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Belgians are buying more on-line but not by mobile phone

A majority of people use the internet for shopping and spent on average 2 400 € in 2015. The figures appear in the annual consumer analysis of e-commerce conducted by Comeos, the Belgian employer federation for commerce and services.

More than 7 million people or 64 % of the population in Belgium used the internet for shopping last year, a figure which was about as same as the previous year, says Dominique Michel, CEO of Comeos.

However, they do not use mobile phones or tablets very much for their on-line shopping. Comeos sees a growth potential in this area.

Those who use the internet spent more than before: 35 % made at least one purchase per month and the average expenditure increased by one third to 2 388 € for the whole year.

“This increase can be explained by the lockdown in Brussels last November, which occurred in the midst of shopping for the holiday season. People were trapped in their homes and had to resort to the internet”, says Dominique Michel.

The number of people in mobile commerce, however, has not changed and today still 21 % of the customers use their smartphone or tablet for on-line shopping. According to consumers, the main obstacles are the size screens (51%), lack of confidence (41%) and payment problems (37%).

Comeos shares this observation but points also to the absence of a payment solution and the lack of Wi-Fi networks everywhere.

“We are far behind in mobile commerce and don’t take the lead. The major changes come from abroad. We risk missing the train and not financing the development of new applications and services in Belgium,” Dominique Michel warns.

The Brussels Times (Source: Belga)