Ecommerce in Belgium
Belgium is a Western European country that became independent from the Netherlands in 1830. It’s an interesting country, because it’s home to two main linguistic groups: the Dutch-speakers, who account for almost 60% of all inhabitants, and the French-speakers who mostly live in Wallonia. The northern part of Belgium is called Flanders and it’s on some ground connected with or focused on The Netherlands, whereas Wallonia is interacting more towards France. As of July 2013 it’s estimated 10.4 million people live in Belgium, of which 40.6% is between 25 and 54 years old.
|Population||11.1 million people|
|– % internet users||82%|
|Online sales||€8.2 billion (2019)|
|Online stores worth mentioning:||Vanden Borre, Azur.be, Brantano|
- Ecommerce events in Belgium
- Ecommerce customers in Belgium
- The ecommerce market in Belgium
- Big online stores in Belgium
- Latest ecommerce news from or about Belgium
Ecommerce events in Belgium
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 love to use the local payment method Bancard or the credit card when they need to pay for their online purchases. Research from BeCommerce in 2018 shows that Bancontact was used for 68 percent of all online purchases and for 30 percent of the money spent online.
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.
According to data from BeCommerce, the ecommerce industry in Belgium was worth 10.67 billion euros in 2018. Belgian ecommerce association SafeShops however conducted a study that shows it was worth 8.2 billion euros in 2019. 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.
Latest news about Belgium
Belgian ecommerce broke all national records in 2019. Last year, Belgian online shoppers spent 11.46 billion euros, which is 900 million euros more than during the year before. Belgians shopped, on average, 13.4 times online, which led to a total of 112.9 million online purchases.
Online stores in Belgium have generated a total turnover of 8.2 billion euros in 2019. This is an increase of 17 percent compared to the situation one year before. One out of every four euros generated by Belgian online shops came from foreign shoppers.
Coolblue has generated total sales of 1.48 billion euros last year, which is an increase of 10 percent compared to the situation one year before. Its adjusted EBITDA increased by 28 percent to 34.5 million euros.
Charlie Temple, an optical online retailer from the Netherlands, has expanded to Belgium and Austria. For the fast-growing ecommerce scale-up in prescription glasses these are the second and third new market, after it also expanded to Germany last year.
Gadero, an online shop for wood and wooden furniture, has expanded its ecommerce activities to the French-speaking market in Western Europe. The Dutch retailer will now deliver wood to Wallonia, Luxembourg and some northern parts of France.
Read all our articles about ecommerce in Belgium.
Last update: March 2020