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Belgian webshops catching up with foreign competitors

Credit: Belga

Belgian webshops are growing, structurally improving and approaching the performance of the best foreign webshops, the online business organisation BeCommerce said on Tuesday.

BeCommerce publishes Shopping100, which lists the 125 best national and foreign players in Belgian e-commerce based on their digital footprint (which includes search engine results and the number of visitors) and their performance on the market.

“Belgian webshops are doing better and better compared to previous years and are crawling closer” to what BeCommerce calls “Best-in-class webshops” like Ikea, the company said.

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The telecommunications companies Telenet and Proximus are particularly prominent. Postal service Bpost, Flemish public transport company De Lijn and the Belgian National Railway Company (SNCB) have entered the Top 50.

The clothing sector, which includes Belgian companies Torfs and JBC, accounts for a quarter of the online shops on the list.

In total, 85 of the 125 best Belgian webshops have a “.be” domain and a quarter of the companies are from the Netherlands, Belgium’s biggest competitor. Of the €1.3 billion spent in foreign online shops, one out of three purchases is made in the Netherlands, according to BeCommerce.

BeCommerce advised Belgian webshops to strengthen themselves on foreign markets. “We note that most online shops in Belgium are mainly visited in Belgium, the Netherlands and France,” said Sofie Geeroms, managing director of the organisation. “An important reason for this is that many Belgian webshops are bilingual: the addition of an English version can help them to access an international market, which is important for long-term turnover.”

The Brussels Times

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