PARIS: Ecommerce sales in France hit year-on-year growth of 14% in 2013, with mobile accounting for 12% of the market, recent research has shown.

These were the key findings in a study published as a company blog in July by CCM Benchmark, the French online media group, eMarketer reported.

CCM studied 50 ecommerce retailers, including those of major companies like Carrefour and Air France, and found almost two-thirds (60%) believed mobile was the main driver of growth over the year, having risen from 7% of total online sales in 2012.

As consumers in France become more open to shopping via mobile devices, eMarketer expected French B2C ecommerce sales to grow 10% this year to $47.65bn.

While these annual growth rates are expected to decline slowly over the next four years, eMarketer also estimated the value of these sales will be worth $52.30bn next year and $64.17bn in 2018.

Even though French digital retailers confirmed the importance of mobile as a driver of sales growth, they also told CCM that they were not relying on it as an exclusive channel or customer service.

Personalised offers, for example, were used by over half (56%) as another source of growth in 2013 while 46% said expansion overseas contributed to improved results.

All of them (100%) offered home delivery, over half (53%) allowed shoppers to collect their purchase in-store, while two-in-five diversified their product range to improve growth, and 14% used social media to raise their profile.

Turning to how personal care brands could improve their reach to French mobile consumers, a separate report from digital think tank L2 advised them to focus on creating a mobile optimised site rather than an app.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of French consumers said they prefer to use a laptop to make online purchases compared to 15% who prefer to use a mobile app, L2 said, adding that those who do use mobile devices prefer to use a brand site rather than a mobile app.

According to its analysis of information from eMarketer, L2 said 63% of French consumers use mobile devices to find out more information about a product, 58% compare prices, while 54% use sites to evaluate different products before purchase.

Data sourced from eMarketer, L2; additional content by Warc staff