual basis, Fevad said.

People over the age of 65 and individuals in the highest income bracket were among the demographics that have taken to shopping on the web in greater numbers than ever before.

Fevad also indicated that the density of online retail sites has expanded by 16,000 portals in the last 12 months to nearly 67,000 in all.

Based on the positive trends observable in the market at present, the organisation estimated that total e-commerce sales could reach €32.5bn in 2010.

Médiamétrie has previously revealed that eBay was the most popular e-tail site in France in Q1 with 11.2 million visitors, with PriceMinistor on 10.7 million, La Redoute on 10.1 million and Amazon 9.3 million.

Data sourced from Le Monde; additional content by Warc staff