France

Frank Surena

Managing Director, Awin France

A strong demand for tech products to equip the home office, or to better enjoy one's free time, set the tone for 2020 and our media strategy. We had to accelerate Frandroid's diversification to become a specialist in these new categories and the affiliate channel put us in a great position. Thanks to our comprehensive tests and buying guides, we have become a key step in the consumer's decision-making process.

Clément Grandjean
Affiliate Manager, Humanoid

65.3m

Population

Euro (€)

Currency

83%

Internet penetration rate

12%

Ecommerce penetration rate
(% of total retail)

69%

Mobile penetration rate

$12b

Total ad spend (USD)

$5.5b

Digital ad spend (USD)

$330m

Affiliate ad spend estimate (USD)

18%

Projected ad spend growth 2021

1,255
Advertisers
16,106
Publishers
Share of sales by device
Share of sales by publisher type
27%
Loyalty & Cashback
21%
Coupon Code
18%
Content
12%
Comparison
6%
Social
5%
Search
5%
Sub Networks
3%
Email
2%
Display
1%
Tech Partners

One of the major trends for 2021, which we have been advocating for a long time now, is the personalization of promotional offers according to a target ROI, the product being sold and customer buying it. Another development worth monitoring is around the cessation of third-party cookies, which we expect to have a major impact on our sector.

Pierre-Yves Moutte
Director of Partnerships & Content, RetailMeNot France

Examining France

The maturity of France’s ecommerce market would indicate some degree of resilience in the face of global concerns, but advertisers and publishers had no choice but to brace themselves for a rocky year following a national lockdown in March. Household expenditure plummeted by 18% in response to the news - the strongest monthly decrease in over 30 years - and it took the deconfinement of consumers in July to reduce pressure on their budgets and create more appealing headlines.

Big hits to travel, leisure and hospitality may have played some part in France bucking the global pattern of double-digit rises in ecommerce spend. Recent estimates point to just 6% growth year-on-year, a slowdown from the rate of 11% in 2019. Valiant performances were seen in categories like clothing, beauty, office equipment and high-end technology, and Awin noticed the change in purchasing habits being maintained beyond the easing of restrictions in May as online became firmly rooted in the lives of shoppers.

It didn’t take long for the message to filter to French SMEs, which used 2020 as an opportunity to diversify their sales channels and limit their reliance on physical trading. Aided by tools like Shopify to facilitate the creation of ecommerce platforms, the influx of new brands has been a highly positive and intriguing development for the affiliate channel and ecommerce on the whole. 

From Awin’s conversations with the new market entrants, it appears simplicity - rather than sheer capability - is the biggest demand when it comes to choosing a shopping platform. Retailers are also expecting a big impact on their turnover when heading online, and who could blame them? The unlikely scenario of a global pandemic cultivated the ground for online traders in 2020, and SMEs could not have hoped for a better year to make the leap. For those Shopify inductees, Awin was glad to give their new platforms the best chance of generating immediate results through the launch of Awin Access – a service designed to help small businesses take their first steps in the affiliate channel (you can read more about Awin Access in our 2021 trends). 

The influx of new brands has been a highly positive and intriguing development for the affiliate channel and ecommerce on the whole. 

The second surprise of the year was the boom in direct-to-consumer sales from brands traditionally sold by distributors launching affiliate programs under their own name. Dyson, Lancôme and Samsung were among the big players to take the initiative by joining Awin in 2020. The emergence of DTC is of particular interest to Content publishers, which have been quick to identify the reputational benefits of teaming up with household names. It’s the kind of move that is bound to help the vertical extract more budget from traditional channels. Plus, should they have the desired impact on DTC programs, these partners could eventually take a bigger chair in the affiliate hierarchy too. 

As one publisher group looked to evolve its position and influence, another headed for a different type of progression. Last year saw Awin lending its support to the development of the CPA (Collectif pour les Acteurs du Digital) - a landmark initiative tasked with reducing cases of ad fraud - and its dedicated Quality Charter for Discount Codes. The commitments made by signatories from across the advertising landscape will provide more transparency and improved distribution when it comes to discount-related campaigns, meaning that advertisers and consumers can always operate within a safe and secure environment.

