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It may be the world’s number one tourist destination but France is also quickly becoming one of the key countries to export your products to.

Over 80 million people visited the land of the Eiffel Tower, La Louvre, and the Arc de Triomphe in 2012 and there has hardly been a better time for your stock to do the same.

For an SME the thought of exporting to new markets can be quite daunting, especially when you throw in possible language and distance issues.

However, thanks to the Eurostar you can be in Paris in just over two hours after leaving and although just like any new adventure research is a vital part of the process, comfort can be found on the UK Trade & Investment website which says, “In many ways France is a similar market to the UK. If your product or service is successful in the UK, there’s a good chance you’ll be successful in France.”

France has 65 million inhabitants and the fifth largest economy meaning there is certainly money to be made for SMEs.

And, if, as a SME you want to make small steps and just sell through e-commerce there are plenty of compelling reasons to do so in France.

Amazon is the country’s most visited online store and the ideal place to ease into the French market if you want to start taking advantage of its 35.5 million users* which purchase online last year. Incredibly, 21% of those users purchased something from abroad last year.

That number is sure to rise with ecommerce always on the up – 11.2% last year.

The stats for retail ecommerce are equally impressive.

The capital of fashion, France now has a 45 billion euro retail market and according to data from the Centre for Retail Search online sales in France account for 6% of total retail sales.

British retail companies are making their mark and according to the UK Trade & Investment, “brands continue to expand in France, where profitability is higher than in neighbouring countries.”

Obviously an SME can do without the cost of logistics taking a large chunk from profits. A fully tracked 1kg costs just £12.02, while a large shipment costs just 15kg £46.69 with myHermes.

*Information courtesy of ecommerce Europe.

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