PARIS: Consumers in France are increasingly turning to ecommerce to find better deals, largely as a result of the challenging economic climate, a study has found.

IFOP, the research firm, surveyed 1,000 internet users, and reported that 91% had made a purchase online in the last year, typically completing 13 transactions each.

Some 44% of respondents were now engaging in such an activity with greater frequency due to the adverse financial situation, and 11% were today buying "much more" via this route.

"Online shopping has become an integral part of consumption habits because it is speedy, and consumers don't have to leave home," Frédéric Micheau, IFOP deputy director, said, Internet Retailer reported.

This trend was especially pronounced for 25-34 year olds, but applied across all age groups and income levels.

Many participants, however, had experienced problems when making purchases, and 27% of the sample even asked for a refund in the last year due to issues with delivery.

An 18% share of interviewees had been sent something they did not order and 15% discovered their goods were damaged. Moreover, 13% never received their products.

Elsewhere, 14% of the panel agreed online retailers missed the set delivery time and 18% suggested vendors had not told them about amendments to these arrangements.

More broadly, 28% of those polled had previously seen at least one order cancelled because of stock shortages.

A further 32% of contributors expressed dissatisfaction that retailers had failed to provide them with recompense or benefits, such as a discount, when they faced difficulties.

For 55% of shoppers, the price of delivery discouraged them from making more online purchases, and 21% believed the information about these fees was unclear.

Similarly, 20% of French buyers were disappointed by the customer service they had received when contacting ecommerce retailers.

"These difficulties, added to the fact that cost savings is one of the main incentives for online shoppers, explain why consumers are starting to show their irritation with the delivery charges, which they consider too high," said Micheau.

Data sourced from Internet Retailer; additional content by Warc staff