What is the environmental footprint of the ten most-visited m-commerce sites and applications in France?
The e-commerce market in France is experiencing very significant growth. E-commerce sales have increased from 57 billion in 2014 to 112.2 billion euros in 2021. The health crisis is partly responsible for this increase. It has considerably increased online shopping and created habits among the French. Among these sales, those on mobile have experienced impressive growth. They increased by 13% in 2021. Nearly one in two French people (48%) now make purchases via their phones. One in three French people (34%) buys via their phone at least once a month.
Shopping cart abandonment accounts for $18 billion in lost sales every year. Mobile abandonment rates are higher (97%) than desktop abandonment rates (between 70 and 75%). The reasons are multiple: the price, the shipping costs, the speed of delivery, the discounts available, but also the loading time of the site (Source). M-commerce sites and applications, therefore, have every interest in demonstrating performance and digital sobriety.
What about the ten most visited e-commerce sites and applications in France? What are the most frugal sites and applications on which to do your e-shopping in complete sobriety?
Choice of sites and applications
To determine which sites and applications to study, we relied on the ranking of e-commerce sites and applications produced by Médiamétrie and the Fevad (Federation of e-commerce and distance selling). These are the most popular sites and applications in France in the 2nd quarter of 2021.
This study’s distinguishing feature is that it is based on a common scenario that goes from the search and consultation of a product to the consultation of the basket before payment. Thus, we can be as close as possible to the real uses of Internet users and mobile users.
Ranking of the environmental footprint of the ten most popular e-commerce sites in France
The three least impacting sites are Leclerc, Cdiscount et eBay.
The three most impactful sites are Amazon, Carrefour et Veepee.
We observe more than 2.7 times more impact between the least impacting site (Leclerc) and the most impacting site (Amazon) in this ranking.
The average carbon impact of these ten websites is 0.92 gEqCO2 for an average duration of the scenario of 1 minute and 54 seconds, i.e. the equivalent of 8 meters travelled in a light vehicle.
Projection of carbon impacts over one month
It is estimated that 55% of global e-commerce traffic is done on mobile devices, compared with 39% on PCs and 6% on tablets (Source).
If we project the carbon impact of these ten e-commerce sites for an average of 37.41 million visits per month lasting 5 minutes and 54 seconds, this impact would be 439.6 tonnes of CO2eq per month (87.5 tonnes on mobile, 341.0 tonnes on PC and 11.1 tonnes on tablet). It is the equivalent of 98 times the circumference of the Earth travelled by light vehicle.
Regarding the best website in this ranking (Leclerc) for 9.99 million visits/month with an average duration of 3 minutes, this impact would be 37.0 tonnes of CO2eq per month (5.9 tonnes on mobile, 30 .3 tons on PC and 0.8 tons on a tablet). It is the equivalent of 8 times the circumference of the Earth travelled by light vehicle.
For the worst website in this ranking (Amazon) with 164,32 million monthly visits and an average duration of 8 minutes, the carbon impact would be 2639.4 tonnes of CO2eq (588.1 tonnes on mobile, 1978.4 tons on PC and 72.9 tons on tablet). It is the equivalent of 588 times the circumference of the Earth travelled by light vehicle.
Ranking of the environmental footprint of the then most popular m-commerce apps in France
The three least impacting apps are eBay, Leclerc et Carrefour.
The three most impactful apps are Amazon, AliExpress et ManoMano.
We observe more than 2.8 times more impact between the least impacting app (eBay) and the most impactful app (Amazon) in this ranking.
The average carbon impact of these 10 applications is 0.69 gEqCO2 for an average duration of the scenario of 2 minutes and 1 second, i.e. the equivalent of 6 meters travelled in a light vehicle.
Whether for the most visited websites or m-commerce applications in France, we see an impact almost three times greater between the soberest platform and the most impactful one.
It shows that by managing the information visible on the screen, the loading of images, the consumption of scripts and the data exchanged during the scenario differently, it is possible to reduce the environmental impact of a website and a mobile app.
As an e-shopper using his mobile, it is better to go through applications than websites. Indeed, websites have an average impact of 39% more on the scenario studied. Only AliExpress has a higher consumption on the app than on the website. However, applications have an effect on their download and updates. They are therefore to be preferred only in the event of regular orders.
In terms of digital sobriety, nothing will equal buying food products at the market and other products from local traders, of course!
Ranking of the 10 most popular websites in France
|Websites||URL||Energy consumption (mAh)||Exchanged Data (Mo)||Carbon Impact (gEqCO2)||Water footprint (Litres)||Surface footprint (m²)||Scenario duration (seconds)|
Ranking of the 10 most popular apps in France
|Applications||Version||Energy consumption (mAh)||Exchanged Data (Mo)||Carbon Impact (gEqCO2)||Water footprint (Litres)||Surface footprint (m²)||Scenario duration (seconds)|
Léo CHAUVIN is a student in the 5th year of engineering school in electronics and computer science at ESEO in Angers. He has been on an end-of-studies internship at Greenspector since March.
He participates in the development of functionalities on Greenspector tools.