The French Winter Sales: eCommerce Insights to Boost Your Brand’s Occasion-Based Marketing and Discounts


 The French Winter Sales eCommerce Insights to Boost your Brand’s Occasion-Based Marketing and Discounts

In France, brands and retailers are gearing up for the annual Winter Sales or ‘Soldes d’Hiver’, starting this year on the 10th of January and ending on the 6th of February in the majority of French departments.

This event a prime opportunity for brands and retailers in France to strategically manage inventory, clear out excess stock, attract new shoppers, and reward loyal customers with extra discounts. Brands’ online presence and digital marketing will be of the essence for product and discount discovery. In 2023, an increased number of Winter Sales purchases took place via mobile devices. Let’s see what else brands can expect from this year’s sales season.

Wednesdays drive the Winter Sales shopper traffic, and weekends will convert the best

The French Winter Sales is a government-regulated discount period. Like the Summer Sales, it has traditionally been an eagerly anticipated event by French consumers. In recent years, other attractive shopping occasions, such as Black Friday, Prime Day, Les French Days, and various ‘private sale’ (ventes privées) operations, have somewhat decreased the importance of Winter Sales. However, with budget-conscious French consumers showing an 8 percent decrease in holiday shopping spend in 2023, we may see an increased number of deal hunters during this year’s sales season.   

According to the MikMak Shopping Index, Wednesdays attracted the most in-market shopper traffic during Winter Sales 2023, based on Purchase Intent Clicks. This correlates with the sales starting on Wednesday and additional discounts usually announced each middle of the week. However, the best Purchase Intent Rates were recorded on weekends, indicating how likely eCommerce shoppers are to purchase. This year, we can expect many consumers to be looking for new discounted products each Wednesday of the sales period, and to check out during the weekends, online or in-store, once they have their shopping lists all set.

Winter Sales in FR Blog Charts

The best Purchase Intent rates during last year’s edition were recorded during the first and the last weekend of the Winter Sales period (from 11 January to 7 February 2023). This year, we can expect a first shopping peak on Saturday 13 January, during the first weekend of the sales.

Winter Sales deal hunting for Consumer Electronics, Alcohol, and Beauty

During last year’s Winter Sales period, the Consumer Electronics sector saw a significant increase in online interest, for products such as telephony, TV, video games, connected objects, etc. Purchases in this category were notably led by Generation Z

In addition to Consumer Electronics, MikMak recorded high Purchase Intent for Alcohol and Beauty products. Shopper interest in Alcohol was especially high on the 11th, 18th, and 28th of January. The last week of the Winter Sales was one of the top 3 best performing weeks for Alcohol eCommerce in France, based on Purchase Intent Rates. For Beauty eCommerce, we saw significant peaks in Purchase Intent Rates on the 11th, 19th, 25th, and 30th of January, and the 5th of February. 

We expect to see increased shopper activity for these three categories during the Winter Sales 2024.

Purchase Intent Rate by Day - Beauty eCommerce - Winter Sales 2023 (1)

Aligning brand websites and media campaigns to increase conversion

According to the MikMak Shopping Index, Purchase Intent Rates during the Winter Sales 2023 were, on average, at 29 percent on brand websites and 3 percent on media.

Logically, conversion rates are much higher on brand websites because consumers visiting them are already more qualified and particularly interested in that specific brand. Media campaigns, however, have a much higher reach in the upper marketing funnel, and product (and discount) discovery happens today mostly on media channels, especially on social networks. 

Data from the MikMak Shopping Index has revealed that, among social media platforms, Facebook continues to drive the most social commerce in France. However, brands should not neglect other networks like Instagram and TikTok to drive eCommerce in France, as performance depends highly on audience demographics, regions, product categories, influencers, and other important factors. Social commerce trends are also constantly evolving.

Consistently collecting and analyzing first-party data across digital touchpoints, helps leading brands understand consumers and their shifting behavior. This is key to detecting the best marketing combinations to drive sales during shopping occasions like the Winter Sales, and beyond.

How to make your products and discounts more discoverable

To boost your sales, you should make sure shoppers can find and buy your products faster, online and in-store, from within your brand website content and your media campaigns. 

For special offers, like the ones you are running with your retailer partners for the Winter Sales, you can also integrate digital coupons within your shoppable media powered by MikMak, to trigger faster purchases. Here’s a sneak preview of how it works with some tips to improve your campaign effectiveness for special offers:

FR Winter Sales_Coupons

  • Show the product within 3 seconds, the sooner, the better!
  • Align content with the special campaign theme like the Winter Sales
  • Include a CTA to click through/swipe up to shop
  • Measure, learn, and optimize at every touchpoint!
  • Test lifestyle, carousel, GIF, and video content vs only product images to see which formats drive the most engagement on your different consumer touchpoints
  • Utilize MikMak data signals on shopper engagement to determine winning creative for real-time campaign optimization and future campaign planning
To learn more about MikMak insights and features, like the integrated digital coupons, schedule a product tour today.

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