E-commerce grows rapidly in France

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PARIS--Nearly half a million French consumers made online purchases during June 1999, representing 9% of the country's 6.5 million Internet users, according to a survey by French polling organization TMO-CSA.

The French figures pale in comparison with the 15% of British Internauts and 20% of German Internauts shopping online, but nonetheless represent dramatic growth since January 1999, when less than 5% of French Internet users had taken part in an e-commerce transaction, according to TMO-CSA.

Half of all French Internet users expressed their intention to partake in online shopping in the near future, according to the survey, conducted in June via interviews with more than 6,000 French consumers.

Men comprise 73% of French Internet shoppers, while 80% of all e-commerce transactions are carried out by members of the 25- to44-year-old age group, according to the study.

Books are the top item cited in e-commerce transactions, representing 40% of all online purchases, followed by compact discs, with 24%and computer software, with 16%, according to the study.

Credit cards are the method of payment for 51% of online shoppers, while the remainder pay via traditional methods, according to the survey. The average amount spent online per shopper was $130.

Copyright October 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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