The online retail market is cooling off in Belgium, according to research by the Ecommerce Foundation and published by the industry publication Gondola. According to their report, industry growth should slow down considerably in 2015.
After showing 25% growth in Belgium in 2011, 38% in 2012 and 25% in 2013, e-commerce started to weaken in 2014, demonstrating only 14% growth. The Ecommerce Foundation is expecting 12% in 2015.
6 million clients spent an average of 722 euros online in Belgium in 2014. National sales revenue reached 4.37 billion euros. E-commerce represents 3% of retail business in Belgium, versus 7.2% in Europe. Over a third (34%) of purchases are made on international websites (the Netherlands, France, Germany). Researchers reckon this trend of buying abroad is due to the limited number of Belgian online retailers and to e-commerce’s late start in the country.
E-commerce grew by 24% worldwide in 2014, but 2015 growth should reach only half that figure, according to the Ecommerce Foundation. The market is now well established in Europe and the United States, which means growth reached a peak and is now levelling off. Growth is still very fast in Russia, Hungary, Poland, and Greece. The United Kingdom, Germany, and France represent 60.2% of the European market.