"E-commerce in Belgium grows 30% in second quarter of 2022"
Brussels, September 13, 2022 - In the second quarter of 2022, Belgians spent 3.5 billion euros online, up 29 percent from the same period last year. The service sector in particular seems to be picking up, with an increase of 75% compared to the same period last year. This is according to the BeCommerce Market Monitor, a survey conducted by GfK on behalf of BeCommerce, with the support of the National Lottery & FedEx. "We are back to the 50/50 split between products and services from before the corona crisis. Our predictions have come true: experiences remain important for consumers, even in uncertain times," said Sofie Geeroms, Managing Director of BeCommerce.
In the second quarter of 2022, e-commerce keeps on gaining popularity among Belgian consumers. At 3.5 billion euros, online spending is up 29 percent compared to the same period last year. In the first half of this year, Belgians spent a total of 7.2 billion euros online.
The growth is mainly due to the recovering services sector. A whopping 1.7 billion was spent on services this quarter, up from 1 billion in 2021. This marks an increase of 75 percent. 49 percent of all online spending this second quarter went to services. Thus, we return to the 50/50 split before the corona crisis between products and services.
"As we also saw in the first quarter of this year, despite the energy crisis and rising inflation, Belgians like to spend their money on experiences," explains Sofie Geeroms, Managing Director of BeCommerce. "Our prediction that entertainment and experiences would be number one in the coming period has come true."
Within the service sector, more than half (66%) of all spending occurred online. We note the same top three categories with the largest share of online spending as in the second quarter of last year: at number one we find 'Loose airline tickets and accommodations'. Within this category, 89 percent of all spending was spent online. Within 'tickets for attractions and events' 75 percent of all spending occurred online, good for second place. At number 3 we again find 'Package holidays' with 67 percent of online spending. The strongest growth this quarter was achieved by 'Sports & Recreation'. 32 percent of all spending within this category occurred online (21 percent in Q2 2021). Thus, the share increased 55 percent compared to the same period last year.
Online shopping is becoming more and more established, even now that the corona crisis seems to be definitively behind us. 6.9 million Belgians shopped online during the second quarter of 2022, with the number of shoppers increasing slightly compared to last year (+2%). Together, they accounted for 40.5 million online purchases, which is again fairly stable compared to last year (+1%). An average of €514 was spent per online shopper on online purchases, compared with only €403 in the same period last year. This corresponds to an increase of 28 percent.
"Belgian consumers dare to spend more and more online, but they always do it price-consciously," explains Sofie Geeroms. "Indeed, the advantage of shopping online is that you can easily compare prices. Especially in these uncertain economic times, that is important for consumers."
Online shoppers satisfied with online shopping experience
Nearly 9 in 10 shoppers are satisfied with online shopping in the second quarter of 2022. The number of very satisfied shoppers is even higher than last year. The main reasons for shopping online or not remain the same. The convenience of ordering from home remains the main reason for 4 in 10 shoppers. Saving time becomes more important than last year, with 36 percent of shoppers indicating that as their reason. Shipping costs remain the biggest barrier, cited by 4 in 10. The latter threshold does lose importance compared to the second quarter of 2021, when 45 percent of consumers cited it as a reason. 41 percent of respondents see lack of contact with the product as a major drawback.
BeCommerce is the Belgian non-profit organization that brings together companies active in digital commerce on the Belgian market. BeCommerce contributes to consumer confidence in e-commerce by providing a formal trust mark to webshops. Thanks to the certification, security scans, consumer ratings and reviews of e-commerce websites, BeCommerce helps build the growth of the sector.
BeCommerce also puts these objectives into practice through awareness, information, knowledge and research projects and the development of its own Trustmark code of conduct. Moreover, BeCommerce contributes to the creation of a favorable economic and political environment for the sector. In particular, it is working for the removal of any regulatory restriction that inhibits the competitiveness of digital commerce, including distance selling, and its further development in Belgium.
BeCommerce counts among its members and partners mainly online stores and companies active in the e-commerce and distance selling sector, as well as companies providing services in logistics, payment and IT.
About the BeCommerce Market Monitor
The BeCommerce Market Monitor maps the overall Belgian e-commerce consumer market. The report is based on a unique combination of different data sources: continuous consumer data tracking, complemented by continuous Retail panels and additional consumer research among 4,000 consumers per quarter. Within the definition of the total online market, all personal and household consumer purchases are included. Ordered items that were returned and thus ultimately not purchased are also excluded from this report. Using the 20 identified market segments, a distinction is made between products and services.
B2C purchases of products and services are covered in the BeCommerce Market Monitor, regardless of where the product or service is purchased: at home, at work, on the road, on the high street or in store (online instore via a tablet or column). Figures include VAT.
The BeCommerce Market Monitor is conducted by GfK and made possible thanks to the National Lottery and FedEx.