The Ecommerce Report: Belgium provides a brief overview of the state of e-commerce in Belgium. This report has been published by the Ecommerce Foundation with hand-selected data that will help both domestic and international retailers evaluate their potential for success in the Belgian e-commerce market. Moreover, Belgium is a small country with a strong logistical infrastructure, and its economy is healthy and growing. E-commerce, both nationally and cross-border, is on the rise.
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Did you know?
- Belgian GDP is expected to increase in 2019
- Belgium ranks 3 in Logistics Performance
- 23% of online buyers in Belgium are between 50 and 64 years old
- Belgium ranks 25th in the Internet Inclusivity Index
- B2C e-commerce turnover in Belgium is expected to reach just under 14 billion euros in 2019
- Most consumers said they spent more than €150 on online shopping in past month
- Bol.com dominates the online market in Belgium
- Home delivery is the most popular preference amongst Belgian consumers
- Belgian consumers mostly buy from the Netherlands, followed by China
Make sure to read the included interview with our International Business Development Manager, Igor Corvers! Igor started his jouney in the IT and Digital field in 1999. Since 2007, Igor has been involved in numerous e-commerce, PIM and UX sales consultancy projects. While observing the digital landscape in Belgium, he delivers some interesting insights regarding e-commerce and things related.
Q: What are your top 3 tips for localizing to a new market such as Belgium?
Igor Corvers: There are a few elements that we experience as crucial for localizing your business to the Belgian market.
First, make sure that you are aligned with local payment methods. Bancontact is still with 68% the most used payment method closely followed by a credit card (42%). The third most popular payment method is Paypal (34%).
Secondly, offer convenience to your customer by providing services like: buy online – pick up in store; provide physical options to (easy) send returns, offer track and trace capabilities, etc.
As a final tip, I would advise merchants to make sure their product descriptions and content is localized to Flemish and French. This for sure will benefit conversions, lower return rates and increase your search engine rankings.
Q: How will the balance between online and offline retail shift In 2019 within Belgium?
Igor Corvers: According to some recent studies almost 90% of the Belgian inhabitants older than 15 bought at least one item or service online in 2018. The figures calculated by GFK show that the number of online purchases grew by 12% in 2018 to 97 million. This represents spending of about 10.6 billion Euro in 2018.
Overall this would mean that about 17.8% of all B2C spending is done online. Figures like this clearly show there is a year by year shift towards shopping online. We strongly believe that this new shopping reality also provides retailers with a great opportunity to truly embrace the omnichannel paradigm.
Q: Which part of the omnichannel experience can be improved to most effectively boost e-commerce in Belgium?
Igor Corvers: Nowadays we still talk too much about e-commerce on itself. As we know that consumers commonly require 6 – 8 touchpoints before purchasing a product or service, it’s crucial to approach the customer in a 360° way. Make sure your customer has a seamless experience between online and physical stores.