E-retailers continue to find out more and more about the nature of online retailing and how e-commerce can be positively shaped in their favor. There are many elements in play when it comes to E-commerce. The industry or shopping sector mattered more in years past, but now shoppers are flocking to the web to purchase items across sectors from electronics and clothes to furniture. New research out from the Institut Français D'opinion Publique (IFOP), a French polling organization, brings to light interesting insight into the French market and buyer opinions regarding delivery costs, peer opinions, and loyalty programs that can translate to other markets offering points of consideration for e-retailers across the globe.

The new research first addressed the difference between web-only retailers and those that have both an online and physical presence. The survey polled 1,000 French shoppers and the results showed that over half felt web-only retailers offer an equal amount of quality service as their counterparts that operate both physical and web-based stores. Specifically, amazon.fr, laredoute.fr, fnac.com, and darty.com were ranked as the top retailers in terms of service quality. All of them have both a web and physical presence, except for amazon. This shows businesses that having just an online presence does not hurt customer perception of your ability to deliver quality service - but you do need to make that quality service a priority and deliver it.

Takeaway for E-Retailers and Marketers
Several points can be drawn from the study and additional information from the French market:

  • Loyalty Programs -According to Forrester, loyal shopper programs are well received in France, especially those that are buy-in and subscription-based. This underlines the merits of such programs that offer exclusive discounts (that must be significant to make it worth the shoppers' effort and money) and services that enhance the shopper experience.
  • Reviews Matter - French shoppers consider the opinions of other shoppers very highly and as a result, e-retailers need to do all they can to encourage positive reviews and enlist the services of SEO companies to facilitate reputation management in resolving negative reviews.
  • Delivery Cost - Retailers that keep delivery costs low are much more likely to succeed across the globe. This is especially the case in France where delivery costs factor greatly into purchase decisions, but has applicability throughout all markets.
  • Internet Marketing - Marketers can utilize various practices such as SEO and paid search to drive more targeted traffic to their platforms. This is best implemented through a coordinated, multi-faceted approach that includes purposeful social media engagement as well.