Online retail sales are continuing to grow strongly in France, with double-digit growth in the latest quarter and a 9% rise expected for the forthcoming peak holiday season. E-commerce sales in France totalled €24.6 billion in the third quarter of 2019, an increase of 10.8% on the same period last year, and the forthcoming peak season, beginning with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is expected to surpass €20 billion in purchases, compared to €18.3 million last year, according to trade association, Fevad. The number of online transactions reached 426 million, up 14.2% on Q3 2018, driven by an increasing number of online shoppers and e-commerce websites which offset the decrease in the average shopping 'basket' value. The decline is less significant than in previous quarters (-3%) - likely due to the buoyancy of holiday and tourism-related purchases, Fevad noted. The average basket totalled €58 versus €59.50 in Q3 2018. The purchase frequency increased by 8% with each shopper on average making 12.5 purchases for a total value of €724, an increase of €36 on a year ago. 40.5 million shoppers ordered products online in Q3, which is 1,658 000 more than a year ago, according to market researchers Mediametrie. Fevad's managing director, Marc Lolivier, commented: “Today, there almost 1.7 million more online shoppers than a year ago and our findings show that the increase in purchasing frequency continues. 59% of online shoppers make a purchase at least once month.” Since the start of the year, the number of e-commerce websites has risen to 191,700, an increase of 16% on 2018 levels. The figure includes ‘bricks and mortar’ stores which have opened websites to complement their activity.