The fourth edition of the E-commerce Barometer – unique because it maps out the online landscape using transaction data – shows that the Belgian e-commerce market grew in 2019 by more than 8 billion. This is an increase of 17% over 2018. For the first time, 25% of turnover was sold to foreign shoppers. In 2019, the number of online merchants also increased by more than 29,000. This is an increase of 20%.
"The results of this E-commerce barometer confirm the positive movement affecting the market. This is clearly demonstrated by the increasing number of transactions and Belgian webshops. We can also point to the appeal of Belgian webshops abroad", said the promoters.
Today, the new E-commerce Barometer results were announced by The House of Marketing, a part of the Quanteus Group, and SafeShops.be, the Belgian e-commerce association. The results are based on the transaction data from webshops. The data is provided by Payment Service Providers (PSPs). These tally the transaction volumes for Belgian webshops regardless of the means of payment (Bancontact, credit cards, PayPal, bank apps, etc.).
Transaction increases to 8.2 billion euros
The collected data shows that in 2019 Belgian webshops accumulated a transaction volume, or turnover, of 8.2 billion euros. That is an increase of 17% over 2018. The E-commerce Barometer results also showed a significant increase in the number of transactions. In 2019, more than 85 million transactions were recorded, which is 22% more than the previous year.
"This year, we’ve also seen growth increase by double digits. That’s impressive and shows that e-commerce is still on the rise in Belgium", explained Julie Luppens of The House of Marketing. "Every day 13 webshops are started. Each second, 3 transactions take place with an average value of €96. So, we can suppose that both the consumer and merchants are very confident in e-commerce."
Belgische webshops export 25%
It’s not just Belgians buying from Belgians webshops. Also foreigners are finding their way to Belgians online merchants.
The numbers show that 25% of the 8.2 billion euros – more than 2 billion euros – are from abroad", said Greet Dekocker, Managing Director of SafeShops.be. "So, there is a solid two-way flow of traffic. We buy abroad and foreigners are also finding their way to Belgian webshops. This is a really positive sign that confirms the appeal of Belgian online merchants."
The top 5 countries that buy from Belgian webshops are France, followed by The Netherlands, Great Britain, Germany, and the United States. The British on average spend the most at €136 per transaction. The Dutch are somewhat lower with an average purchase at €81.
Thanks to the data from the payment providers, the E-commerce Barometer provides accurate insight into the online spending at Belgian e-commerce companies. It also provides some surprising results.
For example, in the area of online shopping in 2019, July was the busiest month and April the calmest. And, Wednesday is the day when the highest number of transactions occur and Saturday the least. Wednesday May 29th, the day before Ascension Day, the top day of the year saw 952,000 financial transactions. This is more than 3 times the volume of a normal Wednesday. A day, such as Black Friday, saw double the number of transactions compared to an ordinary Friday.
Large players still dominate the Belgian market
The number of online merchants once again showed a positive evolution with more than 29,000 webshops tallied (end 2019: 29,231). With respect to transaction volume, once again a small group of large Belgian players took a lion’s share of the e-commerce turnover. Less than 1,000 Belgian webshops account for 87% of the turnover.
In the small and micro webshop segment, turnover increased significantly by 33% and 49% respectively.
"We expect the current trend where Belgian webshops also sell in foreign markets will continue to burgeon. Belgian online merchants can add language options or align their product range to foreign countries to take advantage of the growing cross-border activities", the promoters concluded.
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Segment categories based on transaction (value)
Occasional: < 12 transactions/year
Micro: < €100.000
Small: > €100.000 < €1.000.000
Medium: > €1.000.000 < €10.000.000
Large: > €10.000.000
About The House of Marketing
For over two decades, companies have called upon The House of Marketing for strategic management consultancy and interim management. Collaborating with a THoMer means collaborating with a connected hub of more than 100 passionate and committed marketing experts and a network of freelance consultants. Our entrepreneurial spirit and future-proof vision on marketing enables us to inspire, foster innovation, and help our customers in their transition to profitable, sustainable growth. We do the same with e-commerce: collaborating with the digital experts of our subsidiary Upthrust, we support our customers in their growth from strategy to implementation.
The House of Marketing is part of the Quanteus Group. Find out more at www.thehouseofmarketing.be.
Julie Luppens – firstname.lastname@example.org – +32 476 52 49 74
SafeShops.be is the Belgian e-commerce association that promotes online shopping in Belgium. Their goal is to increase consumer and customer confidence in online shopping, and in doing so, stimulate the growing success of e-commerce and online shopping in Belgium.
For example, they issue and promote the SafeShops.be quality and security label and organise lots of events where knowledge transfer regarding e-commerce is key.
More info on www.SafeShops.be.
Greet Dekocker – email@example.com – + 32 476 99 29 40