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Surfing time on the internet increased by 15%

The French have never spent so much time on the web in 2020, according to Médiamétrie. Either 2h25 of surfing per day and per person – 2/3 of which on smartphones – or 15% more than last year. The digitalization of daily life is intensifying.

Confined, the French surfed. To consume, to entertain, to train, to inform. The latest figures from Médiamétrie’s “Year of the Internet” study indicate that Internet users spent 19 minutes more on the web in 2020, i.e. 2h25 more hours of surfing per day (+15%) compared to 2019. “Usage has further intensified,” notes Bertrand Krug, director of the internet department, “and it has also diversified: there are now more than 1,000 sites with more than 1 million unique visitors each month alongside already very powerful players. “The Top 20 (Google, Facebook, YouTube, Amazon, WhatsApp, Instagram…) represents 47% of daily surfing time. The GAFA weighting represents 36% of the time spent.

french spending time on internet

Flagship year for E-commerce

The year 2020 is giving pride of place to merchant sites, with an 8.5% increase in the sector’s revenues (+1.5 million online shoppers). No less than 45.4 million Internet users consulted at least one of the TOP 15 merchant sites during the last quarter of 2020 (+700,000 vs. 2019). It should be noted that La Redoute joined the TOP 15 at the end of the year.

Finally, the sites allowing small businesses to reference themselves online or to create their site have gathered 2 million unique visitors in May 2020 (X2). DIY (Leroy Merlin, ManoMano…) and second hand (LeBoncoin, Vinted, Backmarket…) are performing well this year.

The top of the wave up to 7:16 a.m. a day

The peaks were felt in the first containment (+42%) and in the second (+13%). The increase in surfing time over the year is especially noticeable among 15-24 year olds with 4h23 (+24%), with a third of the biggest consumers spending up to 7h16 per day surfing compared to 5h36 for the biggest surfers in France on average. Out of 92% of French people who were connected to the Internet at the end of 2020, 77.4% used their smartphone, 2 points more than in 2019, 69.6% per laptop (+0.9 point), 47.6% per tablet (-0.7 point) and 36.8% per desktop computer (-0.7 point).

Reinforced habits

“Certain online activities that were born or that became stronger during the periods of lockdown have persisted and seem to be gradually taking root in the lives of the French people,” Bertrand Krug analyses. In the restaurant sector, due to closures, Internet users have opted for delivery or drive, whose audience doubled between October 2019 and April 2020, rising from 7 million unique visitors to 13.6 million in six months.

This is a habit that consumers have become accustomed to, since post-lockdown, at the end of 2020, there were 9 million unique visitors, compared with 7 million at the end of 2019. On the consumer side, Internet users have taken advantage of the period to promote useful and responsible online shopping (the Beehive that says yes, crowdfarming) or to honor the made in France (up 42% in one year).

internet consumption

Courier Explosion

On March 16, 2020, (the eve of the first lockdown) the time spent on social networks doubled compared to the previous week. To communicate with their loved ones, more than 8 out of 10 French people consulted messaging and social networks each month, or 49 million. While this number is stable, usage is increasing. Unsurprisingly, the under 25s stand out with each day 3 times more time spent than the general population, i.e. 2h12 (+26% vs. 2019), which represents 50% of surfing time. While the national average increases to 45 minutes on average per day (+14%), which represents 1/3 of the surfing time.

The French consult an average of 2.7 social networks/messages every day (3.9 for the 15-24 year olds), to meet different needs. Indeed, this practice is part of a logic of addition where each service has its place. In the Top 10, with 45 million Unique Visitors per month, the Facebook audience continues to grow in France (+3%) with its avatars WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger. Followed by Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, TikTok and Discord. Among the under 25s, Snapchat is the leader with 82% of connections every day by this target group in France.