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10 April 2017

How to Win the Heart of the Belgian Online Shopper

Wondering what it really takes to get an online shopper to fall in love with you – particularly a Belgian?  Well this market is still more traditional than most people think.  According to the E-commerce Barometer 2017, it’s not an easy task to get people to buy online (especially for smaller companies).  This means that the pressure is high to improve customer experience.  Once you actually are given the time of day, make sure your web shop puts its best foot forward.  Sweeping someone off their feet is much easier if you understand what’s important to them… so here’s some inside information from the Safeshops report.

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  1. Speak their language. Though undeniably an exotic tongue can be intriguing, communicating in the language they’re most comfortable with will go a long way.  Here goes the obvious:  if you’re selling in the north, go Dutch, and in the center or south, go French.  Otherwise, stick with English to avoid biases.

  1. Know their interests. “Information is power” as the saying goes.  The most bought items online are concert & movie tickets, travel, fashion, books, and airplane tickets.  These items are most likely to spark their interest (versus jewellery & home furniture – now that’s a surprise!)

  1. Get others to put a good word for you. Online shoppers are safeguarding their heart (and their wallets.)  They don’t want to waste time and money on a product that might be disappointing and of low quality.  Collect reviews or use 3rd party platforms (like Trustpilot.)  44% of online shoppers want to be reassured of the choices they’re making.

  1. Go out. Much of today’s communication happens online but going out can add to the spice.  48% of Belgian online shoppers find it important for a web shop to have a physical offline counterpart.

  1. Pamper, pamper, pamper. Make it literally easy for them to love you by offering free delivery (84% think this is a must have) and not to forget home delivery (69%).  This will break down the barriers and their reluctance.

  1. Hide nothing and be honest. If you have nothing to hide, then allow people to turn back – this means offer Free returns (70% find this essential.)  On top of that, be upfront about all the costs (there’s nothing as big a turn-off as being told there’s a catch…at the very end of the journey.)

  1. Show you care. It’s not only about being there in the good times but as importantly, their times of need.  Belgian online shoppers rank the fast response of customer care as tremendously critical (73% to be exact.)  Reachability via email also comes up at the top (68%) – convenience is king.

  1. Don’t be discouraged. Belgian online shoppers will inevitably buy from other countries, namely the Netherlands (59%), France (43%), and Germany (36%).  But no worries, if your local web shop answers their specific needs in terms of experience, you’ll surely stay in the running!

And there you have the secret to wooing your market. 
Stay tuned for next year’s edition to see how these results evolve!

Click on the picture below to download the full research



The Safeshops Inside E-Shopping Report 2017