Last year saw Awin lending its support to the development of the CPA - a landmark initiative tasked with reducing cases of ad fraud - and its dedicated Quality Charter for Discount Codes.

With that, 2020 was over, but the disruption should continue for some while still. Considering the presence of COVID-19 and complication to deliveries in light of the UK’s drawn-out Brexit process, it looks like everything the French market learned about agility and adaptability last year will be put to immediate use.

From Awin’s conversations with the new market entrants, it appears simplicity - rather than sheer capability - is the biggest demand when it comes to choosing a shopping platform. Retailers are also expecting a big impact on their turnover when heading online, and who could blame them? The unlikely scenario of a global pandemic cultivated the ground for online traders in 2020, and SMEs could not have hoped for a better year to make the leap. For those Shopify inductees, Awin was glad to give their new platforms the best chance of generating immediate results through the launch of Awin Access – a service designed to help small businesses take their first steps in the affiliate channel (you can read more about Awin Access in our 2021 trends). 

The influx of new brands has been a highly positive and intriguing development for the affiliate channel and ecommerce on the whole. 

The second surprise of the year was the boom in direct-to-consumer sales from brands traditionally sold by distributors launching affiliate programs under their own name. Dyson, Lancôme and Samsung were among the big players to take the initiative by joining Awin in 2020. The emergence of DTC is of particular interest to Content publishers, which have been quick to identify the reputational benefits of teaming up with household names. It’s the kind of move that is bound to help the vertical extract more budget from traditional channels. Plus, should they have the desired impact on DTC programs, these partners could eventually take a bigger chair in the affiliate hierarchy too. 

As one publisher group looked to evolve its position and influence, another headed for a different type of progression. Last year saw Awin lending its support to the development of the CPA (Collectif pour les Acteurs du Digital) - a landmark initiative tasked with reducing cases of ad fraud - and its dedicated Quality Charter for Discount Codes. The commitments made by signatories from across the advertising landscape will provide more transparency and improved distribution when it comes to discount-related campaigns, meaning that advertisers and consumers can always operate within a safe and secure environment.

Last year saw Awin lending its support to the development of the CPA - a landmark initiative tasked with reducing cases of ad fraud - and its dedicated Quality Charter for Discount Codes.

With that, 2020 was over, but the disruption should continue for some while still. Considering the presence of COVID-19 and complication to deliveries in light of the UK’s drawn-out Brexit process, it looks like everything the French market learned about agility and adaptability last year will be put to immediate use.

Awin Talks
Meet the market
Samy El Chehaly, Global Head of Sales at French cashback publisher iGraal, discusses the state of affiliate and digital marketing in France with Awin Talks host Rob Davinson. Recorded in January 2021.

Awin supported our affiliate activity during 2020 by providing a solid user interface and tools to help us manage the increased demand from online buyers. The network also shed light on what was happening through market insights, advice on best practices, and the communication of emerging opportunities. Thanks to its guidance, we were able to adapt our commission plan and recruit more new publishers to the program throughout the course of the year.

Sonia Zammit
Affiliate Program Manager & Shopbot Manager, ManoMano
1st
position on Google News for 'French Days'
+472%
website traffic
+228%
revenue

Conforama combines SEO and affiliate for French Days 2019

1st
position on
Google News for
'French Days'
+472%
website traffic
+228%
revenue

Conforama conducted an experiment during French Days 2019 aimed at combining goals and channels to generate results. The idea was to create a new approach while ensuring transparency and cost efficiency.

Awin outlined a campaign crucial to executing this ambitious strategy, which sought to produce results that satisfied all aspects of Conforama’s business across PR, SEO and online sales.

The campaign achieved its objectives by significant margins and was so successful it has been replicated during other sales events.

Last year highlighted the robustness of our omni-channel model, which enabled us to adapt to all the various happenings. Through channels like affiliate marketing, we found a simple way to inform customers about services like click & collect and pay & go, as well as changes to our in-store business.

Maxime Turquin
Responsible for Affiliation & Partnerships, Fnac Darty
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