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SWOT Analysis, Example for E-commerce in France

E-commerce is a sector that has undergone profound changes in the space of a few years. In 2021, sales on the internet in France reached 130 billion euros, and this trend has only increased since the arrival of the health crisis in 2020.

E-commerce

Credit Photo : Pexels cottonbro


Figures on the industry

Indeed, consumers have been forced to stay at home, and online sales literally exploded. In 2022, 42.2 million French people made at least one online purchase. The turnover of this sector in 2021 was 113.9 billion euros, an increase of 8.3% compared to 2020. Also recorded were 1.84 billion online transactions, an increase of 6% compared to the last year. From 10% in 2019, the share of e-commerce in retail trade has increased to 13.1%. It should also be noted that more than 60% of online companies want to recruit in 2023 due to an increase in their activity. In 2022, there are more than 180,000 active sites in France. The main expenses on the internet currently relate to clothing at 58%, culture at 50%, and tourism at 40%. For example, Amazon is one of the most visited sites in the world, with 29701000 unique visitors, followed by Cdiscount with 20157000 visitors and La Fnac with 14470000 visitors.

 

SWOT analysis of e-commerce

Strengths

One of the main strengths of e-commerce is the notoriety it has acquired over time. Indeed, for several years, consumers have increasingly tended to order their items on the internet, all sectors combined. E-commerce saves time for buyers who no longer need to travel and who can benefit from ever faster and more efficient deliveries. E-commerce has developed rapidly with the arrival of new technologies on the market, such as smartphones, in particular. Let's think that in 2022 more than 80 million transactions were carried out with a smartphone. Moreover, on the internet, the choice is necessarily greater, and buyers may take more time to choose their products. Many today compare products before deciding on a purchase, which tends to somewhat modify the relationship between buyers and advisers in sales areas. Today, the number of applications on smartphones and other mobile devices has increased significantly. Which further increases the number of orders per month and even per day. Over 70% of shoppers go through an app. Another strength is customer relationship management, which has improved over the years. Consumers are generally less afraid of ordering on the internet because they can chat with an advisor via instant messaging or even thanks to dedicated telephone numbers. In 2022, more than 98% of customers who buy regularly on the internet are satisfied, compared to 75% five years ago.

Today, the strongest sites are those from physical brands, such as Darty or La Fnac in particular, including giants like Amazon, which have proven the quality of their products and services over the years.

Finally, e-commerce is now very famous for its second-hand market, which takes place almost exclusively online, and increases the number of e-buyers year-on-year.

 

Weaknesses

However, e-commerce is not without its weaknesses. Indeed, there are still a large number of consumers who are afraid to order overpriced products on the internet for fear of credit card fraud or scams, which are still very frequent. There is less anxiety associated with small purchases, especially if there is no contact between consumers and the related site. Even today, buyers need to be assisted during the purchase process, whether through windows allowing them to speak to an advisor or giving them a contact number. It remains important to reassure the consumers present on the sites. It is clear that many sites that are sometimes too simplistic do not allow this connection and, therefore, do not inspire confidence in Internet users. Of the multitude of merchant sites available on the internet, very few are profitable, which shows that it is difficult to position themselves on the market for new players. In addition, for others, a barrier to purchasing may be the fact of not being able to try and/or test the products before ordering them or that the return procedure is too complex compared to physical stores.

Deliveries sometimes pose many problems. Between the lack of seriousness in the service and thefts, these factors tend to weaken the e-commerce sector. Even if consumers from the new generation are used to ordering on the internet for almost everything they want to buy, there remains a large sector of consumers afraid of not being able to turn against the merchant web in the event of problems.

 

Opportunities

The e-commerce sector presents a great number of opportunities, especially in the years to come, where it will continue to develop. In fact, more and more traditional physical stores are offering their products and services on the Internet, in order to better meet the expectations and new needs of consumers. They want more than ever to be competitive and more efficient, and all companies in all sectors of activity know full well that this cannot be done without e-commerce. Companies have also become aware of the importance of the internet and, more particularly, of social networks to enhance their image. Whether physical or digital. E-commerce relies on new trends to implement new strategies that rely more on the search for a more relevant and efficient customer experience. In addition, the sector is using more artificial intelligence in their relationship with customers, which allows them to be able to keep a link at all times of the day, regardless of the geographical sector. In the future, this intelligence will be modified and made even more efficient, as robots will be able to respond to more customer requests, which will increase their satisfaction and, therefore, confidence in e-commerce. In a few years, when the oldest generations will no longer be present to participate in the consumer society, everyone will be used to ordering on the internet, which will contribute to profoundly modifying the role of physical stores.

 

Threats

Some external threats can still contribute to weakening the e-commerce sector today. Thus, e-commerce sites use various means of delivery which can be more or less serious. Customer reviews are necessary to attract and retain Internet users over the long term; however, delivery services or customer service management may negatively impact these ratings and, therefore, be detrimental to the site in question. In addition, sales on the internet are also subject to many more sales of counterfeits, not to mention bank card fraud. The overexposure of luxury brand products and their characteristics is attracting more and more players who produce counterfeits; the market is estimated, in 2022, at several million euros, and whose figures are increasing each year despite an active fight. When it comes to banking issues, consumers have been conditioned for years to be very careful with their banking data and they fear that this data will be made public or intercepted by hackers.

It should also be noted that e-commerce weakens other physical stores because online sales hinder traditional sales networks. Finally, even if e-commerce has conquered a large population over the years, it seems complex to seduce the most reluctant, even if they are few.

 

E-commerce is a sector that has grown significantly over the years, new technologies have developed and improved, allowing greater fluidity in orders and greater speed in their processing. E-commerce is now an integral part of the marketing strategies of different companies regardless of their sector of activity. This is an obvious performance and success lever in the current context. Since the onset of the health crisis, online orders have intensified, and a large number of consumers have maintained these habits.


Source: Blog du modérateur