January 16, 2021


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Eighty percent of Belgians buy online

Eighty percent of Belgians buy online

Photo: Jordi Huisman / Hollandse Hoogte

Of all Belgians who are active online, eight out of ten also bought online in the past year. This is the result of a study by the Comeos trade association. 94 percent also state that they will be shopping online again in the future.

It is the tenth year in a row that Comeos has carried out an investigation into the e-commerce behavior of Belgians. Ten years ago, only 58 percent of Belgians bought online.

The survey of 2,000 Belgians took place in April this year during the Corona lockdown. “This was also reflected in the intentions of the respondents, as no less than 94 percent said they would make an online purchase in the future,” says Comeos. Of people who have never bought anything online, 61 percent said they would want to do so in the following year.

Night work

The frequency also increases. More than half (56 percent) have made an online purchase at least once a month in the past 12 months, an increase of 20 percent compared to last year’s study. One in five does this at least once a week and 2 percent say they shop online every day. Four out of ten made purchases using a mobile device.

All product categories have increased in the past year. Fashion remains the undisputed number 1: Of all Belgians who have shopped online in the last twelve months, 68 percent have bought an item from the fashion industry. That is an increase of 7 percent over the previous year and almost 30 percent more than ten years ago. Relaxation comes second, health & beauty is a “striking third”. These products do 19 percent better than last year.

Physical stores

Half of online purchases are made on a platform where different brands and retailers are collected, while only 1 in 4 purchases are made in the retailer’s own webshop. Around 60 percent of purchases are made in the evening. “Belgian dealers are at a competitive disadvantage compared to dealers in neighboring countries, since night work in Belgium starts at eight o’clock in the evening”, it sounds like.

An increase in online sales doesn’t mean physical stores have been written off, Comeos says. For example, 55 percent “webroomed” in the past year, first using the Internet for inspiration and then making an informed purchase in store. The opposite – first look into the store and then buy online anyway – only attracted 28 percent.