Belgium: Great eCommerce Opportunities

May 11, 2022

In an observation by Jose Martinez-Benavente, senior manager of PPRO, a provider of local payments infrastructure based in the UK, he highlights some reasons why more merchants could be drawn to the Belgian market.

At an ecommerce market currently worth 25 Billion dollars, Belgium is set to show a growth rate of 33% in the next three years.

Western Europe

An ecommerce merchant searching for lucrative new markets should look closely at Western Europe. At the last count, ecommerce in the region was worth USD 768 billion — that’s four times the combined value of the ecommerce sectors in Eastern Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Middle East, Africa, and South America.

The market is showing a growth of 12% each year, and 18% of all retail sales are online purchases. It is predicted that these numbers will keep growing in the following years. With all of this said, Belgium seems to show even more promise within an already promising market.

Belgium

During the pandemic, Belgium’s digital sales increased by 33%, Online stores increased by 18%, and Belgians made 150 million online purchases. 

There are areas within the online sector that have shown more growth than others. Online grocery shopping, for example, is growing 51% per year, and the fastest online stores are showing a growth rate of 140% yearly. 

However, retailers need to learn the ins and outs of the payment preferences of the country. Failing to satisfy Belgian customers can lead to cart abandonment. The rates for this issue are at 20%.

Payment Preferences

Half of Belgian online shoppers prefer to use conventional payment methods such as cards, however the other half is split among other payment methods. 19% use bank transfers, 14% use e-wallets and other methods, and 4% use cash.

Belgium shoppers make prominent use of e-wallets, the most used in the country is payconiq, and it is used to make 1.2 million purchases a month. Another widely used e-wallet is Bancontact, and it was revealed to have been used to make 221 million purchases in 2021.

Offering a range of payment options will undoubtedly help merchants thrive in this market, as they will be able to reach the 52% of Belgians consumers that do not have a credit card.

E-wallets and other similar mobile-optimized payment methods are also crucial to onboarding additional mobile shoppers. Consumers complete over a fifth of all online purchases on a phone or other mobile device

Belgians have shown to be partial to shopping in foreign markets, 70% of shoppers admitted they had already made purchases with merchants outside of their own country. So, even if they are unfamiliar with the retailers and brands, as long as merchants show a wide range of options, they can find themselves in a great market.

Want to learn more? Check out The Payper’s full write-up here.

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