Belgians spent more than €10 billion online last year. The announcement came on Wednesday from BeCommerce, the Belgian association for shops and businesses distance-selling online. This is a record for the e-commerce sector in Belgium.
The BeCommerce Market Monitor says that 8.4 million Belgians made at least one online purchase in 2017, amassing a combined total of 87 million transactions. The most popular types of online purchase were airline tickets and accommodation, which accounted for 86% of online expenditure.
The food category has progressed the most, with an increase of 27% in 2017. The growth in the Belgian e-commerce sector, in terms of overall expenditure, amounted to 11% during the year. In total, 17% of all retail expenditure occurred online last year, compared to 16% in 2016.
Four out of ten Belgians say that the main advantage of online shopping is clearly being able to shop at home. Delivery charges prove to be the principal drawback for the same proportion of consumers.
BeCommerce is highly optimistic for the future, with e-commerce maintaining enormous progress. The organisation comments, “As a comparison, the Dutch economy is one and a half times bigger than that of Belgium overall, but the e-commerce sector is around ten times more significant in Belgium. If Belgium follows the same evolution as the Netherlands, we would expect spectacular growth.” It goes on, “People are betting that e-commerce will structurally grow faster than the overall Belgian economy in the years to come.”