E-commerce in Belgium grows by 13%

E-commerce in Belgium grows by 13%
Shopping online. Credit: Unsplash

Belgian e-commerce is growing, with over 50,000 online stores now carrying out operations in the country.  In the past year, 5,985 new online stores were created, bringing the total up to 54,101, according to an overview by the sector interest group BeCommerce.

The new online stores represent a growth of 13% for startups that have created a website for their goods but who already had a physical store. Hybrid sales combining both traditional retail and online sales are increasingly becoming the new standard.

"The time when both saw each other as direct competition is now a thing of the past," said Sofie Geeroms, general manager of BeCommerce, in De Morgen. "Physical stores choose to supplement their sales with web stores and web stores will also open physical stores after a number of years."

"We also see that e-commerce gives many young entrepreneurs the opportunity to really develop innovative ideas, even with a smaller capital," Geerom added.

Hospitality sector grows

For BeCommerce, growth in the catering sector is particularly striking: "We see that e-commerce offers new opportunities for entrepreneurs: sales can be supplemented online to make it easier for consumers. Since corona, catering companies have also been given the opportunity to go online."

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Around half of Belgian online stores are linked to the retail sector, while hospitality has risen from fourth to second place. Almost a third of webshops are less than five years old. Broken down by region, Flanders has by far the most online stores and is alone responsible for 72% of online stores in Belgium.

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