Belgium E-commerce Market Update | First Quarter 2015

BRUSSELS | According to the first Becommerce Market Monitor, Belgian ecommerce sales almost reached 2.1 billion euro in the first quarter of 2015. The outlook for the whole of 2015 is around 7 billion euro in online sales. 

Becommerce Market Monitor

The Becommerce Market Monitor investigates the state of ecommerce for the Belgian online market and provides insights on consumer online spend and behaviour on a quarterly basis. The research is conducted by GfK and initiated by BeCommerce - the Belgian home shopping association, with support from PostNL, Google and Worldline

Strong first quarter

In the first quarter, over 20 million transactions were made over the internet, with a total sales of 2.1 billion euro. The online market is responsible for 14% of all consumer spend according to the Monitor. The reasons for a strong first quarter have to do with increased Belgian confidence in shopping online, more businesses becoming active online, and increased use of internet in general. 

In the first quarter, at least 6.8 million Belgian people bought one product or service online. That means that 74% of the Belgian population - older than 15 years - is an online buyer. On average 307 euro is spend online per online shopper. Compared to its neighbouring country The Netherlands - where 636 euro per capita is spend online - Belgium is half way however picking up pace.

Mobile Commerce in Belgium

Inge Zeeuws, Research Director at GfK, concludes that the Belgian consumer is definitely spending more shopping time online, however, remains somewhat reluctant to use mobile devices for their internet shopping. Only 7% of the online spend was conducted through a tablet, and 3% through a smartphone. Compared to the latest figure from Europe's most mature ecommerce market - the UK - where almost half of all online transactions are conducted via mobile devices, Belgium has room for future growth.

Credit card preferred online payment method in Belgium

Most purchases are paid for using credit cards (mostly MasterCard and Visa cards). Almost half (46%) of all transactions were completed by credit card, followed by Belgian home-grown payment product Bancontact (23%) and online bank transfer (13%). Sourced from the Bancontact website, over 80% of all online merchants active in Belgium accept Bancontact.

Services versus Products

There is big difference when it comes to services and products. Looking at the total market for services, almost 60% of services related transactions happened online. Only 5% of physical goods are bought online. However, 71% of the 20 million purchases refer to purchases for products, whereas 29% relate to services. The total amount spend on products represents 42% of the total ecommerce sales, services account for 58%.

Popular online segments

Airline tickets and holiday accommodation bookings are the most popular category. Compared to offline sales, 80% of those transactions were online. Tickets for events and amusement parks came second, with 74% of all transactions happening online. Third place is taken by package travelling (55% compared to offline). For more information, visit the Becommerce website (Dutch or French version available).


Sourced from Press Release by Becommerce website, June 8th, 2015

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