How many Belgian businesses are online?
Every year there are several ecommerce events being organized in Belgium. We have a handy ecommerce events calendar, where you can find all the major online retail events in Europe. But you can also check out only the ecommerce events in Belgium.
Ecommerce customers in Belgium
Belgian customers primarily use cards and online bank payment methods to pay online. About 85% of online payments in Belgium get realized using online payment method Ogone. This payment provider gives customers to choose from different payment methods, including credit card payments and direct banking. PayPal is also being used. A study conducted in the second quarter of 2015 shows that the credit card was the most popular payment method during that period, used by 35 percent of online purchases. Bancontact/Mister Cash (30%) and PayPal (12%) ranked second and third.
Clothing and shoes are amongst the most popular products purchased online. About six in ten Belgians have bought online at least once, one in four Belgians order products online on a monthly basis. Almost half of Belgian consumers prefer ordering from a shop in the region or one they already know.
The ecommerce market in Belgium
It’s relatively hard for an online merchant operating in Belgium to conquer the hearts of all its inhabitants, as the country is deeply divided into two parts: Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia. In Western Europe, Belgium was relatively late with embracing ecommerce. As a result, a lot of tech savvy consumers went (and still are) shopping online abroad, especially at Dutch online shops. This also led to several big online merchants from the Netherlands opening .be-webshops that are focused on attracting Belgian consumers. This way, Belgian ecommerce is still facing the results of diving a little bit too late in the ecommerce pool.
The ecommerce industry in Belgium was worth 8.2 billion euros in 2015 and expectations are it will be worth 9.6 billion euros in 2016. The most popular ecommerce platforms in Belgium are Magento (28%), WordPress/Woocommerce (16%), Lightspeed (9%), Drupal (8%) and PrestaShop (7%), data from 2017 shows.
Big online stores in Belgium
There are some big online players from abroad, like Zalando (Germany) or Bol.com and Coolblue (both from the Netherlands). As a matter of fact, in 2017, the whole top five of biggest online stores in Belgium consisted of foreign players. But there are also a few big Belgian online retailers, like Vente-Exclusive, Vanden Borre, ZEB, Schoenen Torfs and Bel&Bo.