Boosted by the health crisis, e-commerce in France in 2021 recorded a growth of 15% and a turnover of almost €130 billion. And of course, while online sales have allowed merchants to remain active during the Covid-19 crisis, they are now complementary to physical commerce, providing you with new growth opportunities. It is in this context that Fevad (Federation of e-commerce and distance selling) formulated, on the occasion of its return to parliament, 15 proposals around 5 axes aimed at responding to the great challenges of e-commerce in France.

Justice, through a stable and unified legal framework

The successive and tight changes in the regulation of e-commerce, as well as the over-transposition of European texts, prevent companies from investing in the long term and reaching a critical size that allows them to compete with their international competitors. In addition, Fevad recommends stabilizing the national regulatory framework in line with European legislation. But also to simplify the rules within the scope of future legislation: it is therefore proposed, inter alia, to make the adoption of a new measure conditional on the abolition of an older measure, in order to avoid the accumulation of obligations, namely those applicable to VSEs -SMEs.

Competitiveness, promoting investment

To enable French companies to adapt and remain competitive in an environment largely open to international competition, Fevad recommends helping them to turn to innovation and invest in performance and service quality. More specifically, it proposes the implementation of an additional tax amortization system for all investments related to digital transformation or to expand the scope of the research tax credit. In addition, I would like to see an end to postal terminal preferential rights (compensation owed to the operator in the destination country by the operator in the country of origin as compensation for the costs associated with processing shipments in the destination country) for deliveries from China.

CSR, for sustainable and eco-responsible trade

Short circuits, local products, second-hand… e-commerce players must adapt to new consumer demands. Consumers who also declare (for 70% of them) to favor sites that promote an eco-responsible approach. In addition, Fevad defends a sustainable and responsible French e-commerce model. To this end, it recommends encouraging the consumption of circular economy products (for example, introducing a VAT reduction on these products passed on in prices), supporting the transport/delivery sector in its environmental transition (for example, strengthening tax advantages in favor of low-carbon modes of transport) and reduce the environmental footprint of e-commerce warehouses (eg by supporting the transformation of e-commerce warehouse real estate into greener buildings).

Employment, to retain and attract new skills

While e-commerce has a positive impact on direct and indirect employment (its salaried workforce increased by 14% from 1998 to 2020), France lags behind in this area due to a lack of training (continuous and initial) and the contrasting attractiveness of professions. linked to electronic commerce. To retain employees and attract talent, Fevad believes it is necessary to support employees in new professions and new ways of selling, but also small merchants to help them digitize their businesses. In addition, it recommends integrating digital technology into National Education programs from an early age, promoting the feminization of technology professions and systematically involving technology companies in craft discovery forums for high school students.

Digitization at the service of local commerce and VSE-SMEs

According to Fevad, digitalization is today an essential vector for the growth and competitiveness of local commerce and VSEs-SMEs: the possibility of exporting, greater business volume, increased frequency in stores… But some obstacles persist, such as the lack of financing and skills. In addition, Fevad proposes to intensify financial support for the digital transition of local commerce (through a tax credit, in particular), the creation of a body dedicated to strengthening the coordination of the digitalization policy of companies (for diagnosis, financing, etc. .). . and help local authorities deploy local solutions to support digital transformation.

“15 Fevad proposals for digital commerce at the service of the French economy, employment and people 2022-2027”.

To go further, check out our studies on the distribution sector.

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