Happy Bastille Day – today is the day when the people of France go to town celebrating over 200 years of independence. But will they be using their time off to go online and hit the shopping sites?

Probably not. The French are not amongst the busiest shoppers online. Indeed they are rather reluctant in comparison with the English who are Europe’s busiest online buyers. So what’s the difference?

In the UK there are a variety of payment systems available and for some time providers have emphasised security measures, building trust amongst users. According to a new report on online shopping, in France only PayPal is widely available – and that has suffered from well known security problems such as “phishing” for some years. Hence in France, there is little trust for online shopping.

The French nation is renowned for its love of quality – just compare British cheeses with those from France – so it is now surprise they want quality payment systems as well. Indeed, some years ago it was shown that the French do not search online for bargains. Instead, they concentrate on finding quality products. But that’s what everyone really wants – the best quality product for the price they can afford.

There are lessons in the French attitude to online shopping for all of us. Make sure your web site has quality products and services. And back that up with trustworthy payment systems. Do both of those and you’ll even get people in France from you.

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