E-commerce in Belgium developed strongly over the 2020-21 period. This was linked to the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in 2020, as the format was ideal during lockdowns, physical store closures and social distancing requirements.
Indeed, by the end of 2020, the number of domestic online stores in Belgium had almost doubled from around 27,000 to 49,000 (source Comeos), and this number continued to grow in 2021. At the same time, a strong focus was placed on delivery and logistics.
Several categories performed very well in 2021. The most dynamic category, however, also due to its late development, was food and drink e-commerce.
Already in 2021, consumers seemed ready to go more and more digital. This attitude coupled with improvement of retailers’ online services (payment methods, user-friendly and secure online shops, more capillary home delivery and pick-up options), is likely to result in strong growth of e-commerce over the forecast period.
3rd party platforms gained share in 2021, and are likely to continue to outperform their competitors over the forecast period. In July 2021, Zalando launched in Belgium the Connected Retail project, allowing apparel shops to connect their stores to the online platform of the German retailer.
The increasing penetration of e-commerce in total retail over the forecast period is likely to push the logistics and delivery issue even more to the core of the e-commerce agenda. Environmental sustainability (i.
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Sales of consumer goods to the general public via the Internet. Please note that this includes sales through mobile phones and tablets (i.e. m-commerce). E-commerce includes sales generated through pure e-commerce websites and through sites operated by store-based retailers. Sales data is attributed to the country where the consumer is based, rather than where the retailer is based. The definition of e-commerce is agnostic as to where actual payment takes place; if an order is initiated online, it is considered to be an e-commerce transaction, even if the order is ultimately paid for in-store (or elsewhere). As a result, all ‘click-and-collect’ and ‘collect-at-store’ transactions are counted as e-commerce sales. E-commerce excludes sales of: (a) Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) and business-to-business (B2B) sales, although please note that sales between businesses and consumers (i.e. B2C sales) on sites such as eBay are included; (b) Sales of motor vehicles, motorcycles and vehicle parts; (c) Tickets for events (sports, music concerts, etc.) and travel; (d) Sales of travel and holiday packages; (e) Revenue generated by online gambling sites; (f) Returned products/unpaid invoices; and (h) Internet sales from direct selling companies, as these are tracked in Direct Selling market size/shares. Example e-commerce brands include Amazon.com, Zappos.com, Apple.com, iTunes, Rakuten, Tesco.com, Dell.com, Coles Online, etc. 3rd Party Merchant sales through online marketplaces, such as Amazon.com, eBay.com and Walmart.com, are included and split out in shares. 3rd party merchants are the summation of sales that come from businesses that are present on an online marketplace (e.g. Amazon, Alibaba). Marketplaces are websites that allow multiple merchants to sell on the marketplace website, with the marketplace operator processing the transactions, but many marketplaces provide offer other services as to help with shipping, handling, payment, and product storage. The marketplace is not the merchant of record legally, but for the sake of shares, sales from 3rd part merchants are attributed to the marketplace brand operator.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our E-Commerce (Goods) research and analysis database.
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